Underwater Welding is a special type of work. More training, sensitivity, energy and a strong mental ability to take the risk are essential.
It is not similar to another work and it needs special precaution also.
Underwater Welding is defined as a special type of work which involves extra- trained divers who can work under submerged condition underwater.
Directly work in under seawater is mandatory.Underwater welders do construction, survey, offshore construction, etc..
Especially the need for sensitive work. Such as nuclear power, military, mining, public dams or canals or locks. Where you can’t do work without extra precautions. And for this, you need extra training and extra facilities.
What are the Types of Underwater Welding?
Underwater welding is mainly in two types. One is dry welding and another is wet welding.
Here wet welding means the diver directly works under seawater. Both are very risky. Welders need special types of equipment for their safety.
Wet welding means welders work directly underwater. It may be under deep seawater too. For these working welders need some special equipment.
Shielded metal arc stick is one of them. This shielded arc stick can save welders by supplying gas bubbles.
And when they start their work they use DC through the underwater cable. Repair oil rigs, large marine vessel difficulties, welding pipes, installing I- beams, etc. are the main sector of underwater welders.
For doing this type of work they need around 60 hours per week. They also can spend a month for this work.
But mostly it has done seasonally. Not done in severe condition of the weather like winter months.
Between wet and dry welding procedure wet welding is more difficult. And its equipment cost is also high.
It needs a total waterproof stick welding equipment. Because welding metal is surrounded by water.
Underwater dry welding is defined when welding is done by creating dry enclosures around the weld place. During welding a welder work in a pressurized air condition. Often work in pressurized submerged containers.
The dry welding process is very expensive. Here present two types of dry welding conditions. One is Cofferdam Welding and another is Hyperbaric Welding.
Cofferdam welding is a type of dry welding process. Generally, it works in an enclosure or a pen in the water. It is done by seal clamps.
There present valves that are used for removing water. It is essential to create a dry area for working.
Cofferdam welding is mostly used in the construction site. Such as bridge piers, locks, dams or docs repairing or constructing.
High pressure is needed for hyperbaric welding. A life-support system is essential for this welding process.
Removing water from the chamber needs a high gas force. Besides, we need special training to give the best support during working.
How to Weld Underwater?
So how to Weld Underwater?
There present many different ways to weld underwater. It is necessary to choose the optimum and suitable underwater welding ways. Here we represent some ways that will help a diver.
Wet Welding Process Underwater
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) is the most cost-effective. It is also known as stick welding. In this method, divers use an electric arc between electrode and infrastructure metals. They welded them together.
So, keep the electrodes clean. And notice the welding area before starting the welding process. When all things are ready to work.
Divers give a signal to their team to flip current on. DC (direct current) current around 300 to 400 amps is suitable for wet welding underwater process.
There also present some other ways of wet underwater welding. They are-
Flux-cored Arc Welding (FCAW): It uses fed filler metal continuously. Use for nickel-based alloys. Besides cast iron metals also.
Friction Welding ( FW): High friction and heat need for this way. Material melting is not used to fuse thermoplastic or metal.
Dry Welding Underwater Process
For dry welding underwater process hyperbaric chamber is essential. At first, create a seal to the structure. It needs for welding. Then connect hoses to flush water out. Replaces with a gas mixture such as helium or oxygen.
Then hyperbaric chamber needs the pressure to make optimum depth for removing decompression sickness. Like the wet welding process, the dry welding process also has four types.
It depends fully on the divers what type of ways are suitable for work.
Pressure Welding: For repairing vessels it is most suitable. Because it can measure the approximate pressure unit.
Habitat Welding: A small room-sized chamber is preferable for this dry welding process. Its inside pressure and outside pressure are similar at the depth of working. Chamber needs water-free conditions.
Dry Chamber Welding: Diver enters into a small chamber. With diving gear only head down. It is a risky way of the dry underwater welding process.
Dry Spot Welding: Dry spot welding refers to a small room like head. It needs clean. It places on the wild side. Then the diver inserts electrode. At last, it seals conveniently around it.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) and Flux-cored Arc Welding (FCAW) are also used in dry welding underwater process.
Besides this above ways, there also present some another way of the welding process. They are –
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding ( GTAW): GTAW is also known as “TIG “. Non-consumable tungsten electrode use for the GTAW process. Heat is supplied by an electric arc. It mainly uses stainless steel, aluminum, and other metal things repairing.
Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW): It is known as ” MIG“. For transferring metal it is appropriate. Shielding gas is used during welding. Non-ferrous metals such as aluminium welding are done by this process.
Plasma Arc Welding (PAW): An electric arc uses for PAW. But it can’t make a high-speed electric arc. Aluminum, stainless steel need intense heat.
If you need to work in a hyperbaric chamber and deep underwater, it is a suggestion for divers to work with the team.
When a diver starts to operate at the welding site they use a diving belt. They swim into the chamber which is full of gas and do welding activities.
Around 6 to 8 hours are fixed for one shift. But their rent is much more than her working rate. Because it is too much risky than others.
How to Become an Underwater Welder?
underwater welding is a very demanding and challenging job. Because it is a risky job. Its preparation panel is also different.
There present many diving schools. And every year many divers are trained. They get ready to take a risk during preparing pipelines, ships, dams, and offshore oil drilling gas.
Underwater welder demands are increasing day by day all over the world. They enjoy a thrilling life. Here we say about, how can you become an underwater welder?
Besides mental strength, you have a clear concept about underwater welding job responsibility. Not only good expertise and experience you need an authentic certificate.
If you set up your future career as an underwater welder. At first, you have to swim properly. Next, you have to follow these instructions –
1. Get a Certificate from a high school diploma or G.E.D… It may need around 12 years.
2. Need to gain experience in underwater welding. And also need a topside certificate. It may take 2-5 years.
3. Enrolling in a driving school and can pass in the examination. It may take 1 year approximately.
4. For expanding experience need a commercial diving certificate about 5 to 8 months.
5. Finding work through experience and networking. It may take 1 to 12 months or more time.
After completing getting certificate program you make your CV. It will give you highly impression if you show here everything.
Then you are looking for a local welding school to teach you on the craft above land.
You have to practice based on surface welding. This will help you to operate in the water safely. You also all the techniques that you learned before. Such as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW). It is a very common technique. But you to be adopted with other techniques.
So you need to choose a well known and good driving school. Because they have more equipment for practicing. And you need certificate not only surface welding. You also need commercial diving and underwater welding.
After going out a long way you will be renowned as an underwater welder. You have to make many sacrifices. You do not get your family all the time beside you.
You should have a strong mentality to sacrifice. Anytime you can’t leave the welding place without previous notice.
But a piece of good news is here that your salary rent is. You may lead a glorious life. If you take the risk then other competitors you get more chance.
Before career set up, you have to set up your mind. Your success depends on your mind set-up. So, you have to be careful about it.