Campbell, Stuart and Galloway, Alexander and Ramsey, Gemma and Mcpherson, Norman (2012) A potential solution to GMAW gas flow optimisation. In: 9th International Conference on Trends in Welding Research, 2012-06-04 - 2012-06-08, Chicago.
A number of self-regulating shielding gas valves have been developed to synchronise the shielding gas flow rate to the welding current being used in the gas metal arc welding process (GMAW). These valves make claims to reduce the shielding gas consumption by up to 60%. One such system, the Regula® EWR Pro, has undergone detailed evaluation in an effort to fully understand the benefits that could be obtained. This electromagnetically controlled system necessitates around an extremely fast response valve, which opens and closes continually throughout the welding process. This creates a pulsing of the shielding gas, further reducing consumption whilst maintaining optimal shielding gas flow. The unit has been identified to reduce the initial gas surge at weld initiation and results in a virtually instant decay of gas flow at weld termination. These particular characteristics have been found to be ideally suited to saving shielding gas when carrying out intermittent or stitch welding. It was established that the use of this valve generated deeper penetration in fillet welds, which in turn has highlighted the potential to increase the welding speed, therefore further reducing gas consumption. In addition, a computational model has been developed to simulate the effects of cross drafts. The combination of reducing the gas surge and slow decay with faster welding has been shown to meet the drive for cost savings and improving the carbon footprint.
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