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Development of an optimised extractor torch for gas-shielded arc welding

: Bartout, Driss; Stark, Rainer; Fischer, Georg

Welding and cutting 12 (2013), No.3, pp.162-166
ISSN: 1612-3433
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPK ()

The extraction of welding fumes must be optimised in order to achieve an improvement in the working conditions for welders and protection from harmful welding fumes. The integrated extractor torches offer a high potential here since these permit extraction directly at the place where the fumes originate and make the laborious handling of an extraction hood unnecessary. In order to allow the further minimisation of the burdens caused by harmful metal oxides arising during welding, a comprehensive investigation of systems already available on the market was conducted within the framework of a research project and an optimised trade-off (compromise) solution was developed from this. For this purpose, the existing systems were initially investigated and assessed with the aid of CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulation and a special schlieren test bench. On the basis of the specific properties of the systems investigated in each case, it was possible to develop the trade-off solution and to investigate and assess it also using CFD simulations and the schlieren test bench in realistic conditions. Not only the welding fume extraction but also the shielding gas coverage were investigated and assessed in this respect so that the extractor torch system could be optimised in an all-encompassing way. The measurement of the welding fume emissions made it possible to confirm the good results for the trade-off solution and to prove a distinct reduction in the harmful emissions in comparison with other extractor torch variants. Thus, a system which unites a high extraction capacity with good shielding gas coverage and, at the same time, has a compact construction shape is now available. It may not only reduce the dangers for the welder due to harmful welding fumes but also increase the competitiveness of welding plants using local extraction systems and an optimised welding quality.