Integrated gas and welding distributor Unique Welding, through its national branch network, comprehensive product range, global partnerships and over 40 years of expertise is uniquely able to assist fabricators reduce welding costs, improve productivity and reduce weld safety risks in the stainless steel and steel industry.
Unique Welding has a flagship range of MMA, MIG, TIG and Plasma machines from its in-house brand, Thermamax, that have proven to be the affordable yet high-quality workhorses of the industry. The high reliability comes with a three-year guarantee, and a network of service centres and after-sales support.
The Thermamax APOLLO MIG machines are fitted with gas selection charts that enable the welder to quickly and accurately select the right shielding gas for the common welding applications.
“With a powerful 500 A Synergic Pulse MIG machine in the Thermamax Range, no stainless steel job is too big to handle,” says Unique Welding CEO Mike Hellyar.
Besides an experienced welder, quality welding requires quality equipment, gas and consumables. Unique Welding has recently partnered with a new, proudly local, Level 2 broad-based black economic empowerment producer of stainless steel welding wire. It has developed a comprehensive range of top-quality stainless steel welding wires using European technology, specifications and raw materials. Through this new partnership, Unique Welding is able to leverage this international expertise, exceptional quality, support and knowledge to benefit the local market.
The new Thermamax stainless steel welding consumables come with an array of international certifications including AWS, EN, ISO, and TUV. These products have also got American Bureau of Shipping and Bureau Veritas approvals, which are critical to many South African industries, including the shipping industry. This ensures that these consumables are manufactured with a controlled weld metal ferrite content, and are designed to produce first class welds with reliable carrier, aircraft and nuclear impact toughness and lateral expansion at cryogenic temperatures.
Despite the lower ferrite content, hot cracking resistance is good, also in the case of thick-walled constructions.
As a leader in the manufacturing, supply and distribution of industrial and specialty gas in the Southern African region, industrial gas and chemicals producer Air Products and Unique Welding supplies a number of gases used for steel and stainless steel applications.
“The addition of helium or hydrogen to argon for the welding of austenitic stainless steels has increased production speed by up to 30% over the more traditional 100% argon. The high thermal conductivity of hydrogen also enhances the cleaning effect, as it is a reducing gas. Helium on the other hand is a preferred gas enhancer for ferritic stainless steels.
“Carbon dioxide is added to the welding process as it is slightly oxidising, providing increased heat in the arc through disassociation. The available heat increases penetration, adding width to the weld, improving side wall fusion,” explains Unique Welding sales and marketing head Thomas Taljaard.
While technical performance is important, the gas supply solution is equally important. Unique Welding is able to supply the gases from small to large application thus being able to grow the supply arrangement as the customer grows. Supply ranges from a single cylinder supply, to manifold packs, and finally, to mini bulk (CryoEase) installations.
Teaming up with Germany-based industry leader Pelox, Unique Welding provides an array of pickling and passivating solutions for stainless steel welds.
“Our team is trained and ready to recommend the best solution to save you both time and money – from manual application, to high-pressure spray solutions, to an entire pickling bath installation – leaving you with a flawless stainless steel welding solution,” notes Taljaard.
Hexavalent chromium is one of the valence states of the element chromium. It is usually produced by an industrial process. Hexavalent chromium is known to cause cancer. In addition, it targets the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes.
A major source of worker exposure to hexavalent chromium occurs during “hot work” such as welding on stainless steel and other alloy steels containing chromium metal. Stainless steel fabricators may face future worker health claims, hence the need to protect workers with Powered Air Purifying Respirator- (PAPR-) type personal protection welding helmets.
The Thermamax TruFlo PAPR is widely accepted in the welding industry owing to its European design and extended warranty. The system comes with the TruVision WH02 auto-adjustable welding helmet with TruBlu colour technology, an array of specialised filters for multiple welding environments, and a failproof warning system.