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What Is Pipe Welding?

A person welding a large pipe.
Pipe fittings.
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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2014
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Pipe welding generally refers to a set of professional skills used for the joining of pieces of metal. Welding is one of the most cost-efficient means of joining multiple sections of pipe and involves heating pieces of metal and joining them so that the resulting product becomes a single piece of metal. This task generally requires welders to learn several methods of connecting pipes and to understand the factors that affect the quality of the connections that they intend to make. Many of the individuals who engage in pipe welding are professionals who specialize in this area of metal work, and they are usually certified.

Although many individuals may have the ability to weld pipes, the tasks are often reserved for those who are certified. This is because pipes are often used to transport hazardous materials, which can pose a risk to individuals and the surrounding environment if connections or repairs are not done properly. Errors, even when non-hazardous material is concerned, can also be very problematic. Certification generally involves passing a number of tests, which tends to require a person to master several welding techniques in advance.

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Arc welding is a common process used for connecting pipes. There are several types of arc welding processes, however. One of the methods that a pipe welder may need to learn is gas-shielded metal arc welding. This method involves exposing the weld area to inert gases to create a protective barrier while power is also used to soften the pieces of metal and bind them together.

The level of skill required to perform pipe welding tasks should not be underestimated. There are many things that an experienced pipe welder knows that enhance his abilities. For example, tack welding is commonly considered a very important step when joining pipes. This is a technique in which a fairly small and temporary bond is used to hold something in place. The experienced pipe welder knows how to determine how many tacks, or temporary bonds, to use and how to assess the pipe to determine the size of the bonds that are needed.

Many other things must be considered for professional pipe welding jobs. An electrode is the conductor that is used to carry electricity to the site of the weld. All electrodes are not suitable for all pipe welding tasks. It is therefore the responsibility of the welder to know which electrode should be used on a given occasion.

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Emilski
Post 4

@Izzy78 - I would have to think that their type of certification depends exactly on what type of job they are doing.

There are some types of welding that can be considered high hazard jobs and these always pay a lot of money and require quite a bit of certification in order for the person to be employed in that position.

In reality there are all kinds of jobs that require a welder and I am sure that the certification and pay all vary depending on the particular job and position at hand.

I know that there are welders in the armed forces as well as on oil rigs and those types of jobs pay a whole lot of money, but also require people to be highly certified.

I have to wonder if anyone knows anything about these types of welders on oil rigs and in the military and could shed some details on this part of the profession?

Izzy78
Post 3

I have to ask exactly what type of certification is required to be a welder for highly important jobs requiring the welding of the pipes?

I have to imagine that people that are welding oil pipes together are required to have some high certification to the point that it is very difficult in order to become an established person in that field.

I also have to wonder exactly what type of certifications are needed for welding, such as things concerning pipe laying for cities as well as when water or sewage pipes are being laid for the benefit of the public works systems?

jmc88
Post 2

@titans62 - You are absolutely correct. I know someone that was going to marry a pipe welder and their mother was against the marriage simply because she did not see what he did as being a real profession.

This was a very shallow reason to be against the marriage to begin with, but it also showed how people view those that weld for a living.

Unfortunately, people do not see that welding is an art form and that it is a very hard profession to become good at.

People also do not realize how much of a necessity it is for pipes to be welded and that it is something that is always in demand and is needed in order for the process of connecting pipes to be as efficient as it is when conduction some sort of project.

titans62
Post 1

I have to say that I know a lot of people that say a pipe welder has a very easy job and that it is something that is not too much of real skill and is really not too hard to do, however, they are dead wrong.

In order to be a good welder there is an extreme skill required to be able to hold their hand steady while they weld as well as be able to judge exactly how long they should keep the flame on the piece of metal.

Also, the most important aspect of a good welder is that they are able to make a consistent weld that does not look too gaudy, but still serves the purpose of the weld.

All things considered it is not easy to be a pipe welder and I know several people that are ignorant to the field and do not realize exactly how hard of something it is to do at a professional level.

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