Many industries, such as Oil and Gas, operate in extreme environments. As operating conditions become more severe as a result of higher temperatures, pressures, and corrosion, the need increases for materials that can withstand these harsh environments. Equipment integrity under challenging conditions is a key issue that must be addressed, and developers must tap into every technical advantage available to reach - and maintain – optimal production. One method developers rely on to achieve efficient and safe operations is cladding.
Cladding is crucial to the integrity and longevity of pipelines and parts, especially in subsea environments. It should be noted that not all machine shops are able to successfully perform high quality cladding. For this reason, it is imperative that OEMs partner with manufacturers, like ABS, that have proven cladding experience. Equipped with the most advanced, fully-automated hot wire TIG machines, we support OEMs across the globe with our cladding services. Complementing our massive installation of large boring mills and VTL’s, ABS cladding cells are designed to handle all ranges of weight and size requirements. At ABS, we specialize in Inconel 625 hotwire TIG cladding as well as sub-arc cladding. Watch our short video for additional information on ABS automated cladding.
What is Cladding?
Cladding is often referred to as weld inlay or weld overlay, and is the process of depositing material on the surface of another material to achieve more desirable properties. The property that is typically improved is corrosion resistance. Cladding often creates a smoother surface, which leads to better flow properties in applications such as pipes. Cladding entails the melting of high-performance alloys onto the surface of a base material, typically carbon steel or a low alloy steel. One or more layers of high-performance alloy can be added to the base material. The most common alloy used for cladding, especially within the Oil and Gas sector, is Inconel 625. Cladded products exhibit the strength of the base material while relying on the high-performance alloy to protect against corrosion. Cladding is often a cost-effective option to increase longevity and improve the integrity of a part, thus, reducing operational risk. Cladding can be used on a variety of parts including pipes, valves, vessels, manifolds, BOP components, pipe spools, wellhead risers, and many others.
What Problems Does Cladding Solve?
Corrosion is a constant challenge for metals. In carbon steel products such as pipes, exposure to corrosive and acidic substances leads to hydrogen embrittlement, which can cause catastrophic failure in a short period of time. Hydrogen ions weaken the strength of steel and cracks start to form, eventually leading to a failure. In crude oil, hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide often react with steel alloys to form iron precipitates that weaken the integrity of the metal. Additionally, in subsea operations, the seawater chemistry along with higher operating pressures at greater ocean depths intensify corrosion issues. To minimize the risks associated with corrosion, Oil and Gas and other sectors rely on cladding to line pipelines and other equipment with material that is more corrosion resistant, such as Inconel.
Have equipment that operates in a challenging environment that would benefit from cladding?
Contact the ABS team to learn more about our expertise in cladding and our heavy fabrication solutions.
Types of Cladding Techniques
Clad inlays or overlays may be bonded to the base material by a variety of methods including pressure, heat, coextrusion, arc welding, brazing, laser, roll bonding, explosive bonding, and weld overlaying. Weld overlay is the most common technique used for Oil and Gas pipe cladding and is simply the use of welding to join the high-performance alloy to the base material.
Weld overlay offers significant flexibility and versatility. This technique is able to accommodate complex geometries and large part sizes. It also provides outstanding corrosion protection and longevity without sacrificing thickness or other critical design parameters.
There are several different types of welding techniques available for Inconel or other alloy cladding, each with its own set of pros and cons. In general, Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) is the most common method. TIG, or GTAW, offers more precision and control than most of the other weld overlay methods, especially when working with Inconel. In some cases, the Inconel wire is heated before reaching the arc, a process referred to as hot wire TIG, which enables a higher deposition rate and more rapid welds without sacrificing quality. Many GTAW processes are automated, leading to even higher levels of precision and quality in the welds.
Automated Cladding and Subsea Capabilities
ABS offers a variety of cladding services. Equipped with the most advanced, fully-automated hot wire tig machines, we support global OEMs with our cladding services. Complementing our massive installation of large boring mills and VTL’s, our cladding cells are designed to handle all ranges of weight and size requirements in the industry. At ABS, we specialize in Inconel 625 hotwire TIG cladding as well as sub-arc cladding.
Complementing our Hot Wire Tig Cladding Cells, ABS Machining’s large installation of advanced Sub-Arc Cladding cells allow us to offer heavy deposit welding of Inconel 625, stainless steel and steel-on-steel applications. Naturally keeping with our foundations of limiting size restrictions, our Sub-Arc cells are specifically designed to handle the largest and tallest Blow-Out Preventers on the market. Positioners are designed to allow ABS to weld both horizontally and vertically for access on all 5 sides. For more on ABS subsea cladding, watch our brief video. Our team specializes in the following applications:
- Ram Blow Out Preventers (BOPs)
- Annular Blow Out Preventers
- Wellhead Risers/Connector
Our team also has robust welding certifications. Within our cladding department, ABS has invested a tremendous amount of capital and research to certify our weld procedures in lab and by ABS and DNV. These procedures further ensure the parameters we have chosen meet the requirements of our customers. Our subsea ABS and DNV approved WPS weld procedures meet:
- ASME Sec. IX,
- API 6A & 16A / NACE MR0175
- ISO 15156-X, DNV-OS-E101 Applications
Established in 1971, ABS Machining has grown to become the recognized global leader in large CNC machining, fabrication, and assembly for OEMs. The key to our success has been exceptional people, unparalleled facilities, and an unwavering commitment to quality. Our people are experts in their given field. Their expertise is matched only by their passion for serving our clients. We continue to invest in our people with education programs, cross training and in our internal accredited apprenticeship center.
Our facilities are state-of-the-art and we are equipped to serve our client’s requirements in:
Our massive fleet of machines and automated welding systems has delivered solutions to the most technically challenging projects. Our commitment to maintaining unparalleled facilities is evidenced by our renowned continuous capital reinvestment initiatives. Our commitment to quality goes well beyond our ISO 9001:2015 Registration. From the inception of all programs, ABS quality professionals work closely with each customer to ensure all their unique requirements are met or exceeded. It is this commitment that has positioned ABS as a strategic supplier to leading OEMs worldwide.
Contact us today to see how we can help with your heavy fabrication project, or give us a call at 1-844-227-6224.
CNC MACHINING · FABRICATION · ASSEMBLY
Precision Machining ↓
ABS offers a unique combination of medium to high volume production machining and welding services.
80 Large Advanced CNC Machine Tools
ABS is one of the largest and most advanced manufacturing companies in North America.
6 Plants with lifting capacity up to 160 Tons
The ABS 5-Axis machining department has been built from the ground up with our customers’ needs in mind.
Centrifugal and Turbo Machined Impellers
Fabrication & Quality Assurance ↓
Heavy Fabrication Mig, Tig, Flux Core, Sub Arc
Mig, Tig, Flux Core, Sub Arc
Inconel 625 Hotwire Tig
Inconel 625 Hotwire Tig
Quality Assurance & Control
Quality Assurance & Control