Welding Preheat Systems: Everything You Should Know

Welding preheat system

Welding has become one of the most widely used metal fabrication processes in the world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are over 431,000 professional welders in the United States alone. Aside from investing in a high-quality torch or arc, however, there are other tools that can help you become a better welder, such as a welding preheat system.

Overview of Welding Preheat Systems

Welding preheat systems are electric heating devices that are designed to heat base metals prior to welding. Welding, of course, involves the use of heat to join two or more metal objects. Using a torch or arc, you can heat the metal objects to the point where they melt and, thus, fuse together. A welding preheat system will prepare the objects by raising their respective temperatures.

The Benefits of Using a Welding Preheat System

Why should you use a welding preheat system? One of the main benefits of using a welding preheat system is a slower rate of cooling. Base metals will cool after being exposed to a torch or arc. If they cool too quickly, unwanted microstructures may occur, resulting in metal that’s hard or brittle.

Another benefit of using a welding preheat system is reduced distortion. Distortion is a phenomenon in which the base metals expand and contract while failing to maintain their original shape. The base metals may shrink, buckle or otherwise become distorted when distortion occurs. Fortunately, using a welding preheat system will reduce the risk of distortion by promoting a more even heating and cooling process.

Comparing the Different Types of Welding Preheat Systems

While they are all designed to heat base metals prior to welding, there are different types of welding preheat systems. Single welding preheat systems have a single power outlet, whereas quad welding preheat systems have four power outlets.

There are also induction and resistance welding preheat systems available. Induction welding preheat systems use electromagnetic induction to raise the temperature of the base metals prior to welding. Resistance welding preheat systems, on the other hand, use electrical resistance.

Welding preheat strips are heating strips designed for use with a preheat system. You can plug them directly into a welding preheat system. Some welding preheat strips, though, are longer than others. They are available in 12-inch, 18-inch, 24-inch and 36-inch strips. The rated wattage of welding preheat strips may also vary. Some of the shorter preheat strips are rated for 650 W, whereas the other strips are rated for up to 2,000 W.

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