Titan Contracting & Leasing Inc., in Owensboro, Ky., is a heavy industrial contractor that specializes in work on fuel tanks, mechanical systems, and power projects. It is an important fabricator/erector of flue-gas desulfurization scrubber systems - the equipment that power plants install to remove sulfur dioxide from emissions, in order to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act, and a fabricating niche that is expected to grow significantly in the coming months.

Because of Titan's specialization, its operators are often put into demanding welding situations, including vertical-up and overhead welding on thick industrial materials. Therefore, having the right equipment that can meet both challenges is essential.

Titan approached Stoody (www.thermadyne.com/stoody/) for advice on some of these problems, having worked with the welding wire and electrode supplier in the past, and having been satisfied with its products' arc stability, weld appearance, and reliability. Stoody recommended nickel-flux cored wires, which can be used to weld and clad in place of nickel-based solid wires. They are especially good for out-of-position (OOP) welding on similar and dissimilar materials.

For the past three years, Titan has depended on this wire for its heavy-duty projects, and uses more than 15,000 lbs. of wire per year. Most commonly used wires are Stoody 625, C276 and 622-T1. All Stoody nickel-flux cored wires meet the requirements of the AWS 5.34 specification. Ideal for Titan's challenging work environment, the wires offer numerous advantages over solid wire and stick electrode processes.

  • The nickel-flux cored wires run at significantly higher deposition rates when welding OOP compared to solid wires. Typical deposition rates are up to two times higher than GMAW with solid wire, and two to three times higher than SMAW. Plus, while nickel-flux cored wires are best for OOP welding, they are ideal for flat/horizontal welding as well by delivering higher deposition rates, better weld profiles and enhanced project quality.

  • The X-ray quality of the welds is significantly better when compared to welds made from solid wires, especially in OOP welding.

  • The wire and torch in the system move automatically, eliminating human error. While other welding products can be automated, Titan has found more success and better quality through the nickel-flux cored wire.

  • Nickel-flux cored wires accelerate every job by reducing the hours needed to complete projects, as well as reducing additional welding passes, saving Titan both time and money.

  • Gases for nickel-flux cored wires are typically Ar-CO2 mixtures or CO2, which are less expensive than the argon and Tri-mixes used for solid-wire welding.

  • OOP welding can be performed with standard, constant-voltage power sources, so the ability to pulse is not required.

According to Titan Tank division manager Darrell Jones, “Since we've replaced solid-MIG wires such as Alloys 625 and C276 with Stoody's nickel-flux cored wires, productivity and quality improvements have been significant. They advanced our ability to automate, eliminating the chance of human error. It replaces any conventional welding wire because of its ‘all position’ capabilities.”

In addition to all the benefits provided by nickel-flux cored wires, Stoody's overall dependability and dedication have helped Titan to serve its clients better. “We rely on Stoody for speed, productivity and quality,” said Jones, “and Stoody's customer support is far superior to any of the other specialty alloy wire companies we have tried in the past.”

Finally, Titan has been impressed with the reliability, consistency, and traceability of Stoody nickel-flux cored wire over the past three years, and has seen a positive impact in terms of the construction process and the satisfaction of its customers.

Dr. Ravi Menon is vice-president of technology at the Stoody Co. Contact him at ravi_menon@thermadyne.com.