What is Pipe Welding?

Welding is a fascinating and specialized profession. Welders put in a lot of effort to ensure your welds are clean and stable. And they understand the most critical thing about welding and pipe manufacturing, which is that specific processes are needed for particular types of piping.

What is pipe welding? It generally refers to a collection of technical skills used for connecting metal parts. One of the most cost-effective methods to connect several sections of the pipe, pipe welding, involves heating and connecting metal pieces. Hence, the subsequent component is a single piece of metal. Here we will be discussing what pipe welding is. Let’s begin.

What is Pipe Welding?

Pipelines are the foundations of new towns and cities. They bring oil, coal, drinking water, and more. If there were no pipelines, we wouldn’t be able to drive to work, cook food, or keep our home warm during the winter. So, who is constructing, maintaining, repairing, and removing pipes and pipelines? Full marks to you if you guessed pipe welders. They are the ones doing the above, and the process they use to perform the work is called pipe welding.

This role typically requires welders to master several techniques of connecting pipes and understand the factors which affect the quality of the joints they plan to make. Many people involved in pipe welding are practitioners who specialize in the metalwork field, and they are typically qualified.

What Does a Pipe Welder Do?

While several people may have the skill to weld pipes, the tasks are only reserved for those qualified to do so. This is because pipes are frequently utilized to transfer dangerous materials, which, if joints or improvements are not performed correctly, may pose a danger to people and the surrounding environment. Mistakes can also be very troublesome even when the non-hazardous substance is involved. Getting certified for pipe welding generally involves completing several tests which typically require a person to master multiple techniques of welding beforehand.

Now to the most crucial question at hand: what does a pipeline welder do? Skilled welders may install new pipes, or fix old ones. A particular job includes researching the pipeline or the model, working out the weld measurements, and using arc welders or similar equipment to execute it.

The job is less reliable than other occupations in welding since pipeline welders frequently switch from one work site to another. This job isn’t suitable for people who don’t like too much traveling. Also, work hours can easily extend into overtime for pipeline welders.

What Type of Welding is Pipe Welding?

There will be a need for pipe welding wherever there are pipes—sewer, water, natural gas, and the oil industry. As far as the welding method used to weld pipes is concerned, pipe welding can be accomplished using a variety of welding methods, including TIG, MIG, and arc welding.

A commonly used method for welding pipes is the arc welding processes. However, since there are multiple arc welding processes, it would be wise to discover which one works best for pipeline welding. One technique a pipe welder would need to know is gas-shielded arc welding. In this process, the area to be welded is exposed to inert gasses to provide a protective shield while pressure is being used to loosen and connect the metal parts.

Are Experience and a High Skill Level Important for Performing Pipe Welding Effectively?

One should not underestimate the level of skill needed to execute the pipe welding activities. A skilled welder of pipes knows several things that improve their skills. Tack welding, for example, is widely seen as a very critical step in the joining of pipes. This is a technique whereby a relatively small, transient connection is used to keep something in place.

The experienced welder of pipes can work out the number of tacks, or temporary bonds, to use and evaluate the pipe to determine the size of the required bonds. And a good welder of pipes will work closely on the weld with accuracy to produce a clear and smooth weld.

How Much Does Pipe Welding Make?

Those interested in a career in pipe welding would want to know how much they can realistically make from welding pipes. This can vary. According to PayScale, the average pay of a pipe welder is $24.50 per hour, which is higher than the average income of welders.

And Study.com finds that the median salary of pipe welders was $57,700 per annum in 2019. This is higher than the industry average of $42,450. The information provided here should be sufficient for people interested in the pipe welding profession to decide if they want to pursue a career in pipe welding or not. However, money is not the only factor to consider when pursuing a career in pipe welding or not. You also need to consider the working conditions to evaluate if pipe welding is difficult—or not.

Is Pipe Welding Difficult?

There has been an increase in work opportunities for pipe welders in recent years due to the increasing need for pipe welding in various industries. However, in industries, pipe welding needs professional workers. Since welding is a complex operation, there is a reasonably large margin for errors to occur.

Failures in pipe welding can come from both rookies and experts. The best way to avoid these instances from in the first place is to understand the working conditions and what must perform pipe welding successfully.

With pipe welding, one of the most crucial steps is the preparation of the pipe. There are only a handful of welding techniques that don’t need pre-welding workpiece preparation. Pipes preparation starts by ensuring that the edges that need joining are clear and straight.

The pipes that require joining should, often, have undergone cutting or welding until it enters the welder’s hands. Therefore, a surface grinding technique is sometimes used to get the edges correct before the actual welding process.

The next step is to rinse the pipes to eliminate any form of oils, lubricants, or other impurities that appear on the surface of the pipe.

The weld is likely to encounter several problems, such as lack of fusion, slag trapments, and hydrogen inclusion if sound pipe preparation practices are not adopted. These lead to weaker welds and defects in welding.

Can Tough Working Conditions Make Pipe Welding Challenging?

Besides the wrong pipe preparation practices, harsh welder working conditions can make pipe welding difficult.

Workers in any welding branch have a high risk of injury or disease. The bright light from arc welders and other devices can impair the vision, the welding tools can produce enormous heat, and the welding process might cause the welder to inhale particles or gases. However, with the right safety practices and equipment such as heat resistant gloves and protective lenses, this risk can be reduced.

While there are many risks involved in welding, they do not compare to the dangers posed by pipe welding. The following are some of the welder working conditions that make pipe welding a tough practice:

  • Pipe welding frequently demands you keep your equipment in uncomfortable, dangerous positions
  • Some work on the pipeline is performed at high temperatures. Underground conditions in the far north endanger you with frostbite while desert job invites heat stroke
  • Pipeline welding often takes place underwater. Underwater welding occurs in conditions where people cannot survive, let alone work, with no specialized equipment
  • Welding the sewage pipeline will require you to work with some of the world’s most toxic gunk. You have to suppress your sense of smell to do your work and avoid infecting yourself

The things mentioned above can make pipe welding difficult. However, with the right preparation, specialized equipment, and training, you can overcome all the challenges posed by the pipe welding profession.

Final Thoughts

Pipe welding includes everything that is detailed above about the process. Using the information provided above, you can determine whether pipe welding is something you would require soon or in the future. You can also use the information given above to discover if pipe welding is a good profession for you based on the skill needed, the work conditions, the average pay, and the potential industries you can work in.

About Pierre Young

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Hey, I'm Pierre Young a qualified AWS Certified Welder. I got into welding in 2009 as a side hustle. Ever since then, I've been doing all kinds of welds - both for business and pleasure. While immersing myself in this wonderful hobby, I've learned from hands-on experience what welding gear works and what doesn't. Welding Headquarters is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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