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PROCESSING OF BUTT JOINT USING

GAS METAL ARC WELDING


A Mini Project report submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the award of degree of

BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY
IN

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
BY
MD.WASEEM QURESHI

(11H11A0345)

ADNAN

(11H11A0304)

ABDUL AMIR KHAN

(11H11A0301)

AMIR SOHAIL

(11H11A0307)
Under the Guidance of

Internal Guide

External Guide

Mr. S. Rahamthulla Khan


(Asst. Professor)

Mr. K. Velmyl
(Manager)

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING


AL-HABEEB COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
(Affiliated to J.N.T.U., Hyderabad)
2014-2015

AL-HABEEB COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING &


TECHNOLOGY
Damergidda,Chevella,R.R District.

CERTIFICATE
This to certify that Project work entitled PROCESSING OF BUTT
JOINT

USING GAS METAL ARC WELDING which is being


submitted by

MD.WASEEM QURESHI

(11H11A0345)

ADNAN

(11H11A0304)

ABDUL AMIR KHAN

(11H11A0301)

AMIR SOHAIL

(11H11A0307)

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree


of Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering is a record of
bonafide work carried out by them under our guidance and super
vision

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT

PRINCIPAL

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
First and foremost, we express our sincere thanks to
PROFESSOR SHAIK MAHABOOB BASHA, Principal of AL-Habeeb
College of Engineering & Technology for providing us this
opportunity to carry out our project work.

We express our sincere gratitude to Mr. S.uday bhaskar sir ,


HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT (HOD), Mechanical engineering for
providing us this opportunity to carry out our project work.

During our project he has constantly provided required guidance


and constant encouragement without which we could not have
completed our project.

We would like to thank our department faculty, for their help and
coordination to bringing this project successfully through out the
way.

Finally, we would like to express our thanks to all the people who
have helped us directly or indirectly in successful completion of our
project at the earliest.

ABSRTACT
Reproduction of any product is time taking and costly affair.
Welding place a vital role to rejoin any damaged or breaking
material. This project consists of the arc welding process generally
used in industries.
Arc welding uses a welding power supply to create an electric
current arc between an electrode and the base material to melt the
metals as the welding point. They can use either direct current (DC)
or alternating current (AC) and consumable or non-consumable
electrodes. The welding is sometimes protected by some types of
inert or semi-inert gas, known as shielding gas, and or an
evaporating filler material. The process of arc welding is widely used
because of its low capacity and running costs.
One of the most common type of arc welding is shielding metal arc
welding, which is also known as manual metal arc welding or stick
welding. An electric current is used to strike an arc between the
base material and consumable electrode rod or stick. The electrode

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rod is made of material that is compatible with the base material
being welded and is covered with a flux that protects the weld area
from oxidation and contamination by producing CO2 gas during the
welding process. The electrode core itself acts as filler material,
making separate filler unnecessary.
Gas tungsten arc welding, or tungsten inert gas(TIG) welding, is a
manual welding process that uses a non-consumable electrodes
made of tungsten, an inert or semi inert gas mixture , and a
separate filler material. Especially useful for welding thin material,
this method is characterized by stable arc an high quality welds ,but
it requires significant operator skill and can only be accomplished at
relatively low speeds. It can be used on nearly all weldable metals,
thought it is most often applied to stainless steel and light metals. It
is often used when quality welds are extremely important, such as in
bicycle, air craft and naval applications.
Compared to other welding process arc welding is less time
consuming process and accurate.

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION TO GMAW

In Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), also known as Metal


Inert Gas (MIG) welding, an electric arc is established between the
work piece and a consumable bare wire electrode. The arc
continuously melts the wire as it is fed to the weld puddle. The weld
metal is shielded from the atmosphere by a flow of an inert gas, or
gas mixture. Figure 1-1 shows this process and a portion of the
welding torch. The MIG welding process operates on D.C. (direct
current) usually with the wire electrode positive. This is known as
reverse polarity. Straight polarity, is seldom used because of poor
transfer of molten metal from the wire electrode to the work piece.
Welding currents of from 50 amperes up to more than 600 amperes

7
are commonly used at welding voltages of 15V to 32V. A stable, self
correcting arc is obtained by using the constant potential (voltage)
power

system

and

constant

wire

feed

speed.

Continuing

developments have made the MIG process applicable to the welding


of all commercially important metals such as steel, aluminum,
stainless steel, copper and several others. Materials above .030 in.
(.76 mm) thick can be welded in all positions, including flat, vertical
and overhead. It is simple to choose the equipment, wire electrode,
shielding gas, and welding conditions capable of producing highquality welds at a low cost.

Fig 1.1 - Basic MIG Welding Process

The MIG welding process provides many advantages in manual and


automatic

metal

joining

for

both

low

and

high

production

applications. Its combined advantages when compared to covered


(stick) electrode, submerged arc, and TIG are:
1) Welding can be done in all positions.

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2) No slag removal required.
3) High weld metal deposition rate.
4) Overall times for weld completion about 1/2 that of covered
electrode.
5) High welding speeds. Less distortion of the work piece.
6) High weld quality.
7) Large gaps filled or bridged easily, making certain kinds of repair
welding more efficient.
8) No stub loss as with covered electrode.

1.1 PRINCIPLES OF GMAW

GMAW stands for Gas Metal Arc Welding

GMAW is commonly referred to as MIG or Metal Inert Gas welding

During the GMAW process, a solid metal wire is fed through a


welding gun and becomes the filler material

Instead of a flux, a shielding gas is used to protect the molten


puddle from the atmosphere which results in a weld without slag

Fig 1.2 - GMAW Welding Machine Components

Three things happen when the GMAW gun trigger is pulled:

The wire electrode begins to feed

The circuit becomes electrically hot

Current flows from the power source through the gun cable, gun,
contact tip to the wire and across the arc. On the other side of the
arc, current flows through the base metal to the work cable and
back to the power source

Shielding gas flows through the gun and out the nozzle

10

Fig 1.3 - Gun Trigger

A GMAW electrode is:

A metal wire

Fed through the gun by the wire feeder

Measured by its diameter

11

Fig 1.4 - GMAW electrodes are commonly packaged on spools, reels


and coils ranging from 1lb to 1000lbs.

An electric arc occurs in the gas filled space between the electrode
wire and the work piece.

12

Fig 1.5 - Electric arcs can generate temperatures up to 10,000F

As the wire electrode and work piece heat up and melt, they form a
pool of molten material called a weld puddle

This is what the welder watches and manipulates while welding

13

Fig 1.6 .045 ER70S-6 at 400 ipm wire feed speed and 28.5 Volts
with a 90% Argon/ 10% CO2 shielding gas

GMAW welding requires a shielding gas to protect the weld puddle

Shielding gas is usually CO2, argon, or a mixture of both

14

Fig 1.7- The gauges on the regulator show gas flow rate and bottle
pr.

The welder lays a bead of molten metal that quickly solidifies into a
weld

The resulting weld is slag free

15
Fig 1.8 - An aluminum weld done with the GMAW process

CHAPTER 2
TYPES OF GAS METAL ARC WELDING

MIG or GMAW welding equipment can be used either manually or


automatically.

2.1 Manual Welding


A manual welding station is simple to install. Because arc travel is
performed by the welder, only three major elements are necessary:

1) Welding torch and accessories


2) Welding control and wire feed motor
3) Power source

16

Figure 2.1 Manual Welding Installation

1. POWER CABLE (NEGATIVE)


2. WATER FROM TORCH - POWER CABLE
3. SHIELDING GAS
4. TORCH SWITCH
5. WATER TO TORCH
6. WIRE CONDUIT
7. SHIELDING GAS FROM CYLINDER
8. COOLING WATER OUT
9. COOLING WATER IN
10. 115 VAC IN - WELDING CONTACTOR CONTROL
11. POWER CABLE (POSITIVE)
12. TO PRIMARY POWER 230/460/575 V

2.2 WELDING TORCHES AND ACCESSORIES

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The welding torch guides the wire and shielding gas into the weld
zone. It also brings welding power to the wire. Different types of
welding torches have been designed to provide maximum welding
utility for different types of applications. They range from heavy duty
torches for high current work to lightweight torches for low current
and out-of-position welding. In both types, water or air cooling and
curved or straight front ends are available. Figure 2.2 shows a crosssectional view of a typical air cooled, curved front end torch with
these necessary accessories: a. contact tube (or tip) b. shielding gas
cup or nozzle c. wire conduit and liner d. one-piece composite cable
Figure 2.2 - Typical MIG Welding Torch

Fig 2.2 Welding Torch


The wire guide tube, also called contact tube, is made of
copper and is used to bring welding power to the wire as well as
direct the wire toward the work. The torch (and guide tube) is
connected to the welding power source by the power cable. Because
the wire must feed easily through the guide tube and also make
good electrical contact, the bore diameter of the tube is important.
The instruction booklet, supplied with every torch, lists the correct
size contact tube for each wire size. The tube, which is a replaceable
part, must be firmly locked to the torch and centered in the
shielding gas cup. The shielding gas cup directs a protective mantle

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of gas to the welding zone. Large cups are used for high- current
work where the weld puddle is large. Smaller cups are used for lowcurrent welding. The wire conduit and its liner are connected
between the torch and wire drive (feed) rolls. They direct the wire to
the torch and into the contact tube. Uniform wire feeding is
necessary for arc stability. When not properly supported by the
conduit and liner, the wire may jam. The liner may be either an
integral part of the conduit or supplied separately. In either case, the
inner diameter and material of the liner are important. When using
steel wire electrodes, a steel spring liner is recommended. Nylon and
other plastic liners should be used for aluminum wire. The literature
supplied with each torch lists the recommended conduits and liners
for each wire size and material.

2.3 WELDING CONTROL AND WIRE-FEED MOTOR


The welding control and wire-feed motor are often supplied in
one package (wire feeder) as shown in Fig 2.1. Their main function is
to pull the welding wire from the spool and feed it to the arc. The
control

maintains

pre-determined

wire-feed

speed

at

rate

appropriate to the application. The control not only maintains the


set speed independent of load, but also regulates starting and
stopping of wire feed on signal from the torch switch. Shielding gas,
water, and welding power are usually delivered to the torch through
the control box. Through the use of solenoids, gas and water flow are
coordinated with flow of weld current. The control determines the
sequence of gas flow and energizing of the power supply contactor. It
also allows some gas to flow before and after arc operation.

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2.4 POWER SOURCE


Almost all mig welding is done with reverse polarity. The
positive (+) lead is connected to the torch while the negative () lead
is connected to the work piece. Since wire feed speed and, hence,
current, is regulated by the welding control, the basic adjustment
made through the power source is arc length. Arc length is set by
adjusting the power source voltage. Power source may also have one
or

two

additional

adjustments

for

use

with

other

welding

applications. Most power sources require either 230V or 460V AC


input power. Except for the power cable, the only other connection to
the power source is a multi-connector cable from the control, so as
to have the power in sequence with other control functions. Power
sources will be discussed further in the next section. SEQUENCE
OF OPERATION As an example, consider the operation of the
welding installation pictured in Figure 2-1:
1) Main line power to power source turned on.
2) Set power source switch to READY to turn on power source
cooling fan motor and control circuit.
3) Turn the welding control switch to ON to energize the control.
4) Close torch switch to cause shielding gas and cooling water to
flow. Weld power goes to torch and wire feed begins at set speed. The
feeding wire electrode touches the work piece. Welding begins.
5) Release torch switch No. 4 above reversed. Most welding
installations operate in a similar manner. However, the design and
construction of the equipment will differ. It is for this reason that

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the equipment instruction booklet should be consulted. Complete
troubleshooting data is generally supplied with all equipment.

2.5 Mechanized Welding Station


A mechanized station is used when the work can more
easily be brought to the welding station or where a great deal of
repetitive welding justifies special fixtures. Arc travel is automatic
and controlled by the fixture travel speed. Weld speed is usually
increased and weld quality improved. As shown in Fig 2.3 the
welding equipment in a mechanized fixture is much the same as in a
manual station except:
1) The welding torch is usually mounted directly under the wire
feed motor, eliminating the need for a wire conduit.
2) The welding control is mounted away from the wire feed motor.
Remote control boxes can be used.
3) In addition, other equipment is used to provide automatic fixture
travel. Examples of this equipment are side-beam carriages and
turning fixtures. The welding control also coordinates carriage travel
with the weld start and stop.

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Figure 2.3 - Automatic (Mechanized) Welding Installation

Chapter 3
MANUFACTURING PROCESS OF BUTT JOINT
A butt joint is a joinery technique in which two members are joined
by simply butting them together. A butt weld is made between two
pieces of metal usually in the same plane, the weld metal
maintaining continuity between the sections. Weld metal is generally
contained within the profiles of the welded elements.
The butt joint is the simplest joint to make since it merely involves
cutting the members to the appropriate length and butting them
together. The butt joint is a very simple joint to construct. Members
are simply docked at the required angle (usually 90) and required
length. One member will be shorter than the finished size by the
thickness of the adjacent member. We have to prepare a butt joint ,

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we need two metal plates which should have groove angle, bevel
angle, root gap & root face as shown in the figure below.

Fig 3.1 Groove Angle

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This below figure shows us the bevel angle , groove angle , root gap
& root face that we have prepare for the butt welded joint .

Fig 3.2 Arrangement Of Butt Joint


Here we have many processes for welding as follows:

3.1 Fusion Welding


melting base metals
Arc Welding (AW) heating with electric arc
Resistance welding (RW) heating with resistance to
an electrical current
Oxy fuel Welding (OFW) heating with a mixture of
oxygen and acetylene (oxyfuel gas)
Other fusion welding electron beam welding and
laser beam welding

3.2 Solid State Welding

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No melting, No fillers
Diffusion welding (DFW) solid-state fusion at an
elevated temperature
Friction welding (FRW) heating by friction
Ultrasonic welding (USW) moderate pressure with
ultrasonic oscillating motion

Here we are going to use arc welding process to make a butt welded
joint. In arc welding we are using gas metal arc welding(GMAW) or
metal inert gas (MIG) or metal active gas (MAG).

3.3 MIG Welding


In MIG the arc is formed between the end of a small diameter wire
electrode fed from a spool, and the work piece. The shielding gas,
Argon or CO2 forms the arc plasma, stabilizes the arc on the metal
being welded, shields the arc and molten weld pool, and allows
smooth transfer of metal from the weld wire to the

weld groove.

Main equipment components are : power source Wire feed system


Conduit Gun.

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Fig 3.3 Wire Electrode


In MIG welding, a shielding gas is fed into the welding torch
and exits around the filler wire. The arc and the weld pool are
protected from the atmosphere by this gas shield. This enables bare
wire to be used without a flux coating. However, the absence of flux
to 'mop up' surface oxide places greater demand on the welder to
ensure that the joint area is cleaned immediately before welding.
This can be done using either a wire brush for relatively clean parts,
or a hand grinder to remove rust and scale. The other essential piece
of equipment is a wire cutter to trim the end of the electrode wire. In
this process a filler metal is stored on a spool and driven by rollers
[ current is fed into the wire ] through a tube into a 'torch'. The large
amount of filler wire on the spool means that the process can be
considered to be continuous and long, uninterrupted welds can
easily be made. In this process they key issues are selecting the
correct shielding gas and flow rate and the welding wire speed and
current. MIG process can readily be automated and MIG welding is
now commonly carried out by robots. This welding process is widely

26
used on steels and on aluminium. Although the inert gas shield
keeps the weld clean, depending upon the process settings, there
may be spatter of metal globules adjacent to the weld which detracts
from its appearance unless they are removed.

CHAPTER 4
MANUFACTURING OF BUTT WELDED JOINT BY
USING GMAW
To manufacture a butt welded joint we need two metal plates
which should be kept parallel to each other in a same plane and
those plates must have bevel angle , included angle or groove angle,
root gap & root face in between them as shown below.

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Fig 4.1 Groove Angle Of Butt Joint
Now to make a butt welded joint of these plates we need to choose
either manual welding station or mechanized welding station , here
we have chosen the manual welding station because is simple to
install & arc travel is performed by the welder where as in
mechanized welding station an arc travel is automatic and controlled
by the fixture travel speed . The below figure shows the manual
welding installation .

Figure 4.2 Manual Welding Installation

From this we can prepare a butt welded joint as shown below.

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Fig 4.3 Butt Welded Joint

CHAPTER 5
DEFECTS , APPLICATIONS , LIMITATIONS &
ADVANTAGES OF GMAW
5.1 DEFECTS
Common defects in MIG welding are ;
Undercutting,

Excessive

melt-through,

Incomplete

fusion,

Incomplete joint penetration, Porosity, Weld metal cracks, Heat


affected zone cracks.

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5.1.1 UNDERCUT
A groove melted into the base metal adjacent to the weld toe or weld
root and left unfilled by weld metal.

Fig 5.1 Undercuts

5.1.2 POROSITY
Porosity is the presence of cavities in the weld metal caused by the
freezing in of gas released from the weld pool as it solidifies. The
porosity can take several forms:
distributed
surface breaking pores
wormhole
crater pipes
Porosity is caused by the absorption of nitrogen, oxygen and
hydrogen in the molten weld pool which is then released on
solidification to become trapped in the weld metal.

5.1.3 WELD METAL CRACKS


Cracks

and

planar

discontinuities

are

the

most

dangerous,

especially if fatigue loading conditions (i.e. successively increasing

30
and decreasing) are present in service. Their shape extends mainly
in two dimensions and constitutes stress raisers. In visual
inspection only a linear indication may be visible.
Different types of cracks are described. Usually none are tolerated
(at the prescribed detection level), so that they must be removed by
careful grinding (if superficial) or repaired by welding. The most
insidious ones are those not open to the surface that may require
specialized techniques to be detected and evaluated.
Globular volumetric three dimensional discontinuities, porosity or
inclusions, are usually found deep inside the weld.

Fig 5.2 Weld Metal Cracks

5.1.4 HEAT AFFECTED ZONE


When the weld pool is cooling and solidifying, the majority of the
heat flows through the parent metal alongside the joint. The steel is
thus subjected to heating and cooling cycles similar to those
experienced in heat treatment practice.

As shown in Figure 5.3 , the structure of the steel will be changed in


this region (called the heat affected zone, HAZ)

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Fig 5.3 Heat Affected Zone

Fig 5.4 HAZ Due To GMAW

5.1.5 OVERLAP

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The protrusion of weld metal beyond the weld toe or weld root. There
may be fusion problem.

Fig 5.5 Overlap

5.1.6 LACK OF SIDE WALL FUSION


Lack of complete fusion or incomplete penetration are internal
planar discontinuities difficult to detect and evaluate but most
dangerous especially if low Impact Strength and elevated Transition
Temperature are determined for the material in cause and if cold
weather may occur to promote low Toughness and brittle fracture.

Fig 5.6 Lack Of Side Wall Fusion

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5.2 APPLICATIONS
Constructions, Piping, pressure vessels.
Boilers and storage tanks, Shipbuilding, Aerospace.
Automobile and Railroad.
Automation - Machine, Automatic and Robotic welding.

5.3 LIMITATIONS
Less portable with shorter gun lengths (15 foot guns).
GMAW equipment is more expensive than SMAW equipment.
External shielding gas can be blown away by winds.
High radiated heat.
Difficult to use in out of position joints.

5.4 ADVANTAGES
High operating factor.
Easy to learn.
Limited cleanup.
Use on many different metals: stainless steel, mild (carbon) steel,
aluminum and more.
All position.
Great for home use with 115V and 230V units.

Gas metal arc welding (GMAW), sometimes referred to by its subtypes metal inert
gas (MIG) welding or metal active gas (MAG) welding, is a welding process in
which an electric arc forms between a consumable wire electrode and the workpiece
metal(s), which heats the workpiece metal(s), causing them to melt, and join. Along
with the wire electrode, ashielding gas feeds through the welding gun, which shields
the process from contaminants in the air. The process can be semi-automatic or

34
automatic. A constant voltage, direct current power source is most commonly used
with GMAW, but constant current systems, as well as alternating current, can be
used. There are four primary methods of metal transfer in GMAW, called globular,
short-circuiting, spray, and pulsed-spray, each of which has distinct properties and
corresponding advantages and limitations.

Originally developed for welding aluminum and other non-ferrous materials in the
1940s, GMAW was soon applied to steelsbecause it provided faster welding time
compared to other welding processes. The cost of inert gas limited its use in steels
until several years later, when the use of semi-inert gases such as carb dioxide
became common. Further developments during the 1950s and 1960s gave the
process more versatility and as a result, it became a highly used industrial
process. Today, GMAW is the most common industrial welding process, preferred
for its versatility, speed and the relative ease of adapting the process to robotic
automation. Unlike welding processes that do not employ a shielding gas, such
as shielded metal arc welding, it is rarely used outdoors or in other areas of air
volatility. A related process, flux cored arc welding, often does not use a shielding
gas, but instead employs an electrode wire that is hollow and filled with flux.

Butt Joints and Welds

35

One of the most common types of weld joints in manufacturing is the butt joint.
This joint is formed when the two pieces to be welded are simply placed face to
face and the welding head run over it. In the case of GTAW and PAW this joint can
only be used on very thin pieces without extensive preparation and the use of filler
wire. Both the laser and the electron beam, on the other hand, can butt weld very
thick pieces, up to 30 cm for the electron beam. This is accomplished by using the
keyhole method, in which the beam is used to bore a path through the piece for
itself, allowing it to distribute energy evenly across the joint, regardless of its
depth. This makes the electron beam, and to a lesser extent the laser, the ideal
welding system for many jobs.

The butt joint has many advantages over other types of joint. The first of these is
that it results in a uniform surface, which allows them to be used in places where
fit or appearance is extremely important. A second advantage is strength. Due to
the fact that the area of the weld is nearly the same as that of the pieces being
welded, the tensile strength can be comparable to that of the base metal. The third
advantage of the butt joint is simplicity to set up and weld. Unlike some of the
other joints, which require complicated geometry, such as flanges, to work, the
butt joint only requires a smooth interface.

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There are also disadvantages to the butt joint. The first of these is that they are
especially sensitive to weld defects. Because all of the forces on the joint are
absorbed by the weld, defects such as porosity, inclusions, cracks, etc, can cause
easily cause the joint to fail catastrophically. A second disadvantage of the butt
weld is that it is usually not self-aligning. Whereas some other joint types will hold
together before welding, the butt joint will not. In many cases this greatly
increases the complexity of the fixturing necessary to hold the pieces to be welded
in place before and during the welding processes. A third disadvantage of the butt
weld is that it is nearly impossible to butt weld very thin materials, due to the fact
that aligning the faces properly is very difficult.
There are three major types of butt weld. The simplest of these involves simply
butting two smooth faces together and welding down the joint. This is quick and
easy and requires little in the way of joint preparation. However, it is susceptible to
all of the disadvantages mentioned above.

The first variation on the standard butt weld involves


matching notches in the two pieces. This is relatively easy to machine and has two
major advantages over the standard butt weld. First, the corresponding cuts
provide some self-alignment of the joint, reducing fixturing and potentially
increasingaccuracy. Second, the lip that is created prevents drop through, where
surface tension can no longer support the molten weld and it falls through the
bottom of the joint. There are also disadvantages to this method, primarily that it
reduces the weld area an therefore strength, and that it can increase the residual
stress due to the less even heat application.

37

The second variation of the butt weld involves adding a flange to the bottom of the
parts, rather than machining it off as is the case with the first alteration. This
provides similar advantages to those of the first alteration, but without decreasing
the area of the weld and with less potential for residual stress. It can, however, be
harder and more expensive to make this lip than the simple cuts required for the
first alteration.

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Butt welded joint in T-DRILL Method


Butt welded joint is typically used in the process piping and heavier industrial
applications. It provides a better quality inside surface, which is needed, where
good flow characteristics and cleanliness are important.
The T-DRILL collaring process is a method of producing
outlets for branch connections directly from the run
material. The process from hole cutting to collar trimming is carried out in a
single workstation in one set-up from outside the pipe.
First an elliptical hole is milled in the pipe. Since more material is needed in the
"stirrup" area to get a good collar height for butt welding, an elliptical hole is used
as a pilot hole rather than a round hole, which is used in the lap joint. After the
pilot hole is made, the forming pins of the collaring head are extended and the
collar is formed. This is aided by automated lubrication and optimized forming.
Then the collar is trimmed to the desired height and the branch pipe is connected
to the run pipe by butt welding
ADVANTAGES OF T-DRILL METHOD

No costly inventories
Improved flow characteristics
Instead of three welded joints, only one simple weld joint is required
Remarkable faster through-put times
Minimized inspection cost
Less chance of leakage or call-backs
Can be used in any malleable material

39

Operation

GMAW weld area. (1) Direction of travel, (2) Contact


tube, (3) Electrode, (4) Shielding gas, (5) Molten weld metal, (6) Solidified weld
metal, (7) Workpiece.

For most of its applications gas metal arc welding is a fairly simple welding process
to learn requiring no more than a week or two to master basic welding technique.
Even when welding is performed by well-trained operators weld quality can
fluctuate since it depends on a number of external factors. All GMAW is
dangerous, though perhaps less so than some other welding methods, such
as shielded metal arc welding.

Technique
The basic technique for GMAW is quite simple, since the electrode is fed
automatically through the torch (head of tip). By contrast, in gas tungsten arc
welding, the welder must handle a welding torch in one hand and a separate filler
wire in the other, and in shielded metal arc welding, the operator must frequently
chip off slag and change welding electrodes. GMAW requires only that the operator
guide the welding gun with proper position and orientation along the area being
welded. Keeping a consistent contact tip-to-work distance (the stick outdistance) is

40
important, because a long stickout distance can cause the electrode to overheat
and also wastes shielding gas.
Stickout distance varies for different GMAW weld processes and applications. The
orientation of the gun is also importantit should be held so as to bisect the
angle between the workpieces; that is, at 45 degrees for a fillet weld and 90
degrees for welding a flat surface. The travel angle, or lead angle, is the angle of
the torch with respect to the direction of travel, and it should generally remain
approximately vertical. However, the desirable angle changes somewhat depending
on the type of shielding gas usedwith pure inert gases, the bottom of the torch is
often slightly in front of the upper section, while the opposite is true when the
welding atmosphere is carbon dioxide.

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Quality
Two of the most prevalent quality problems in GMAW are dross and porosity. If not
controlled, they can lead to weaker, less ductile welds. Dross is an especially
common problem in aluminum GMAW welds, normally coming from particles of
aluminum oxide or aluminum nitride present in the electrode or base materials.
Electrodes and workpieces must be brushed with a wire brush or chemically
treated to remove oxides on the surface. Any oxygen in contact with the weld pool,
whether from the atmosphere or the shielding gas, causes dross as well. As a
result, sufficient flow of inert shielding gases is necessary, and welding in volatile
air should be avoided.
In GMAW the primary cause of porosity is gas entrapment in the weld pool, which
occurs when the metal solidifies before the gas escapes. The gas can come from
impurities in the shielding gas or on the workpiece, as well as from an excessively
long or violent arc. Generally, the amount of gas entrapped is directly related to
the cooling rate of the weld pool. Because of its higher thermal conductivity,
aluminum welds are especially susceptible to greater cooling rates and thus
additional porosity. To reduce it, the workpiece and electrode should be clean, the
welding speed diminished and the current set high enough to provide sufficient
heat input and stable metal transfer but low enough that the arc remains steady.
Preheating can also help reduce the cooling rate in some cases by reducing the
temperature gradient between the weld area and the base material.

Safety
Gas metal arc welding can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. Since
GMAW employs an electric arc, welders wear protective clothing, including heavy
leather gloves and protective long sleeve jackets, to avoid exposure to extreme heat
and flames. In addition, the brightness of the electric arc is a source of the
condition known as arc eye, an inflammation of the cornea caused by ultraviolet
light and, in prolonged exposure, possible burning of the retina in the eye.
Conventional welding helmets contain dark face plates to prevent this exposure.
Newer helmet designs feature a liquid crystal-type face plate that self-darken upon
exposure to high amounts of UV light. Transparent welding curtains, made of
a polyviny chloride plastic film, are often used to shield nearby workers and
bystanders from exposure to the UV light from the electric arc.

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Welders are also often exposed to dangerous gases and particulate matter. GMAW
produces smoke containing particles of various types of oxides, and the size of the
particles in question tends to influence the toxicity of the fumes, with smaller
particles presenting a greater danger. Additionally, carbon dioxide and ozone gases
can prove dangerous if ventilation is inadequate. Furthermore, because the use of
compressed gases in GMAW pose an explosion and fire risk, some common
precautions include limiting the amount of oxygen in the air and keeping
combustible materials away from the workplace.

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