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  1. Welding Techniques

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    The ideal welding technique for your project depends on your budget, the required weld quality, and the intended application of the final product. The intended application involves additional factors, such as welding position, materials, and location. The main types of welding techniques are MIG welding, TIG welding, stick welding, flux-cored welding, and laser welding. To avoid issues like burn-through and poor penetration, you should work with skilled welding providers that can get the job done right.

    Learn more about the different types of welding and their various applications.

    Types of Welding and Their Applications

    Welders follow various welding procedure specifications based on the type of weld needed and the codes it is required to meet. Here is an overview of the main types of welding techniques and their respective applications.

    MIG Welding

    MIG welding, or metal inert gas welding, creates clean, strong welds. This is a popular welding style, especially in heavy-duty arc welding projects, because of its consistent strength and low maintenance requirements. Some of the most common applications of MIG welding include:

    • Pipe welds, including pipe systems for potable water
    • Municipal sewer and water system components
    • Building railroad tracks and streetcar tracks
    • Heavy metal components in automobiles
    • Auto shop repairs
    • Factory equipment

    TIG Welding

    Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding creates high-accuracy welds using a non-consumable tungsten electrode. TIG welding is commonly used across industries that require metal bonding to create various equipment. It works best on thick pieces of stainless steel and other non-ferrous metals. Some of the most common applications include:

    • Aerospace industry: NASA and other aeronautics organizations use TIG welding for building rockets and space shuttles.
    • Automotive industry: TIG welding is commonly used in building cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans. Operators use it to prepare parts for future assemblies and while assembling engines.
    • Construction industry: Construction teams can use on-site TIG welding to assemble building components, monuments, and other structures.
    • Jewelry-making and other crafts: TIG welding machines are also used for various craft and jewelry applications, such as ring resizing, seam welding, repairing prong settings, and more.

    Stick Welding

    Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), or stick welding, relies on a consumable electrode that produces an arc between the base material and the electrode. It’s a popular, convenient option for both small and large welds, and the equipment is highly portable. Stick welders can perform welding services in remote locations, connect hard-to-reach pieces in an assembly, or provide immediate, on-site repairs as needed.

    Stick welding is built to handle outdoor use cases. Not only is the equipment convenient to carry and set up anywhere, but the flux-covered electrodes are wind-resistant. Some of the most common applications for stick welding are:

    • Shipbuilding industry
    • Outdoor construction
    • Remote sites
    • Emergency metal fixture repairs

    Flux-Cored Welding

    This style of welding uses a flux-filled tubular wire, which shields the weld. Flux-cored welding can work with mild steel, carbon steel, sheet steel, and cast iron. Common applications include:

    • General repairs
    • Shipbuilding
    • Pipeline construction
    • Underwater welds
    • Cladding
    • Steel hardfacing

    Laser Welding

    Laser welding tools use a high-precision laser to melt and join the metal substrates and create a fine, precise weld. It’s commonly used for manufacturing:

    • Furniture
    • Cabinets
    • Appliances
    • Tubes
    • Trays
    • Counters
    • Ducts
    • Medical instruments
    • Architectural panels
    • Turbine components

    Factors to Consider When Choosing a Welding Technique

    Because there are so many welding options, it’s important to think about the factors that matter most for each individual project, such as:

    • The material and thickness of the parts being welded
    • How quickly the welding must be completed
    • The welding position in relation to other components of the assembly
    • The power source and available current at the worksite
    • Working conditions that may impact the weld, such as exposure to the elements

    Professional Welding Services From American Alloy

    With so many types of welding techniques to choose from, you need a welding partner who can not only help you select the right method but also complete the job with high-quality, timely results. Since 1989, American Alloy has been a leading provider of reliable welding services. We produce ASME-certified equipment and have a long history of working across multiple major industries, such as chemical, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetics, biotech, and more. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities.

  2. ASME Section VIII Compliance: What You Need to Know

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    The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) maintains almost universal acceptance in various industries because of their highly safe and up-to-date safety standards for construction of boilers and pressure vessels. ASME Code Section VIII highlights construction code for design, manufacturing, inspection, and testing of pressure vessels and covers. It also outlines mandatory requirements, special prohibitions, and non-mandatory guidance for materials, certification, and pressure relief.

    What Is ASME Section VIII?

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    ASME Section VIII Compliance: What You Need to Know

    ASME Section VIII is dedicated to giving detailed requirements for the design, fabrication, inspection, certification, and testing of both unfired and fired pressure vessels, especially those that operate at pressures exceeding 15 psi.

    What Are the Requirements in ASME Section VIII?

    In Section VIII of the ASME code, there are three divisions that cover different vessel specifications, including:

    • Division One. This section provides mandatory and non-mandatory appendices detailing criteria for design, non-destructive techniques for examination, and acceptance standards for inspecting pressure vessels. It also details rules for use of single ASME certification marks with U, UV, and UM designators.
    • Division Two. This section allows for higher stress intensity values but with a more rigorous set of standards than Division One. Division Two contains rules for design, materials, and nondestructive examination techniques for pressure vessels. These rules can be applied for human occupancy pressure vessels, primarily for the diving industry. Division Two also details rules for use of single ASME certification marks with UV and U2 designators.
    • Division Three. This section provides a set of rules for internal or external operating pressures exceeding 10,000 psi. There are no minimum or maximum pressure limits set in Division Three, and it details rules for use of single ASME certification marks with UV3 and U3 designators.

    What Are the Advantages of Section VIII Compliance?

    ASME Section VIII benefits users, manufacturers, constructors, designers, and others by providing highly detailed requirements for fired or unfired pressure vessel design, fabrication, assembly, erection, inspection, testing, and certification. These requirements can be applied to various materials and fabrication processes, including welding, brazing, and forging. Using Section VIII codes ensures compliance with local regulations while achieving cost, safety, and operational benefits gained by following industry best practices.

    How American Alloy Fabricators Complies with ASME Section VIII

    Pressure Vessel ASME Section 8At American Alloy Fabricators, we provide the highest quality pressure vessel products. Our expert team offers custom design and fabrication of pressure vessels that meet customer specifications and comply with Division One of ASME Section VIII.

    American Alloy Fabricators for Your Pressure Vessel Needs

    American Alloy Fabricators has provided superior pressure vessels since 1989. We have worked with some of the largest companies in the world and take pride in our strong customer relationships. If you have any questions about our ASME Section VIII compliant products, contact us today.

  3. The Benefits of Using Process Skid Systems

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    Whether you’re a pharmaceutical technician, a commercial chemist, a biotech engineer or a food processing plant manager, you will likely need a skid system for your equipment.

    The Benefits of Skid Systems

    CIP Skids

    Skid systems elevate expensive storage tanks, pressure vessels, and heat exchangers to prevent breakdowns due to high temperatures, chemical corrosion, and spills. Skids allow for faster cooling and easy cleanup and can alleviate the necessity of having to manually lift equipment to ensure a safe and clean working environment.

    Yet not all skid systems are the same. While some fabricators specialize in creating standardized systems, most systems require a custom-made processing skid. In fact, most systems should be custom-made due to the unique spatial area of the facility they occupy or the distinctive way the organization arranges its equipment.

    While certain manufacturers may need a clean-in-place (CIP) skid system, laboratories or food processing plants may require a sterilization-in-place (SIP) skid system. In both cases, skid systems allow facilities to more easily meet OSHA regulations, EPA standards FDA guidelines, or other governing body parameters.

    Skids can also help maintain productivity. In facilities where manufacturing or processing must take place around the clock, a skid system allows one part of the operation to produce while another part is being cleaned or sterilized.

    American Alloy Fabricators for your skid system needs

    Don’t take chances with your business. Processing skids fabricated by American Alloy can add significant time to the life of your equipment and reduce the labor required to maintain it. Call one of our fabrication specialists today to request an estimate and ensure your processing needs are met.

  4. Electropolishing – Key to Fighting Contamination

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    Mention the term electropolishing and most people get an image of a bright, reflective metal surface—whether it is found on a diner wall, behind the scenes of an operating room or in the form of a laboratory instrument. While it is true that electropolishing has long been used to shine up many metals, especially stainless steel, the reason why may be much more than just appearance.

    Electropolishing (also known as electrochemical polishing or electrolytic polishing) is critical to reducing contaminants in equipment used in industries that touch peoples’ health. These industries include, food and beverage, cosmetics and—perhaps most critical—pharmaceutical and biotechnology. During the normal course of alloy fabrication, bending, grinding, machining and other normal processes change the metal surfaces significantly. These alterations take the form of burrs, scales and tooling marks. Without treatment, these surface imperfections can be a focal point for infection or metal contamination.

    Electropolishing removes this surface material from metal. It deburrs and polishes metal parts. This is particularly useful when applied to objects of complex shape, such as the storage and pressurized tanks used in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Electropolishing may also be used in place of the abrasive fine polishing in microstructural preparation.

    Smoother, Cleaner Surfaces

    Electropolishing occurs through the electrolytic removal of metal in a highly ionic solution by means of an electric potential and current. In this process, the work piece is typically immersed in a temperature-controlled bath of electrolyte. It is then connected to the positive terminal of a DC power supply, while the negative terminal is attached to the cathode. A current passes from the anode, where metal on the surface is oxidized and dissolved in the electrolyte, to the cathode. At the cathode, a reduction reaction occurs.

    A particular advantage of electropolishing can be found among the chemical interactions that occur on the surface of the metal. Electropolishing levels the grain boundaries of the metal; this, in turn, removes sites for potentially contaminating dirt, microorganisms and chemicals to accumulate.

    Another benefit is the reduction of surface area of the grain boundaries (this step is also known as microfinishing). Grain boundaries are often prone to corrosion. During microfinishing, surface metal on the work piece is greatly reduced, leaving the part much smoother both visually and measurably by a profilometer.

    A Beneficial Process

    Highly sophisticated surface analysis reveals the many benefits that are derived from the fine surface finishing achieved through electropolishing. In general, it is much better to restore a metal surface than to coat a defect. Electropolishing has proven itself to be a critical step in alloy fabrication, a step that is best performed by superior crafts people employed by superior vendors and service providers.

  5. 5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Custom Metal Fabrication Shop

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    custom fabrication shopChoosing a custom metal fabrication facility is an important decision that can deeply affect the level of your production quality and the overall rate of your manufacturing process.

    Here are five factors to consider when choosing a custom metal fabrication shop:

    1. Experience

    A reputable custom metal fabrication shop won’t hesitate to show you the credentials of its engineers, designers and fabricators. Nor will it shy away from providing references from satisfied customers. A well-established record may be the best reason of all to choose a particular shop.

    2. Capability

    Versatility is a fairly clear indicator of whether a fabrication shop can meet your needs. Certain industries require specialized non-standard equipment, adherence to strict hygienic and sanitary standards, or the use of custom fabricated products that can withstand extreme conditions.

    Not every metal fabrication shop has the capability to provide custom products that adhere to the variety of design, build, and finishing regulations required by certain industries.

    3. Industries Served

    Every industry has its own unique compliance and regulation requirements. If a metal fabrication shop consistently delivers quality products to manufacturers spanning the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and food processing industries, chances are they can handle even the most demanding requests.

    Between them, these industries have the process manufacturing industry’s strictest set of guidelines and specifications. If they serve these industries regularly, and their customers have indicated a high satisfaction with their products, add them to the top of your list.

    4. Materials Used

    Good metal fabrication companies only use the highest quality materials. Ensuring the fabricator has access to the appropriate grade of stainless steel or metal alloy necessary to completing your project is an obvious, but critical element that can go overlooked in the early stages of deciding between fabrication shops.

    Reputable custom fabrication designers typically tackle this topic right away to make sure you understand what they will use for your project and why.

    5. Turnaround and Price

    Cost is a major consideration in choosing the right shop, and this comes down to what you pay for labor and material. While a project’s turnaround time is important, so is making sure the job gets done right.

    A quick turnaround is always preferred, but only the best fabricators can meet a quick deadline without cutting corners. Good design engineers will walk you through the production process and give you a reasonable idea of when to expect delivery of your high-quality product.