EWM pipeSolution: Specialists in pipeline construction

This power source offers exceptional quality no matter what the task in hand, be it work on thin or thick metal sheets, seam roots or final passes. alpha Q features the award-winning forceArc® and coldArc® process technologies and, thanks to its unique inverter power unit with sophisticated microprocessor technology, it also now boasts additional processing options such as pulse welding and innovative pipeSolution®, the very latest development from the EWM research department. The advantages of this technology when working on metal sheets and pipes in all positions are clear to see: quick, totally dependable and high-quality MAG root welding, whether for manual or mechanised work (e.g. orbital technology), with or without an air gap, on unalloyed or low-alloy steels or with solid wires. The arc is especially powerful and therefore extremely directionally stable, no matter what the thickness of the material or the position of the metal sheet or pipe. These strengths are particularly beneficial when constructing pipelines, pipe systems and pressure vessels. Once the root has been welded, the alpha Q changes process on demand and welds the filling passes and the final pass with a pulsed MAG process. This innovation is a cost-effective TIG welding alternative, offering TIG quality with MAG speed.

The combination of pipeSolution® and pulse technology significantly enhances performance. For instance, conventional mechanised processes can achieve a maximum of 21 cm per minute for root welding; pipeSolution® brings this rate up to 35 cm. When welding intermediate passes, conventional machines reach their limit at 27 cm per minute, whereas alpha Q achieves 52 cm thanks to its pulse welding process. These high welding speeds require rapid regulation of the control and power source in order to ensure the arc parameters remain constant. Professionals consider the alpha Q control system to be unique on the international market.

coldArc® is the optimal process for work requiring the lowest possible heat feeding and weld spatter. This process offers excellent gap bridging when welding root passes on unalloyed, low- and high-alloy steels, regardless of the panel thickness or the position (including out-of-position welding). Other advantages of welding and brazing processes where heat transfer to the parent metal is kept to a minimum include increased safety with irregular air gaps, minimum distortion, less post-weld work thanks to excellent seam geometry - particularly good for visible seams - narrow discolouration zone, reliable edge formation even with edge misalignments, no wire piercing and no pool support required.

One of the increasing number of users reports that in their day-to-day production processes they now use controlled drop transfer to insert consumables into joints measuring up to one centimetre in width, as this enables them to create the perfect seam root without any need for a pool support.

coldArc® also offers advantages when performing MIG welding on thin metal sheets, not least excellent gap bridging, no sagging of the molten metal and good wetting of the surface .

However, it is with the forceArc® process that alpha Q really shows what it is capable of. This MIG/MAG process, with its very short but extremely powerful spray arc, ensures deep fusion penetration and high-quality, virtually spatter-free seams on unalloyed, low- and high-alloy steels, without any troublesome undercuts. The arc is extremely directionally stable and achieves excellent root and edge formation even with a 40 mm free wire end (stickout). The power of the forceArc® arc really comes into play when creating full-depth welds. forceArc® is able to make these welds with a single layer.

This means that the conventional backing pass is no longer necessary and the effective throat thickness required by the standard is realised on the reverse of the workpiece in a single operation. In many cases, this kind of weld does not even require any special seam preparation.

Source: EWM Hightec Welding GmbH