The use of Copper Nickel is still widespread in marine applications, where the corrosion resistant properties of this alloy are valuable.
Copper Nickel pipework on submarines, other military vessels, oil production platforms and other ships need many welded joints.
One of the key applications is in water sprinkler systems where the weld quality is as critical as it might be in any marine application.
Correct weld purging is a key factor in welding Copper Nickel pipework.
Back purge gas type tends to be optional subject to experience.
See further information under 'Tip' 2.
Welders will generally work to a WPS or Weld Procedure Specification that will specify the gas for them, but in cases where it isn't specified, the welders can use purge Argon, an Argon Hydrogen mix or an Argon Helium mix.
Some tips to make welds easier are as follows:
- Clean the joints and any filler wire thoroughly. First with a mechanical "Scotch" type product and then a liquid. Cleaning materials such as Acetone or Propanol could be used.
- If the weld pool is sluggish, leading to a poor looking weld and poor penetration, use an Argon Hydrogen mixed gas. That will improve the weld appearance, penetration and wetting action
- Snip the end of the filler wire if one is used for the root. That avoids transferring oxidised impurities into the root.
- A Trailing Shield fitted onto the welding torch provides a superior purge to the tops side of the root as it is cooling.
- Use high quality pipe purging devices to contain the weld purge just a few inches either side of the weld.
- Monitor the Oxygen level accurately before and during the weld to maintain about 100 parts per million (ppm) Purge Gas Purity.
- Proper Weld Purging as part as a qualified Welding Procedure Specification will help to ensure that there are no particles caused by corrosion to block sprinkler systems that are used in safety at sea systems.