Pipes Matter: The Protective Power of Weld Overlay

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

GSW dual torch hot wire GTAW tri-pulse overlay system.jpg

Natural resources are still relatively plentiful but getting access to them is as challenging as ever. The oil and gas industry is continuously on the hunt for new technologies to help harness these hard-to-reach resources not least because of their chemical composition. The world’s oil reserves consist of crude oil with either high sulfur or a CO2 content that requires the use of high quality corrosion-resistant materials. The same is true of gas. More than half of the world’s supply is highly corrosive. In Saudi Arabia, the oil and gas industry has invested heavily in corrosion-resistant clad pipe solutions in order to ensure the smooth running of its production system.

Saudi Arabia knows a thing or two about oil and gas recovery and distribution and the importance of state-of-the-art weld overlay cladding. The cladding reduces to a minimum the risk of leaks and extends the life of its pipelines thus also reducing to a minimum the cost of maintenance and the duration of any downtime. Statistics show that corrosion costs the oil, gas and petrochemical industries around $1 trillion annually. Global climate change is also making the task of harvesting these resources even more difficult. No surprise then that the regional as well as the global demand for better corrosion-resistant materials is on the increase. Happily, high quality advanced weld overlay cladding, designed specifically for oil and gas pipes, is available locally.

GSW Dual Torch Hot Wire GTAE tri-pulse weld overlay system

Why Weld Overlay? What is it?

In a nutshell, weld overlay is a welding process that fuses metals with specific characteristics to a base metal in order to improve its own specific properties. Sometimes more than one ancillary metal is fused to the base metal endowing it with either an extra anti-corrosive layer or a harder facing layer or both! The technique, known as hard facing or weld cladding or even weld cladding overlay, takes simple welding to a much higher type of end product resulting in a creation that can properly be described as custom-made.

The Basics of Weld Overlay Cladding

A number of steel components that come into contact with highly corrosive materials do have a degree of corrosion allowance in the very thickness of their walls but in the long term, there is a high degree of wastage, especially with certain base metals such as carbon steel or low alloy steels used in the containment and distribution of oil and gas. The technique is what makes carbon steel pipes more resistant to corrosion. Not only do they last longer, leak less and cost less to maintain, in other words cost effective but because it also means better surface protection, pipes can be manufactured to meet ever stringent global codes and standards of strength and environmental safety. The technique can also be used on all steel components that require that extra protection from corrosion such as fittings, valves and container vessels.

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Regional industrial manufacture

Because of increasing safety and compliance requirements in the industry, the manufacture of high quality weld overlay cladding is growing. Through years of experience in the industry local companies are already successfully delivering locally manufactured high standard weld overlay products to the region. Significant long term investments in factory capability, research, specialist staff and logistics mean that they are also ready to supply the world.

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