Magnatech LLC was founded in 1946 to serve the aerospace industries’ needs manufacturing components such as circular seals to aerospace standards. The seals were designed to withstand extreme temperature and pressure in the development of the then newly developed gas turbine engine. The company was very successful, and was purchased in 1964 by the current owners, the Emmerson family, and it has remained a family-owned business ever since. At the time of the acquisition, Magnatech was relocated to its current facilityadjacent to Bradley Airport in Hartford, Connecticut. This proved to be the ideal location to serve the region’s booming aerospace industry.
During the early development of nuclear power generation, Magnatech designed and manufactured specialized circular seals which are used to seal the reactor vessel. This specialised tubular metal seal design required a GTAW (TIG) weld to be made to complete the component. This process required extremely skilled manual welders that at the time were in great demand and in short supply. This drove the development, in 1969, of the industry’s first autogenous (fusion) tube welder. This innovative new machine allowed an employee with no welding expertise to carry out defect free, perfect, repeatable welds.
The success of the tube welding system gave Magnatech the impetus to move the orbital welding concept forward, designing a multipass pipe welding system, thus forming the basis of Magnatech’s new business focus.
As the pioneer and market leader in the orbital welding field, Magnatech and their team of highly experienced engineering staff constantly strive to be at the forefront of their profession. Their extensive in-house engineering and research capabilities allow Magnatech to continue to develop their forward thinking and innovative products.
The age of orbital welding was born…
In many environments the work piece cannot be rotated and the weld must be carried out in-situ. Unfortunately, as is with many skilled trades, the number of highly skilled welding professionals is in decline, increasing the demand for tools to increase the capabilities of lesser skilled welders. This especially applies to the more challenging tasks such as in-situ welding. General Welding Supplies recognises the requirements of the UK market for access to high-quality orbital welding equipment.
GWS are very pleased to be working closely with Magnatech LLC as the exclusive UK distributor of their line of orbital welding equipment. The partnership between Magnatech & General Welding Supplies (NW) Ltd has been established to serve UK based industrial contractors in sectors such as; aerospace, semiconductor, and nuclear, with the world’s most compact and rugged line of orbital welding equipment.
orbital welding equipment.
General Welding Supplies has been supplying high-quality welding equipment into the UK industrial sector since 1982, giving us the in depth industry knowledge to support our clients in all respects on both site and fabrication facility based applications nationwide.
ORBITAL WELDING – A Brief Overview
The orbital welding process is considered a semi-automated tube or pipe welding process. Orbital welding typically adapts the GTAW (TIG) process, which can be utilised as either an autogenous (fusion) or wire fed process, although some GMAW (MIG) processes are also adapted for orbital welding, this is however, more commonly referred to as mechanized GMAW or MIG.The term ‘orbital welding’ stems from the way the arc is rotated in ‘orbit’ around the circumference of the tube or pipe keeping a constant arc, this is achieved using either a ‘closed chamber’ fusion type weld head, or ‘open’ type weld head.
‘Fusion’ Orbital Welding Process
The fusion process is typically used in industry sectors such as; dairy, semi-conductor and pharmaceutical where the wall thicknesses of the tube being used are ordinarily less than 3mm (usually referred to as OD tube). The material must be suitable to be joined without filler wire, for example austenitic stainless steel and titanium. The fusion process gives results, which are not only mechanically sound, but also visually impressive with a uniform bead thickness, surface finish and bead profile.
In order to carry out the fusion orbital welding process effectively, the severed tube ends, or fittings, must marry up perfectly together taking into account both concentricity and squareness of the end preparation. This end preparation is vital to the success and repeatability of the welding process.
The preparation of the tube is carried out with specialist machining equipment designed for this purpose. Tri Tool’s range of tube severing and squaring equipment is world renowned as the most reliable and rugged tooling available today.
‘Wire Fed’ Orbital Welding Process
Wire fed applications would commonly be used with tube or pipe of a heavier wall thickness, and where the material is not suited to the fusion process such as CrMo and Inconel. Mechanical properties written into acceptance criteria on these materials tend to be geared towards the strength and durability of the welded joint as appose to a visually acceptable finish. These mechanical properties are achieved by adding a suitable welding consumable to the weld pool altering the chemical composition of the weld joint accordingly.
When considering wire fed orbital welding it is important that the bevelling of the pipe ends is taken into account from the onset, as this is a pivotal factor in the success of the process. Most frequently a J bevel end prep would be used for orbital, multi-pass GTAW welding.
The J Bevel is a pipe end prep, which is comprised of a 20-25 degree bevel with a radius and a land extension, as pictured in example below.
The correct bevel geometry is imperative to the success of GTAW (TIG), wire fed, multi-pass orbital welding process, the land thickness, extension and radius must be repeatable to ensure that the same welding conditions are achieved during each welding operation as specified in qualified weld procedures. Tri Tool machining equipment is the market leader in the manufacture of J bevel machines and tooling, for further information please click on the below link.