About Welding Machine | Electro Slag Welding ESW | Narrow Gap Welding

Electro slag welding is a welding process of heavy plates in the vertical position, wherein coalescence is produced by molten slag which melts the filler metal and the surfaces of the work to be welded. It’s an arc less process that utilizes resistance heating of the slag pool covering the molten steel as the weld’s heat source.


01-electro slag narrow gap welding


Parts to be joined are positioned approximately an inch apart and an electrode (weld wire) guide tube is positioned between the parts. Copper cooling shoes are clamped to the sides, bottom and top of the joint and contain the molten slag and metal during the weld.


01-electro slag welding - welding area enlarged


After the components are assembled power is applied and the wire is fed through the guide tube. When the wire reaches the start block there is momentary arcing which melts the granulated flux, forms the slag pool and extinguishes the arc. The process is initiated by filling the joint with the flux and starting an arc by short circuiting. The consumable guide tube directs the electrode (welding wire) and conducts the welding current to the molten slag pool. The electrical resistance of the slag pool generates heat which melts the wire, the guide tube and the edges of the two components to be joined. The temperature obtained is approximately 1800 degree Celsius at the surface and 1930 degree Celsius inside under the surface. This much heat is sufficient to fuse the edges of the work pieces and the welding electrode.


01-electro slag welding - narrow gap welding equipment

As the wire and guide tube are melted by the flux the liquid metal sinks through the slag to the metal pool below and solidifies. Since the slag is less dense than liquid steel, it floats to the top and protects the metal from exposure to air. With continuing addition of weld wire the molten steel fills the gap, solidifies and fuses the two components. The weld is terminated when it reaches the top of the run-out cooling shoes above the rail running surface. Unnecessary weld reinforcement is removed immediately while the weld is hot.

01-electro slag welding - vertical plate assembly


A DC current of 750 – 1000 A is applied from a DC generator with flat volt-ampere. Load voltages generally range from 30 to 55 V, therefore the minimum open circuit voltage of the power source should be 60 V. Speed range of Electro slag welding are 17 to 150 mm/s.


History:

Single pass welding of heavy plates are desired one to avoid multi pass welding techniques. In the early 1950’s Russian scientists announced the single pass vertical welds by the principle of electrically conductive slag. In 1959 Electro slag welding was introduced in United states.



Applications:

  • ESW is often used to weld stiffeners’ in structural box columns and wide flanges.

  • Manufacture of large Presses and machine tools work with large heavy plates.

  • Other machinery applications include kilns, gear blanks, motor frames, press frames, turbine rings, shrink rings, crusher bodies, rebuilding metal mill rolls and rims for road rollers

  • Pressure vessels for the chemical, petroleum, marine, and power generating industries


Advantages:

  • Electro slag welding can have extremely high deposition rates, but only one single pass is required no matter how thick the workpiece is.

  • Unlike SAW or other arc welding processes, there is no angular distortion in ESW because the weld is symmetrical with respect to its axis.

  • High Welding Speed and good stress distribution across the weld.

01-electro slag welding


  • Joint preparation is often much simpler than other arc welding processes.

  • Residual stresses and distortion produced are low

  • Flux composition as compared to submerged arc welding (SAW) is very low.

01-electro slag rail welding


Disadvantages:
  • However, the heat input is very high and the weld quality can be rather poor, including low toughness caused by the coarse grains in the fusion zone and the heat-affected zone.

  • In Electro slag welding, there is some tendency toward hot cracking and notch sensitivity in the heat affected zone.

  • Electro slag welding is restricted to vertical position welding because of the very large pools of the molten metal and slag.

  • It is difficult to close cylindrical welds

  • Electro slag welding tends to produce large grain sizes.

  • Submerged Arc Welding is more economical than electro slag welding for joints below 60 mm.

01-narrow gap welding - electro slag welding
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Hi, I`m Sostenes, Electrical Technician and PLC`S Programmer.
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