TIG Brush discusses the benefits of eletrochemical weld cleaning, emphasising on the ease, speed, and safety of the process. Read more here.
In 2020, the global welding market was valued at USD 20.23 billion, and with an estimated CAGR of 4.6% will reach USD28.6 billion by 2028. Weld cleaning and passivation is a necessary process within this large and continually expanding industry.
The most successful method of cleaning stainless steel is electrochemical weld cleaning, also known as electrolytic weld cleaning. Once made aware of this process, the majority of welders prefer it because it is faster, safer and more efficient. Most importantly however, especially when used with the correct PPE, it does not harm the welder’s health in any way.
The electrochemical method of weld cleaning is the ideal solution due to its effectiveness and affordability. As a leading provider of electric weld cleaners, Ensitech lists down the benefits of electrochemical weld cleaning:
Advantages of Electrochemical Weld Cleaning
Flexibility and Ease of Application
Electrochemical cleaning can be performed almost anywhere because the equipment is lightweight and portable. You can use the brush to do hand electrochemical weld cleaning off-site, on-site, and anywhere in between. The technology is particularly useful for on-site repairs and alterations. Electrochemical cleaning can remove the heat tint and passivate all sorts of welding joints, including under-welds and surface joints.
Pickling paste and other dangerous compounds are not present in electrolytic fluids. It generally only contains a small amount of either phosphoric or citric acid. Rather than the strength of the chemical itself, it is the electric current that dramatically accelerates the cleaning and passivation process.
As a result, electrochemical weld cleaning is quite safe, and it may be used by both amateurs and professionals. Certain protective equipment, such as safety glasses and gloves, is required as a precaution. However this is a long way from pickling paste, which is highly toxic and harmful to people and the environment. Electrolytic cleaning does not necessitate the use of highly protective suits.
It can be observed that when electrolytic weld cleaning fluid is used in the cleaning process, that steam/smoke is produced from the temperature of the brush. However this vapour is less than 5% the toxicity of welding fumes, and when utilised in a well-ventilated location presents an insignificant health or safety risk.
Speed of Application
The electrochemical weld cleaning procedure is quick and easy.
You won’t have to perform several tasks because an effective electrochemical weld cleaning machine will not only clean away heat-tint, but passivate the stainless steel surface at the same time.
You also save time because:
- It doesn’t alter the surface finish, so no linishing required
- There’s no need to put on all of the PPE that is required for pickling acid.
- Weld cleaning and passivating is possible without needing to move the job.
- The product does not need to be dismantled to fit into small spaces.
- Clean-up is just neutralisation and wash down.
Optimal Corrosion Resistance
Cleaning the metal mechanically or chemically does not prevent future corrosion from happening. Based on welding equipment research, the passivation effect resulting from electrochemical cleaning, provides the best corrosion resistance, compared to most other cleaning processes.
Recurring Costs are Minimum
Following the purchase of the machine are the ongoing costs of running it. Earlier generation machines needed expensive “socks” to be replaced on a regular bases. However the ongoing cost of a modern machine such as a TIG Brush just includes the weld cleaning fluid and the occasional brush. Of course there are a range of accessories and spare parts also available on an as needs basis
While the ongoing costs are low, the actual level depends a lot on the nature of your projects as well as various essential parameters for example, the scope of work and weld characteristics.
In addition, rather than applying the cleaning solution manually, some machines use a pump. While this appears to be a good idea, unless the technology is well executed this can end up in excessive use of fluid and extra cost. A good machine will allow you to dip the brush into the solution and only apply as much fluid as is necessary, reducing waste and improving cleaning results.
Why Electrochemical Weld Cleaning?
In summary, since electrochemical cleaning passivates while it cleans, you’ll be able to complete both processes at the same time without an additional operation.
With electrochemical cleaning, you will be able to successfully remove a range of surface marks and weld contamination – heat tint, rust, and discoloration, for example – and protect the surface from future corrosion at the same time. The TIG Brush ensures the surface finish will be retained, saving extra work restoring the surface.
Contact us if you have any inquiries about electrolytic weld cleaning or if you would like to know how the TIG Brush could transform the way you clean and passivate your welds. Feel free to reach out to us, too, if you would like more information about the range of services we offer.