Overlay welding made easy

by Hans Diederichs

Fronius Compact Cladding Cell

Chemical stress, abrasion, and corrosion – a problem for metal parts. However, parts can be protected and their service life increased with the overlay welding of additional special alloys: a technologically sophisticated process. Modern systems such as the Fronius Compact Cladding Cell help the user to ensure the requisite high quality.

Overlay welding (also known as cladding) is a method of repairing metal components or protecting them from abrasion and corrosion by applying a filler material. During this process, parts made of inexpensive steel grades are clad with special alloys such as Alloy 50, CrMo 910 or Inconel 625. The combination of an inexpensive base material and a high-quality protective coating delivers significant cost advantages. Typical areas of application are the petrochemical, aerospace and power generation industries.

Compact platform for diverse part geometries

Fronius has taken a compact and simple solution for cladding applications on smaller parts and developed it for larger tasks: the second generation of the Compact Cladding Cell offers space for components with a diameter of up to one meter and a maximum weight of 2,500 kilograms. The maximum part height of 1.4 meters can be increased to 1.9 meters. In addition, the system enables the surfacing of a wide range of bore geometries (cylindrical, conical, multi-diameter, etc.) from a bore diameter of 25 millimetres. The possible applications are diverse: riser pipes and valves for underwater components in the oil and gas industry (for example blow-out preventer stacks), pump parts, rollers, casting moulds, and other highly stressed parts.

The Compact Cladding Cell is cost-effective and space-saving, with the platform measuring less than 6 square meters (with enclosure approx. 10 m²). All components are pre-installed and can therefore be quickly assembled and put into operation. In addition, the entire system uses a single power supply, which makes installation much easier. Fronius has also designed the system so that users can work as comfortably and ergonomically as possible – such as when changing the wirespools.

The ultimate welding technology

The highly developed Fronius welding technology and seamless digital communication between system controls and power source guarantee high process reliability. Customers can choose between the TIG hot wire and the SpeedClad Twin process. SpeedClad Twin is also based on the TIG hot wire process, but with two tungsten electrodes and two wires it achieves welding speeds up to three times faster than the conventional TIG hot wire process from Fronius.

The fact that all system modules are optimally matched to each other further supports the quality of the welding results. The horizontal rotary table ensures precise positioning of the part. The stand arm boom in turn allows horizontal pendulum movements and enables the different welding torches to be fitted, from various internal cladding torches, to a ring groove welding torch, to the SpeedClad Twin welding torch. The wirefeeder with double wire option and 4-roller drive operates synchronously and delivers absolute reliability, using both the Fronius TransTig 5000 and TransTig 2200 power sources – the latter being responsible for preheating the welding wire. The two devices are required in a twin setup for the SpeedClad Twin process.

New system controls for user-friendly operation

The new HMI T21 system controls provide added operator convenience. The mobile control panel with its 21-inch touchscreen enables clear and straightforward operation, while the software facilitates intuitive programming and control of all system components. Welding programs can be easily created with graphic support. The 3D real-time visualization combined with actual value monitoring simplify precise monitoring of the welding process, including all relevant welding parameters. In addition, it is possible to create different users and assign individual authorizations on the system controls. Furthermore, the HMI T21 offers the option of remote system maintenance.

Source and photo: Fronius UK, Ltd.

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