Submerged arc welding is a typical welding method with the highest weld metal deposition efficiency mentioned so far. The SAW is continuously fed by a solid wire, and the electric arc generated by the wire is completely covered by the granular flux layer; thus it is named "submerged arc" welding. Figure 3.23 shows how the process forms a weld.
As mentioned, the way the welding wire is fed into the welding area is very consistent with gas shielded welding and flux-cored wire welding. The biggest difference is the way of protection. For the submerged arc welding process, particulate flux is placed on the front or around the wire to achieve protection of the molten metal. During the welding process, there is a layer of scum and still granular flux on the weld bead. After the slag is removed, it is usually discarded, although there are technologies that can be used in some applications by mixing a portion of the slag with a new flux. If careful precautions are taken to prevent contamination, particulate flux can be recycled. In some cases if the cleanliness of the flux is very high, then the flux is not recommended for reuse.
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