Lower welding expenses and improved efficiency with flux cored wire

Equipment costing comes with many logistical concerns as some products can exclude the use of other products.

For MIG welding, gas is one of the most important parts of the job. Typically, a mix of 75% argon and 25% carbon dioxide welding gas is used to shield the arc from the ravages of oxidation. This can cause problems in porosity and penetration, as well as reductions in deposition.

Additionally, transporting welding gas around a construction site can be costly and risky. More than the purchase and delivery costs of the additional material, heavy argon gas tanks also require expensive crane movements for transport, since they are often loaded into large racks.

With such heavy equipment comes the risk of injury to workers attempting to manually handle individual cylinders, or those rigging and dogging the mobile cranes.

Additional expenses in relation to risk assessment and safety, and additional movement of stock are not only restricted to immediate financial expense, but also incur costs in the form of personnel hours, which, if not properly managed, will result in time deadline blowouts and contractual penalties.

However, flux cored wires can significantly simplify a range of planning requirements, one which excludes the need for purchase, delivery, and onsite transport of gas bottles. It can also reduce project overheads so that companies can be more competitive in the tender process.

Flux cored wires designed for wire feed welding simplifies the planning process by excluding the need for argon to shield welding arcs.

The gas shielding required with solid wire welding is easily disrupted by even slight wind, as the small amount of argon is blown away from the welding arc.

This necessitates the building of shelter, commonly known as a welding humpy in Australia, in order to make sure air around the weld is kept still. Building and shifting humpys means more trades assistants are required to make up hours on the job, to prevent higher paid coded welders from having to perform simple tasks.

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

Queensland engineering firm Starlight Engineering was contracted to assist with construction of a dredging pipeline from Brisbane Airport to the Brisbane River.

With difficult, swampy terrain and several creek crossings to make, the construction team had to be light and mobile, so anything that could reduce the weight of consumables would ensure the job could be completed quickly.

Materials for the pipeline were 450 Grade Chinese-made steel pipe with 30mm walls, which had to be welded and pushed into position, or welded in situ. A further constraint on the job was that the pipe could not be rotated to suit the welders, requiring them to negotiate difficult welding positions in the field.

The design of the flux cored wire allows it to freeze quickly once it is laid into the joint, which means the wire can be run hotter, at higher amps (250-350A) for higher level of deposition with no messy running. Less running means less cleaning of the welds, which means more time welders can spend getting on with the job.

For more information on how flux cored wire helps improve efficiency and reduce cost, download our whitepaper here.

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