Thin-Walled Tube Repair – 500 lb’s Weld!
In response to our customers’ needs, Whitfield Welding has added laser cladding to its additive services as a viable way of refurbishing large parts damaged by corrosion. Laser cladding is a viable choice for such repairs as it minimizes heat affected zone while offering a true metallurgical bond. This combination, along with careful speed control, reduces distortion and ensures repair integrity.
Measuring at 18 feet, this thin-walled tube required a significant amount of stainless overlay to restore a heavily corroded surface. The primary concern during such a hefty repair over a thin wall was distortion. Thus laser cladding was chosen over relatively faster hotwire methods. After machining down 0.080″, over 500 lbs of material was concentrically deposited while camera-controlled systems monitored the process.
Given its size, the part required a custom-built heat treatment solution. An in-situ custom oven was built over the part by our fabricating team. Constructed out of separate ‘blocks’, a mobile oven was built that could be quickly disassembled and reassembled for parts of different sizes. After machining and ultrasonic testing, a defect- and distortion-free part was restored to a satisfied customer.