Flux cored wires for simplified welding logistics

Welding in a workshop is an ideal situation for a tradesperson, with equipment they require at their disposal for fabrications, along with comfort and shelter from external elements.

However, not all welding is possible under such ideal circumstances. A construction project requires a fair bit of planning and preparation to ensure all welds, especially those in pressure vessels and pipelines, surpass testing standards.

This requires many logistical details to be taken care of, ensuring simplified logistics and easy planning.

Flux cored wires designed for wire feed welding helps with the same by excluding the need for the purchase, delivery, and onsite transportation of a gas bottle. It also excludes the need for argon to shield welding arcs.

Additionally, working outdoors is always challenging and requires special consideration, when using gas shielding, as it is easily disrupted by slight wind, since a small amount of argon is blown away from the welding arc.

This means a shelter is necessary, commonly known as a welding humpy in Australia, in order to make sure air around the weld is undisturbed.

In a typical MIG welding setup, gas shielding prevents slag spatter, as well as oxygen contamination in the weld. The gas also assists with achieving maximum penetration with the weld, and higher levels of deposition.

In order to remove argon gas from the equation, flux cored wires can provide a self-shielding solution to ensure simplified logistics in the field.

The flux core serves not only to generate shielding gas for the weld, but also acts as a deoxidiser to scavenge any contaminants already present in the material. Although proper steel preparation is the key to achieving good welds, the deoxidising elements in flux cored wire trap contaminants, such as rust, mill-scale or oil, in the weld pool and hold them in slag coverage, this prevents the problems associated with welding ‘dirtier’ steels. This aspect of flux core wire can help to achieve higher productivity on the job.

The flux forms a slag over the weld pool to protect it from the atmosphere until the weld is completely solidified.

Alloying elements in the welding wire also help to increase the strength and advanced welding properties.

A case study of the Brisbane Airport expansion project is a great example of how flux cored wire helped improve welders’ efficiency.

With difficult, swampy terrain and several creek crossings to make, the construction team had to be light and mobile; a XLR-8 flux cored wire was used for this purpose.

XLR-8 flux cored wire was used since it has a fast freezing slag, meaning that the weld pool solidifies faster. Therefore, welders spent less time in an uncomfortable position, as they could achieve a better quality weld in a shorter space of time.

In addition, the self-cleaning nature of the flux cored wire meant that Starlight’s welders would not have to be so meticulous with their preparation of the pipework for welding.

For more information on how a flux cored wire can help simplify logistics, download our whitepaper here.

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