Orbital welding is a specialised area of welding, whereby the arc is rotated mechanically through 360° around a static workpiece, an object such as a pipe, in a continuous process. The process was developed to address the issue of operator error in gas tungsten arc welding processes (GTAW). In orbital welding, computer-controlled process runs with little intervention from the operator. The process is used specifically for high quality repeatable welding.
Successful orbital welding is also dependent upon using high quality tubing material. Typically, only stainless steel tubing is used in orbital welding and can provide reliable welding of reproducible quality using wide-ranging and differing techniques. This can be performed to a high standard even when using unusual materials, thick walls, small tube diameters and even within a difficult working environment.
TFG Group uses orbital welding on many projects within different industries:
Food, Dairy and Beverage: The food, dairy and beverage industries require consistent full penetration welds on all weld joints. Most of these tubing/piping systems have schedules for cleaning and sterilisation in place. For maximum piping system efficiency, the tubing must be as smooth as possible. Any pit, crevice, crack or incomplete weld joint can form a place for the fluid inside the tubing to be trapped and form a bacteria harbor.
Pharmaceutical: Pharmaceutical process lines and piping systems deliver high quality water to their processes. This requires high quality welds to ensure a source of water from the tubes that is uncontaminated by bacteria, rust or other contaminants. Orbital welding ensures full penetration welds with no overheating occurring that could undermine the corrosion resistance of the final weld zone.
Tube/Pipe Fittings, Valves and Regulators: Hydraulic lines, and liquid and gas delivery systems all require tubing with connector fittings. Orbital systems provide a means to ensure high productivity of welding and improved weld quality. Sometimes the tubing may be welded in place to a valve or regulator body. Here the orbital weld head provides the ability to produce high quality welds in applications with restricted access to the weld joint.