There has been a recent increase in demand for submerged-arc welding (SAW) equipment supplier Argon Arc Welding Supplies’ latest flux-cored welding wire by the South African market, which is evident owing to the company’s latest order, says technical manager Michael van Eyk.
Argon Arc reports that, although the product was officially launched onto the South African market a year ago, its Hyundai SuperCored 71 LHM flux-cored welding wire sales have increased steadily this year, owing to its popularity.
The flux-cored metallic inert gas (MIG) welding wire, produced by welding consumable manufacturer Hyundai Welding, is a new product to South Africa and is used in shipbuilding, structural steel and general fabrication, says Van Eyk, adding that it is a welcome addition to Argon Arc’s range of flux-cored wires.
“The product has a controlled hydrogen content and the impact properties – 80 joules at –30 °C – are excellent. It is also fast-freezing, which aids in positional welding, owing to the slight changes in the chemical composition,” he points out.
Argon Arc also offers the open-gap root function on European welding manufacturer Cea’s pulsed MIG welding range of machines.
Van Eyk says this is the latest in welding technology and Cea is the only machine manufacturer to have offered this technology in a simple to operate and cost-effective form.
Three years ago, Cea, located in Italy, launched the open-gap root function as a standard feature to the pulsed MIG welding range of machines.
Where conventional methods incorporate TIG welding as standard for the root pass on pipes by using the Cea Digitech, it is possible to do the root run with the MIG process.
“On the main control panel, the operator simply selects the pipe root program and, leaving a gap of up to 4 mm between the pipes, the welder applies the root run either while the pipes are rotating or in a fixed position,” Van Eyk explains.
The product has an 80% reduction in weld time, compared with conventional methods, resulting in increased production.
The technology was first launched in Europe in 2010. Argon Arc has had access to this technology for the last two years but officially launched it onto the South African market in 2011.
The company has also added seam tracking, which enables the SAW heads to follow the weld seam electronically, for automatic SAW to its range, as of this year.
This new addition to Argon Arc’s range is suitable for use with various types of SAW equipment and is ideal for use in light, medium and heavy structural steel fabrication such as pressure vessels.
Van Eyk says, although seam tracking is not a new technology to the local market, less than 5% of SAW machines used in South Africa have a seam-tracking device. The unit is compatible with all new or used submerged-arc equipment.
This unit controls the submerged-arc wire automatically to ensure that the wire is always in the correct position, compared with conventional types of submerged-arc heads, which need to be manually adjusted and, therefore, could result in possible defects.