Orbital welding versus manual TIG welding

It is always a struggle within the welding industry maintaining the correct distance and alignment for the perfect weld, especially when welding pipes.  Tubular welding adds an additional challenge by requiring continuous adjustment throughout the process.  With correctly programmed automated orbital welding, you are able to find a perfect solution for repeatable, high quality welding.

Orbital welding triumphs over manual TIG welding in its reliability to produce a consistent, automatic and quality weld every time. Orbital welding is a process that uses a gas tungsten arc as the source of electricity to melt the base material and form the weld. With its automatic process, orbital welding is regularly used in production lines. They don’t eliminate workforces as operators, and welders are still required, though the process is simplified and reduces the chance of a poor weld.  The ‘human error’ and ‘lack of concentration’ factors are removed.

TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is a manual, higher skilled process that allows versatility and provides strong welds to complex shapes. It’s a difficult process to learn, as the arc producing TIG torch is held in one hand whilst the other hand feeds filler metal into the weld joint. Though much slower a process than orbital welding, TIG welding produces the highest quality weld and is often used for critical joints. It also allows welds for metals other than common steel and therefore offers more versatility than orbital welding, however orbital welding is catching up with process parameters and equipment being evolved and improved all the time.

For harder to reach joints, orbital welding comes out on top, with no need to use two hands in tight areas. By surrounding the joint with high purity Argon gas, orbital welding offers a greater corrosion resistance and improved weld smoothness, creating a neater weld than TIG welding. When it comes to the welding of tubes, or circular surfaces, orbital welding reigns supreme over TIG welding. Manual TIG welding is possible, though it doesn’t best suit tubular welds: mainly due to either needing to rotate the tube whilst welding or working around the circumference manually, which requires a high skill level and can be physically demanding.

The quality of a weld is based upon how smooth the torch moves as the weld is being made. Automated orbital welding is therefore able to reduce the chance of poor welds with consistent, smooth movement around the joint.  Repeatability of a smooth joint makes orbital welding the ideal solution to be used, giving consistency across all welds.  Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) may not be required for orbital welding as the process, weld programs, and procedures give a consistent weld every time.  These parameters, along with the trained staff, are independently certified to industry standards.

Though simpler than TIG welding, Orbital welding is still a skilled trade that is best trusted to experts. Thankfully Cambridge Fluid Systems are able to help with their expertise in orbital welding, their highly skilled workforce, and their range of equipment to suit every requirement.