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Getting Automated: Transitioning from hand-held to CNC plasma cutting

July 28, 2014

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Transitioning from the manual plasma cutting process to CNC plasma cutting process might seem like a daunting task. However, if you enter into the process prepared and with the facts, you’ll find that the switch can be relatively painless and one that can help grow your business.

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Consumables Corner: Examining weld cracking, Part II—Stress, hydrogen cracking

July 16, 2014

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Editor’s Note: This is the second column in a two-part series. Q: I work in a midsized job shop, and we weld with the FCAW, GMAW, and SMAW processes. Occasionally we encounter weld cracking issues. What causes weld cracking, and what can I do to prevent it? A: Stress cracking is similar to hot...

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Consumables Corner: Examining weld cracking, Part I—Hot cracking

July 15, 2014

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Editor’s Note: This is the first article of a two-part series. Q: I work in a midsized job shop, and we weld with the FCAW, GMAW, and SMAW processes. Occasionally we encounter weld cracking issues. What causes weld cracking, and what can I do to prevent it? A: To ensure that the measures you...

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Hope dies last

July 9, 2014

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A hard-nosed welding instructor at a medium-security prison in rural North Carolina gives his students discipline, confidence, a foot in the door to a trade, and the possibility for a new life upon release.

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Consumables Corner: Selecting the correct diameter for flux-cored wire

July 9, 2014

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I work in a large manufacturing fabrication shop where we weld subassemblies and then fit and weld them together to complete the machines we manufacture. Currently we use gas-shielded, flux-cored wires from 0.045 to 0.09375 in. in diameter. At what point is a small-diameter wire too inefficient,...

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Consumables Corner: Combating overheating in work clamps

July 8, 2014

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Q: I weld in a large pressure vessel shop and use many welding processes, including SMAW, GMAW, FCAW, and SAW. Regardless of the process, our work clamps always get very hot. We’ve even had some arcing from the ground clamp. We have welded several grounds to the workpiece to remedy this problem,...

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Consumables Corner: Combating dull weld appearance with metal-cored stainless steel wire

July 7, 2014

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Q: We fabricate 401 stainless steel components and have considered using metal-cored stainless steel consumables. One of the issues with metal-cored consumables is the dull appearance of the weld compared to the appearance achieved with a solid wire. What can we do to maintain a clean or shiny...

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Stainless steel weld finishing by the numbers

July 7, 2014

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As the demand for stainless steel increases, welders and metal fabricators need to understand how to obtain the proper finish.

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Consumables Corner: Nixing porosity during weld start

July 3, 2014

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Q: I work for a job shop that fabricates and welds process piping for various applications. The pipes, made from A106-88a carbon steel and 304 and 316 stainless steel, are welded using GMAW, FCAW, and GTAW. We have been experiencing porosity, primarily on the weld starts. Our shielding gas is a...

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Consumables Corner: Welding heat treatable steels

July 2, 2014

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Q: Our shop won a contract that requires welding 4130 steel. I’ve been told this is a heat-treatable steel. Can you tell me which different welding procedures have to be used to weld this material? A: The most commonly welded heat-treatable steels are 4130, 4340, and 8630. However, any steel...

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Consumables Corner: Horizontal fillet test troubles

July 1, 2014

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Q: For a recently acquired large structural job, we have had to qualify a single-pass 5/16-in. fillet using 0.045-in. E71T-9M flux-cored wire. We are having trouble passing the horizontal fillet test. When performing the weld break test on the horizontal fillet weld, there is incomplete penetration...

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Consumables Corner: Welding weathering-grade material with a nickel-containing filler

June 27, 2014

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Q: I work for a structural steel fabricator and we are getting ready to start work on a bridge job that specifies A588 material. We have worked on this material in the past using a weathering-grade filler metal. Our engineer has recommended we use a 1 percent nickel electrode. Is this right? A:...

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Consumables Corner: Issues with incomplete fusion

June 27, 2014

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Q: Recently our shop started using metal-cored wire. On one side we perform full-penetration welds to D1.1 structural code on 3/4- to 1-1/2-in.-thick plate. On the second side we carbon-arc-gouge to clean the metal and then we do a magnetic particle inspection before welding. We encounter two...

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Consumables Corner: Figuring out FCAW Charpy V-notch failure

June 26, 2014

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Q: We performed an AWS D1.1 procedure qualification test using gas-shielded FCAW. We used a 0.052-in. E71T-9C electrode with 100 percent CO2 shielding at 200 amps and 26 V on 1-in. thick plate. We used a preheat and interpass temperature of 70 degrees F. Our pass layer sequence was three full...

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Consumables Corner: Simple steps to avoid cracking

June 25, 2014

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Q: When welding a thick section of a forged 4130 ring to a thinner A36 plate in a T-joint configuration, we experience longitudinal cracking issues that originate from the ends of the welds. The required fillet size is ½ inch. It is skip-welded 12 in. on 18-in. center-to-center spacing. The...

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