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Contract welding

by Oct 7, 2021Welding

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Contract welding entails a manufacturer hiring an outside partner to produce welds on components or welds on final products based on the hiring manufacturer’s design and specifications.

The purpose of contract welding is often increasing the hiring manufacturer’s production capabilities and improving the life of their process equipment. Contract welding provides manufacturers a partner that has expertise in welding services. This is helpful when building and delivering a consistent process control solution for the hiring manufacturer.

Benefits of using contract welding services include:

  • Increased in-house efficiency
  • Faster company growth
  • Added profitability

Types of contract welding solutions

TIG welding stands for tungsten inert gas, also known as tungsten arc welding (GTAW). In TIG welding, two metals join together by heat from an arc created by a non-consumable tungsten electrode and a base metal. A high-purity shielding gas, such as argon, protects welds against oxidation.

Manufacturers in industries where high-purity components are essential prefer TIG welding to other welding procedures, as it’s known for the best refinement, repeatability and accuracy of weldments.

Stainless steel is common for TIG welding because of its corrosion-resistance and its ability to maintain its structure even after long-term exposure to a variety of environments.

Orbital welding is a highly-pure, contaminant-free and extremely-efficient contract welding solution. It is used in many industries for joining quantities of tubes, pipes, joints and more. An orbital welding machine performs the same flawless weld time and again.

For example, a gas cabinet – or a project that requires multiple gas cabinets – may require many of the same welds; it’s best to use an orbital welding machine in this case.

Orbital welding is ideal in contract welding situations where it is not feasible or practical to rotate a piece of stainless steel tubing. Orbital welding is also helpful in situations where welding must be completed in tight spaces that may not be possible with manual welding.

Plastic welding creates a molecular bond between two compatible thermoplastics. Hot gas welding is a common contract welding process for plastics. Plastic welding helps in the construction of patient monitoring devices, diagnostic instruments and machinery used in life-saving operations.

Precision plastic pipe welding produces robust control, monitoring or purification systems, using durable plastics such as polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. Expert contract welding outsource partners can produce pipe-to-pipe weldments at a miniscule measurement.

Benefits of contract welding with plastics

  • Plastic weldments have a strong plasma resistance that reduces the possibility of corrosion
  • Plastic welds resist thermal degradation and maintain a high operating strength and rigidity in high temperatures
  • Plastic welds also have a strong resistance to acids, alkalis, greases and solvents, hydrogen peroxide, demineralized water and hot steam

Contract welding types

Autogenous welding is ideal for carbon and stainless steels due to their low heat conductivity and is used for relatively small welds. This type of welding fuses two surfaces without using any filler metal.

Freehand welding is relatively easy to perform and is usually used to create flat, square, and small welds. Creating consistency with this method, however, can be difficult.

Cup walking is an ideal welding method for larger diameter piping, but is difficult to master. The welds created using this method are consistent, and this technique works well in tee-shaped welds.

Testing services on contract welding jobs

A weld flaw may initiate a catastrophic series of events that leads to damage to or complete failure of a larger system.

There are several non-destructive weld testing methods to ensure welds are free from any leaks or damage points. Weld testing to detect potential leaks is a vital step in contract welding for keeping costs under control, as man hours are saved when damage-free components are in place. Plus the cost of materials is controlled by not having to re-purchase them once a leak has caused damage to the system.

Visual weld inspection remains an important method of inspecting for potential leaks, as well as an opportunity to audit welds for consistency. Visual inspections often pair with other forms of non-destructive weld testing.

Helium is used to detect cracks in welds because it is a safe, inert gas. Helium atoms are tiny and also have low viscosity, so the little atoms can travel quickly. Pressure testing and vacuum testing are two forms of helium leak testing used to ensure components are free of weld defects. Helium leak tests are often performed on components that will be used to transport liquids or gases.

Hydrostatic testing is another non-destructive method using water pressure to identify potential leak points.

Improve your competitive advantage

Companies that rely on manufacturing products must achieve cost reductions wherever possible to keep competitive. Contract welding services utilize a manufacturing partner’s materials, facility, and technical expertise, allowing companies to keep costs down, in turn lowering costs for the end-user, too. Time and resources saved with contract welding also allow businesses to increase profitability by concentrating on customer relationships, engineering, sales and marketing efforts. Let us demonstrate how our contract welding services will save you time and money. 

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