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Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) in sheet metal fabrication


In our post on the different type of welding methods we have skipped/forgotten SAW.

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) is a welding process that involves the formation of a weld by melting the workpiece and a filler metal, while a layer of granular flux shields the weld from the surrounding atmosphere. The arc is submerged beneath the flux layer and is not visible during the welding process.

SAW is a high deposition rate process that is typically used for heavy industrial applications where a high-quality weld is required. This welding process can use either DC or AC power, and it is usually automated.

SAW is widely used in various industries, such as shipbuilding, pressure vessel manufacturing, structural steel fabrication, and pipeline welding. It is also commonly used for welding large components such as oil and gas pipelines, storage tanks, and wind towers.

SAW is typically used for thicker metals, typically starting from 1/2 inch (12 mm) thickness, and upwards to several inches (100+ mm) thick. It is commonly used for welding medium to high carbon steels, low alloy steels, and some stainless steels.

It has some limitations, including limited maneuverability due to the size and weight of the welding equipment, and it requires a skilled operator to ensure proper joint penetration.

SAW offers high-quality welds, high deposition rates, and minimal weld spatter.

The disadvantages of SAW include the need for specialized equipment, such as a welding head and flux delivery system. The process can produce significant fumes and smoke, and can affected by environmental factors, such as wind and humidity, which can impact the quality of the weld.

In summary, SAW is a welding process that is widely used in heavy industrial applications where a high-quality weld is required. While the process has some limitations, it offers several advantages over other welding processes and is a popular choice for many welding applications.
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