Each welding method has its benefits and drawbacks. The choice of one welding technique over another often depends on the specifications and requirements.
Depending on whether high efficiency or a perfect weld is to be achieved, the choice will not necessarily be the same for all pipe weldings.
Choosing a welding method: the investment
The investment cost will be an important point to consider. You need to have a large enough market to handle investments such as high energy density equipment.
With this technology, you will not have to choose between quality level or efficiency: both criteria are amply met.
Energy-dense methods are only used in industries where the quality or production level must be maximized. For example, in the nuclear industry, fuel capsules are welded with this method.
The quality of the weld
The automation of welding is interesting because thanks to the programmable welding equipment, it is possible to not only increase the output, but also to control the quality of the weld according to the desired result.
This does not take away from the need for the experienced welder to validate the result of the weld after having developed the welding program. Unlike with manual electrode welding, the welding results here are perfectly controllable.
Nevertheless, for most of the equipment, welding gear quickly pays for itself. As far as the cost of orbital TIG welding equipment is concerned, some users manage to make the equipment profitable with a single operation, especially in the field of heat exchangers.
Slag is a kind of "crust" that can form with certain welding methods that use little or no shielding gas. This slag must be removed after the weld has cooled.
Of course, this is an additional step that must be taken into account, but in terms of quality, this slag has an important benefit with respect to the quality of the weld.
In fact, the slag allows the weld to cool down slowly in contrast to some gas-shielded welding methods. As a result, less deformation or stress is induced in the metal being welded. These stresses are often difficult to quantify.
The following welding methods create a slag: submerged arc welding and electrode welding (with a rod).
The fumes released during welding raise many questions about their harmfulness.
Depending on the welding method, the quantity of this fume is very variable: there is quite a lot of fume when welding with an electrode (rod) and very little in TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding, or even none at all when welding with high energy density if the latter is carried out in a vacuum, far away from the welder himself.