Arcair introduced an automatic gouging system that it indicated is five-times more productive and 10 times faster than manual carbon-arc gouging with regard to cleaning up welds. The Arcair-Matic® N7500 reportedly can gouge with carbons up to 3/4 in. in diameter at 1,600 amps at 100% duty cycle, and gouge with an accuracy of 0.025 in. The slag removes easily, and the bottom of the gouge shows only minimal carbon deposits, according to the system developer.

Arcair is a Victor Technologies division that specializes in products for air carbon-arc gouging, exothermic cutting, and underwater cutting and welding products, including manual and automated gouging equipment, torches, accessories, and carbon electrodes.

Victor Technologies is the former Thermadyne Holdings Corp. Its cutting, welding, and gas-control equipment is distributed under a series of brands, including Victor®, Tweco®, Thermal Dynamics®, Thermal Arc®, Stoody®, TurboTorch®, Firepower® and Cigweld®.

The N7500 can be used to gouge seams for full-penetration welds, repair worn steel rolls, remove damaged cladding material, or otherwise make long, repetitive gouges on plate or pipe.

The new device differs from earlier models of the Arcair-Matic series because a digital pendant that improves process consistency thanks to a pre-set parameter menu (based on carbon size and gouge depth) controls it. Also, it is designed with an extended front end that allows operators to see the weld seam better view making it easier for them to keep the torch on track.

The N7500 has a rough machining mode that compensates for out-of-round rolls or pitted areas by enabling the operator to stall the electrode feed. Also, it is safer to operate because it uses the power source’s remote contactor switch and keeps the system electrically cold until the start button is pressed. Also enhancing safety are “no current” and low-voltage detectors that shut down the system when those conditions are recognized.

In use, the N7500 gouging system produces a U-groove edge preparation with less edge distortion than flame cutting. It can bevel a 1 in. (25.4 mm) J-groove about 50% faster than an automatic flame torch, Arcair noted, and because a J-groove requires less fill metal than a conventional V bevel, welding is completed about 150% faster.

The system has a novel “travel delay” function that helps to enhance groove geometry at the very beginning of the groove. This function helps to avoid a sloped groove at the beginning of the gouge and can eliminate the need for a starting pad.

The remote pendant puts complete control of the gouging process in the hands of the operator, who is fully able to manage the gouging parameters. The set-up selection guide is viewed on a LED display, instead of analog gauges. The pendant can track arc-on time to help schedule routine maintenance, as well as monitor and manage cost of the gouging project.

With unsurpassed versatility, the system’s synergic mode ensures conformity to pre-determined, pre-selected groove depth and width specifications. A single electrode contact shoe assembly accepts the entire range of Arcair gouging electrodes, from 5/16 in. (7.9 mm) through 3/4 in. (19.1 mm.)

The Arcair N7500 can be used with CC and CV power supplies. It uses the contactor in the welding power supply unit, thereby eliminating the need for the external contactor unit.