Submerged-arc welding – Technology part VIII
The welding lines from KUKA Systems are not just used for automobile production. KUKA is now also well known for manufacturing freight cars. Submerged-arc welding technology allows up to 150 linear meters of seams to be welded automatically, even though the plate can be up to 20 mm thick. Submerged-arc welding is an arc welding process in which high deposition efficiencies can be achieved. The main application for this process is in industry, and it is available almost exclusively with automation due to the long welds involved.
It is possible to achieve a very fast welding speed due to the high deposition efficiency. For this reason, submerged-arc welding is referred to as a high-productivity process. A number of variants are available for selection according to the requirement profile, such as single-wire, double-wire and tandem welding. One advantage of this process is its absence of emissions. In this process, the arc is covered by a supply of powder which protects the molten metal from the atmosphere and can also feed alloying elements to the joint. Part of the powder is segregated out as slag. The remainder is vacuumed up subsequently.
The efficiency of the process comes to the fore especially on long welds and thicker plates; therefore it is ideal for numerous applications in steel fabrication, container manufacture, commercial vehicle production and shipbuilding.
KUKA Systems GmbH is the first company to automate this process with industrial robots – which offers greater flexibility and also allows a wider range of components to be produced. Up to 150 linear meters of seams welded on plates up to 20 mm thick – welding solutions made by KUKA Systems. Submerged-arc welding is economically efficient when used with plates of at least 6 mm thick. The wide range of applications in which submergedarc welding is used extends from shipbuilding, bridge construction and steel fabrication through to container production and rail vehicle manufacture. The process is used both for joint welding as well as for applying anti-wear and anti-corrosion coatings.