Dear Valued Red-D-Arc Customer:
As we all continue to adjust to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to take a moment to reach out to you to inform you that Red-D-Arc is continuing to vigilantly monitor the evolving developments and adjusting as necessary in order to safeguard our workforce and limit any potential impacts or disruptions to our commercial relationships.
At this time, Red-D-Arc operations are currently proceeding as usual, to the extent permitted by relevant governmental and federal authorities. While we are aware that various government-imposed shutdowns have been implemented for various industries in certain geographic locations, Red-D-Arc – like its parent company, Airgas – identifies itself as a business which provides essential services, including the supply of necessary equipment to various power plants, oil refineries, the petrochemical industry, government-led construction projects, and so forth.
Disaster Remediation for Fire-Damaged Property
Red-D-Arc provided high pressure 200 psi/375CFM compressors, dry ice cleaning machines, ice, and on-site operator/safety training to labor crews in a time-constrained situation as part of emergency management and response effort to address a university garage fire disaster in Houston.
The dry ice cleaning process was used to clean up soot and carbon contaminated surfaces bringing it back to pre-disaster condition. Through the expert support of Red-D-Arc’s Dry Ice Blasting Team the customer was able to compress cleaning time-frames and complete the project in less than a week enabling the critical service delivery infrastructure to get back to the educational community in a short period of time.
To begin with, they have different colored bands that are used to identify them. However, there are several other important differences to consider when selecting a tungsten. Here some of the various types with the respective characteristics:
EWTh-2: 2% thoriated tungsten. EWTh-2 is color-coded with a red band. It is known for its durability, ability to withstand high currents, and excellent arc starts. It is primarily welded using a negative polarity and direct current. It does not have great characteristics when welding with AC.
EWLa-2: 2% lanthanated tungsten. EWLa-2 is color-coded with a blue band. It is known for its excellent arc starting ability, excellent current carrying ability, and can withstand many arc cycles. It can be welded as the negative electrode using direct current or with alternating current.EWP: Pure tungsten electrode. EWP is color-coded with a green band. It has excellent arc stability. It is almost exclusively used with alternating current. Tungsten emission is more likely with a pure tungsten electrode when compared with other alloyed tungsten electrodes.
EWCe-2: 2% ceriated tungsten. EWCe-2 is currently color-coded with a gray band, although in the past it was color-coded with an orange band. It is quite similar to EWLa-2 in that it has excellent current carrying ability, excellent arc starting ability, and can last through many different arc start and arc termination cycles.
How do I prevent wire feeding issues when using the MIG welding (GMAW) or flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) process?
Wire feeding issues can be caused by a variety of circumstances. Some of the most common reasons for wire feeding issues include:
- Drive roll tension: The drive rolls that push or pull the wire through the system have a tension that is either too great or too little. Adjust the spring pressure until tension is appropriate.
- Drive roll size: The drive rolls may be the wrong size. For instance, if 1.3 mm drive rolls are being used to move 0.9 mm wire, slipping will most likely occur.
- Drive roll type: Some wire require specific kinds of grooves for optimal feeding. Flux-cored and metal-cored arc welding wires typically require V-groove drive rolls that are knurled. Aluminum wires require a smooth U-shaped groove.
- Drive roll condition: Worn drive rolls will be ineffective at moving wire through the system.
- Liner size: If a liner is too small for the wire it will not feed. If the liner is too big, the wire may have too much freedom to twist inside of it, causing an unpredictable feed.
- Liner type: For most wires, steel liners work excellent. However, some wires, such as aluminum, require a nylon liner to help ensure proper feeding.
- Liner condition: A worn liner will be detrimental to wire feeding. Replace the liner if it is worn or damaged.
- Contact tip size: A proper contact tip size should be used. If the tip is too small, the wire will not feed; if the tip is too large, wire feeding and electrical conductivity may be negatively affected.
- Wire condition: Not all wire manufacturers put out the same quality product. Some wires may have thin and thick spots as well as lubricants that can cause poor wire feeding.
When MIG welding was first invented, it used a constant voltage source of electricity for the arc. While this method is still used today, the invention of pulsed MIG welding has allowed welders to realize several advantages over conventional MIG welding, several are listed below:
- Pulsed MIG can be used to weld thin materials. Conventional MIG welding runs at a constant amperage whereas pulsed MIG welding runs a peak and background amperage. The constant switching between these two amperages enables pulsed MIG welding to put out a lower overall heat input into the material. This helps prevent blowouts on thin materials.
- Pulsed MIG has less spatter than conventional MIG welding. Pulsed MIG welding uses a peak electrical currents to cleanly burn the wire off at a high amperage. Pulsed MIG welding also employs a lower background welding amperage immediately after the peak electrical current to prevent the interaction of the electrical arc and the wire from becoming unstable. This ultimately results in a reduced amount of spatter.
- Pulsed MIG welding is excellent for out of position welding. At the same voltage and wire feed settings, conventional MIG tends to have a weld puddle that is larger and more fluid than that of pulsed MIG. Pulsed MIG has more controllable puddle that prevents it from falling out when gravity is a concern during out of position welding. Furthermore, the reduced amount of spatter than can be achieved with pulsed MIG makes it safer for the welder to perform the out of position operation.
We are pleased to announce that we have added Abicor-Binzel Fume Extractor MIG Torches to our equipment rental fleet.
These portable, compact and powerful high-vacuum extraction units FES-200 & FES-200 W3 capture welding fumes directly at the source, protecting both the welder and the environment from harmful particles.
The machines come with an auto start-stop function so that the fume extractor is activated only when welding is in progress. Welding becomes safer, energy consumption is reduced and unecessary noise levels are eliminated.
You can rent these fume extractor welding torches from red-d-arc.uk
One of our customers was trying to heat 42” diameter pipe using pear burners so that welders could weld out the joints. Our team saw an opportunity to create a solution that would help our customer get the job done much more quickly. To make this in-the-field heating job go faster, we put together a package including a Miller ProHeat 35 induction heating system, a 60kVA generator and a DP25 power distribution panel.
With this setup we were able to get the pipe up to 250 degrees in about 5 minutes. Our customer was able to beat the competition’s target time by over 19 hours and has been asked to quote on other pipeline work for their client. Needless to say they were pleased with the solution and the opportunity for extra work it created.
This portable induction turnkey package is a great way to heat pipes in remote locations. There is less risk to the welders from the hot pipe and the process is much, much faster.
Custom turnkey packages like the one described here are Red-D-Arc’s specialty. Our team of experts has created turnkey solutions to solve challenges in diverse industries including, mining, oilfield, offshore, nuclear and manufacturing. We enjoy helping our clients find new ways to grow their businesses, by combining the latest technology, depth of experience and flexible leasing options that fit their needs.
Remote worksites pose no obstacle. We’ll bring portable generators with enough power for your portable welders, induction heaters, lighting and anything else that needs power.
Inspection, Surface Prep and Non-destructive Testing
Are you in the oil & gas industry? Are you involved in non-destructive testing, inspection, or surface preparation? How about maintenance of pipelines, heat exchangers, or pressure vessels? If you deal with these or similar operations, proper cleaning of surfaces might well be a process you regularly undertake.
Cleaning Delicate Equipment Safely
What is the best way to clean surfaces of such equipment? While there is no one best way for every circumstance, dry ice cleaning is a state-of-the-art method that can save time and money. It uses recycled CO2 in the form of solid dry ice particles as the cleaning media. Dry ice is soft and non-abrasive to most surfaces and can thus be used around delicate components, including electronics, that would be damaged by water or solvents. As the blasting equipment is portable it can be used in place, thus minimizing disassembly and other preparation time. Lastly, dry ice turns to a gas after contact with the surface being cleaned — cleanup time is rock bottom minimum, there is nothing to dispose of, contamination of moving parts is not an issue.
Plasma cutters are capable of cutting metals in simple and complex shapes including producing holes, bevel edges, gouging, and markings. Plasma is a cost effective and practical alternative to oxy-fuel, laser and water jet cutting processes and is used in industrial, trade and DIY applications. Plasma cutters are used in all types of industries including manufacturing, pharmaceutical, oil/gas and arms industries.
When gas is heated to extremely high temperatures, the electrons in the gas molecules break free from the nucleus, turning the gas into plasma. Plasma cutting is carried out by directing the plasma jet through the metal.
The advantages and disadvantages of plasma cutting as compared to the other cutting processes are as follows:
- Ability to cut all electrically conductive materials including stainless steels and non-ferrous alloys (aluminium, brass, copper etc.). Note: Stainless steel and non-ferrous alloys cannot be cut using oxy-acetylene cutting
- Good quality cuts
- Can be used on a work site for manual cutting as the equipment is portable and light weight.
- Automation is readily achievable as with other cutting processes. CNC plasma cutting machines are able to cut complex shapes at high speeds.
Effective in cutting metals up to 6” thick.
- Not good for cutting non-conductive materials. Note: Water jet and laser cutting processes are a better alternative for these types of materials.
The following content is for general information only and should not be understood to be a complete guide to plasma cutting safety. Be sure to follow the manufacturers’recommendations and all standard safety practices employed when working with electrical equipment.
Electrocution: The high power output and voltage (110 to 150VDC) required for the plasma cutting poses potentially fatal risks of electric shock. Some of the precautions to avoid electrocution include: Electrical grounding of the plasma cutter, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE – e.g. rubber gloves in addition to welding gloves) needs to be worn, check all cables before starting work, ensure work area is dry etc.
Eye and Skin Protection:
The plasma cutting process emits severe infrared and ultraviolet rays which are harmful to the eyes and skin. A face shield or safety glasses fitted with the correct lens shade must be worn. To protect the skin against molten metal and fumes, PPE (protective clothing, safety shoes, welding gloves, welding apron when appropriate etc.) covering the whole body is required.
Toxic Fumes and Gases:
The plasma cutting process emits smoke and potentially harmful gases (as is the case with laser and oxy-acetylene cutting). Appropriate ventilation is required to direct the fumes away from the operator. This may be achieved by fume extraction systems. A welding helmet with fume protection may also be required in certain situations.
Ensure there are no flammable materials near the work place.
Noise: Noise levels of up to 120 decibels, the operator and personnel near the plasma cutter require hearing protection.
Risks due to Pressurised Gases: Secure cylinders, secure/check hoses and connections.
Variations of plasma cutting
Gases: Different gases are used to suit the metal being cut. Compressed air or oxygen are generally used for cutting carbon steels, whereas inert gases like argon or nitrogen are used for cutting stainless steels. Dual gas system (plasma and shielding gas) allows you to run on separate plasma and shielding gases to optimize the performance e.g. Air/Air, O2/Air, N2/Air, N2/CO2, Ar-H2/N2 or other combinations. Shielding gas also assist with torch cooling. Additionally, liquid cooled torches are available for high power applications which provide maximum cooling and long consumable life.
On board compressors:
Plasma cutters are available with integrated air compressor for portable units and are suitable for lighter cutting applications.
CNC machines with water bed:
As an alternative to fume extraction systems, plasma cutting on CNC machines is carried out with the water under or fully covering the work piece. This provides for a more cost effective fume removal option. The water bed also suppresses the noise caused by the plasma cutting process. Under water cutting, additionally minimizes distortion which is particularly useful when cutting thin materials.
There are two types of arc starts available –pilot arc or touch. In touch arc start, the nozzle has to contact the work piece to start the arc, whereas in a pilot arc, an arc is present in the plasma nozzle and there is no contact required between the nozzle and the work piece.
High frequency start relies on high frequency and voltage power to ionize the gas. If can be used with a pilot arc torch or touch start to initiate the plasma. The disadvantage of high frequency start is that it can interfere with the electronic circuitry in the vicinity.
In back blow plasma initiation, the flame is started in the inside of the torch by the movement of a piston, initiating an arc and ionising the gas. This arc forms the pilot arc and stays on whether the nozzle is in touch with the work piece or not.
How to select a plasma cutter?
The following needs consideration when selecting a plasma cutter:
Manual or mechanised ?
Are you looking to cut by hand or use a CNC machine? – consider the availability of CNC interface signals and voltage divider (to provide safe voltage levels from the torch to control the height of the torch automatically).
Required Cut thicknesses and quality
Material thickness needs to be matched with the capabilities of the plasma cutter. The cutting capabilities are specified as thickness limits by the manufacturers as follows:
Sever cut – just capable of cutting this thickness with dross and slag left behind
Rated cut – this is the rated cut thickness specified by the manufacturer of the plasma cutter
Quality cut – a quality cut is achieved for materials up to this thickness
Kerf (cut width) – higher quality plasma cutting systems can make narrower cuts
Consumables cost and life considerations – consumable life is specified as the number of cuts or starts
Red-d-Arc has a wide selection of plasma cutting equipment from the market leading manufacturer Hypertherm covering the following:
Amperage range: 15A to 200A
Cutting range: 5/16” to 2” thickness
Single and 3 phase
Single and dual gas systems
Packages of plasma cutter with generators are available.
Also, mobile compressors run on diesel up to 450 CFM are also available for rental.
Have a look at our complete range of plasma cutting products.