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Electroslag Welding (ESW)

Nov 29, 2016

Electroslag welding (ESW) is a highly productive, single pass welding process for thick (greater than 25 mm up to about 300 mm) materials in a vertical or close to vertical position. (ESW) is similar to electrogas welding, but the main difference is the arc starts in a different location. An electric arc is initially struck by wire that is fed into the desired weld location and then flux is added. Additional flux is added until the molten slag, reaching the tip of the electrode, extinguishes the arc. The wire is then continually fed through a consumable guide tube (can oscillate if desired) into the surfaces of the metal workpieces and the filler metal are then melted using the electrical resistance of the molten slag to cause coalescence. The wire and tube then move up along the workpiece while a copper retaining shoe that was put into place before starting (can be water-cooled if desired) is used to keep the weld between the plates that are being welded. Electroslag welding is used mainly to join low carbon steel plates and/or sections that are very thick. It can also be used on structural steel if certain precautions are observed. This process uses a direct current (DC) voltage usually ranging from about 600A and 40-50V, higher currents are needed for thicker materials. Because the arc is extinguished, this is not an arc process.