Orbital Technology Blog
Which welding process to use to meet health standards?
Health standards are present in numerous fields: the agrifood industry, the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, the aeronautic industry, the chemical-petrochemical industry, and even the semiconductor industry. All these various industries have different constraints and standards. For example, the agrifood industry calls for thin pipes with high-quality precision cutting, the pharmaceutical industry must ensure that no bacteria can be exchanged at the welded joint, while the aeronautic industry must make sure that the welded joint is executed with complete gas protection.
There are numerous standards to respect in addition to different constraints. The European Union makes every effort to standardize its welding standards, but for countries outside of the EU, the issue remains the same. Each country has its own standards regarding welding processes and its own quality certifications.
The fundamental issue surrounding the meeting of standards is often the pipe and the way it is welded. We see this pipe within a wide variety of industrial sectors. Those mentioned below are all used to transport sensitive or particular fluids. These fluids thus require quality installations.
Creating a pipe circuit involves joining straight pipes with elbows, tees, flanges, faucets, etc. Most of the time, assembly occurs through welding. Different kinds of welding processes may occur depending on use and on the characteristics of the welded materials: steel, stainless steel, titanium, austenitic steel, tube thickness.
TIG, the most common process for orbital welding
In the case of stainless steel, the most common welding process is TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding, as it is well suited for precision welding. The joints created by it are practically the only places in the installation where problems may arise, such as leaks, micro cracks, corrosion, and points of mechanical fragility, for example. Depending on the importance and features (ex: pressure) of the transported fluid, the welded joints must be well controlled during their creation, as well as in the traceability of welding parameters. When a welder creates welded joints by hand, he or she must have the necessary certifications for the welding process in question and must get recertified every two years.
Automatic orbital welding, the most suitable process
The most suitable process for these issues of standards, precision, and health is automatic orbital welding. When an orbital welding machine creates a welded joint automatically, it can record the actual welding parameters at any moment, and thus precisely document each welded joint. In this case, welder certifications are also required, but the machine, once correctly calibrated, is able to reproduce very high-quality welded joints. The welder can thus apply his or her expertise to controlling the welded joint and the welding process.