Water Cooling vs. Air Cooling For Orbital Weld Heads
by Jeff Hopkins, on 12/3/18 8:45 AM
Air-cooled weld heads offer many advantages, especially with the Swagelok Welding System M200 Power Supply
"With no water involved, you can get set up more easily, and you don't have to worry about leakage."
Advantages of air-cooled weld heads
In orbital welding systems, the weld heads might be cooled with water or cooled by air. If you haven't explored air cooling, consider these advantages that you are missing:
- You don't have to make sure there's a coolant source available, which makes the air-cooled systems more portable.
- The relative simplicity also means air-cooled systems may have a lower initial cost.
- You don't have to buy all that additional support equipment such as radiators, coolant lines, and special coolants to prevent microbial growth in the coolant lines.
- With no water involved, you can get set up more easily, and you don't have to worry about leakage.
Swagelok Orbital Welding System Series 40 Weld Head (catalogs)
Air-cooled Swagelok weld heads
When you use Swagelok's orbital welding systems you get a few more advantages. We use a proprietary high temperature material to make the side plates to lengthen service life. The Swagelok series 40 viewing window/sight glass allows for real-time weld inspection. Swagelok’s Micro fixtures have a split base to allow precise work-piece alignment.
The weld recipe could change depending upon the wall thickness of the material being welded. With over 40 years of weld programming for a variety of materials and wall thicknesses already built in to the M200 power supply, and when coupled with the air-cooled weld heads, the learning curve for the weld operation is greatly reduced.
Swagelok Welding System - M200 Power Supply (catalogs)
Water has its own advantages
That doesn't mean that air cooling is always the better way to go. Liquid cooling offers the advantage of a higher duty cycle, the amount of time within a 10-minute period that a welder can safely produce a particular welding current. For example, a 150 amp. welder with a 30 percent duty cycle must be "rested" for at least 7 minutes after 3 minutes of continuous welding.
Generally speaking, liquid cooling may be better for high-volume dedicated welding operations with high amperage welds. Air cooling is typically used for lower amperage welds.
Swagelok Orbital Welding Training (brochure)
More like this:
- Good Orbital Welding Still Relies On Human Choices (blog article)
- Beyond Basics: Swagelok's Advanced Class In Orbital Welding (blog article)
- Swagelok technical articles on analytical instrumentation (section of this site)