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TIG welding of super duplex stainless steel for water desalination plants.

TIG welding of super duplex stainless steel for water desalination plants.

Welding of super duplex stainless steel (1.4410 as per EN 10088-1) has been always a challenge, since this material metallurgical structure consists of two phases, austenite (face-centered cubic lattice) and ferrite (body centered cubic lattice) in roughly equal proportions. This material offers a superior corrosion resistance, but is generally very difficult to process.

Super duplex steel is widely used for oil and gas industry, offshore and pipelines and many areas, where the material requires to be resistant to sea water.

To weld a cylindric nozzle on to an elliptic hole of different diameter is the next challenge for a welding robot, since the applied TIG welding process calls for very low and uniform gaps at the welding joints.

After extensive research, igm successfully delivered a turn-key system for automatic feed in of the pipes, automatic assembly of the nozzle to the main pipe and TIG welding on the side of the nozzle and the outside of the nozzle.

Since the entire process is done full automatic, igm laser sensors, type iLS and water-cooled igm laser cameras, type iCAM using highly sophisticated searching algorithm ensure the proper orientation and location of the nozzle to the main pipe. During this measuring process, an igm scrip algorithm, type iscript also validates, if the fed-in nozzles are within acceptable geometric tolerances and may reject and consequentially offload a not qualifying nozzle workpiece.

The TIG welding equipment consists of a digital inverter welding power source, type MW 4000 along with the wire feeding unit, type KD 7000 and with a special, long shaft TIG torch, all supplied by the reputed Austria make FRONIUS, who also developed a special synergy welding date line for this application.

A special purging gas equipment in ring-design, detachable around the nozzle workpiece, ensure proper shielding with argon gas during TIG welding of the inside welding seam, so that the welding seam will not oxidise after the welding process.

A temperature sensor, attached at the robot arm, constantly check the interpass temperature of the TIG multilayer weld bead and may activate a cooling period if necessary, to observe the heat-input limits, stipulated by the sensitive workpiece material specification.

We invite you to watch the enclosed, application video and see, how igm robot systems successfully manage to assemble and weld nozzles on to a main pipe, which are all made of super duplex stainless steel.

This unique igm welding robot system is fully incorporated in a FMS line and also provides essential communication with the MES system of the customer. Generally, the MES system decides the production sequence and which product to be produced by the FMS line.

The FMS line starts with the pipe silo for storage of the pipes, followed by a cutting machine and drilling machine for the main pipes and finally the igm welding robot system for robotic welding of the nozzles to the main pipe.


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igm Robotersysteme AG, Straße 2a, Objekt M8, Industriezentrum NÖ-Süd, Wiener Neudorf, Austria, T: +43 2236 6706-0, F: +43 2236 6706 99101, Mail: office@igm-group.com
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