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Submerged Arc Welding: Principles, Features & Applications

Last updated:
May 31, 2024
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Table Of Contents

 1. The principle of submerged arc welding.

The principle of submerged arc welding is shown in Figure 5-32. After the flux 9 flows out from the conductive nozzle 10, it is evenly piled on the assembled base material 1, and the welding wire 11 is fed into the welding arc area through the wire feeding roller 12 and control box 6. The two ends of the welding power source are connected to the control box and the workpiece (base material) respectively. The wire feeding mechanism, conductive nozzle, and control box are mounted on a cart to move the welding arc. The welding process is automatically controlled by operating the buttons on the control box.

 Figure 5- Principle of submerged arc welding
 1—Base material 2—Arc 3—Metal pool  4—Weld metal 5—Welding power source 6—Control box  7—Weld slag 8—Molten slag 9—Flux  10—Conductive nozzle 11—Welding wire 12—Wire feeding roller  13—Wire spool 14—Flux delivery tube

 2. Characteristics of submerged arc welding

 (1) Advantages of submerged arc welding

 1) High production efficiency.

Due to the short extension length of the conductive nozzle of the welding wire, a larger current can be used, and the flux and slag have an insulating effect, which improves the thermal efficiency. Therefore, the melting coefficient of the welding wire is large, the penetration depth of the weldment is large, and the welding speed is fast.

 2) Good weld quality.

On one hand, the flux and slag isolate the air from contacting the molten pool and the weld, thus providing good protection, especially in windy environments; on the other hand, the welding parameters can be automatically adjusted to remain stable.

Therefore, it has good comprehensive mechanical properties, longer crystallization time of the molten pool, sufficient metallurgical reactions, fewer defects, and the welds are smooth and beautiful.

 3) Saves welding materials and electrical energy.

Submerged arc welding, due to its greater penetration depth compared to shielded metal arc welding, does not require a groove or only a small groove when welding workpieces of the same thickness, thereby reducing the amount of welding wire filled in the weld and saving processing time and electrical energy.

Moreover, because the arc heat is concentrated, it reduces heat dissipation into the air and the thermal energy loss and metal loss caused by metal spatter and evaporation.

 4) Suitable for welding thicker components.

Its welding wire has a short extension length, and thinner welding wire can use a larger welding current (the current density of submerged arc welding can reach 100~150A/mm).

 5) Good working conditions.

Submerged arc welding is easy to automate and mechanize, has low labor intensity, simple operation, and there is no arc radiation and less smoke released.

 (2)Disadvantages of Submerged Arc Welding

Submerged arc welding requires high processing and assembly standards for joints, and can only be performed in horizontal or slightly inclined positions. It is only suitable for welding long seams. There are certain limitations for welding aluminum seams, small diameter circumferential seams, and in narrow positions. It is not suitable for welding thin plates. The arc stability is very poor with currents less than 100A.

 3. Application Range of Submerged Arc Welding

The application range of submerged arc welding is shown in Table 5-12. Submerged arc welding can also be used for welding nickel-based alloys and copper alloys, as well as for cladding wear-resistant, corrosion-resistant alloys, and composite steel materials. It is most widely used in shipbuilding, boiler, pressure vessel, bridge, crane machinery, and metallurgical machinery manufacturing.

 Table 5-12 Application Range of Submerged Arc Welding

Welding MaterialApplicable Thickness/mmMain Joint Types
Low Carbon Steel, Low Alloy Steel3~150Butt joint, T-joint, Lap joint, Circumferential seam, Spot welding, Build-up welding
Stainless Steel≥3Butt joint
Copper≥4Butt joint
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