Stakeholders in the petrochemicals industry are reaping the benefits of using welding specialist Hydra-Arc’s method of weld cladding, as it enables vessels to contain corrosive material.
Hydra-Arc engineer Ewan Huisamen tells Engineering News that weld cladding is the most robust and durable form of cladding, as it tends not to disbond over time.
“Being role-players in the petrochemicals industry, we can offer our customers value for money, especially as the industry is bearing the brunt of the current high oil prices. We are, therefore, taking advantage of the silver lining being presented to the cladding industry.”
However, he says some clients rarely specify cladded material. “It would seem that, in spite of the obvious benefits of cladded materials, there still seems to be a prevailing stigma that it is more challenging to weld.”
Nevertheless, as processes improve and depressed financial markets prevail, cladding promises to be a major growth area for enterprising companies, notes Huisamen.
“We see significant potential for growth in offshore and subsea operations with gasfield developments,” he says, adding that the gasfield development off the coast of Mozambique, currently being developed by US oil and gas exploration company Anadarko, is a promising avenue in the near future.
Huisamen tells Engineering News that Hydra-Arc relies heavily on weld cladding and, to facilitate this, it uses customised booms that allow for reach on cladding operations involving large surface areas.
The company also uses manipulators to fully clad 38 t vessels with 5 t of consumables it develops in conjunction with its consumables supplier.
Hydra-Arc Group comprises companies that operate primarily in the petrochemicals, construction, mining and power generation industries. These companies specialise in pressure vessel and piping fabrication, construction, refinery maintenance, the supply of specialised labour and training, and the supply of tooling and equipment.
The group has been in the welding field for more than 25 years, emphasising innovation and a willingness to embrace and develop new technologies.
Hydra-Arc Group houses its pressure vessel and piping fabrication business in its Skyhill workshop complex in Secunda, Mpumalanga. The fabrication facilities comprise 110 000 m², of which 60 000 m² are under roof.
Hydra-Arc Group also has a dedicated pipe shop, a plasma and laser-cutting shop, a machine shop, storage space, with an internal electrical shop, a diesel and petrol repair shop, a carpentry shop and extensive lay-down areas.
The workshop also has cranes and equip- ment that facilitate the fabrication and handling of vessels, and other items, of up to 1 500 t.
Hydra-Arc Group aims to become a global leader in the steel construction and fabrication industries, ensuring sustainable profitability and the inclusion of all its staff in its success.