PFS Blog

PFS receives US Patent # 9,732,884 for the T-SEP Assembly

August 16, 2017 2:26 pm

On August 15th 2017, Production Fastening Systems, L.L.C. was awarded US Patent (#9,732,884) for their T-SEP™ Assembly (Tube Separation Assembly). Since its inception in 2000, Production Fastening Systems’ T-SEP™ Assembly has continued to evolve while keeping one goal: preventing crevice corrosion by efficiently fastening, aligning, separating, and elevating pneumatic tubing in one assembly. PFS’s pneumatic tube separation assembly is designed to maintain a separation within pneumatic tube delivery systems while significantly reducing the opportunity for crevice corrosion.

Traditionally, parallel runs of pneumatic tubing have been separated through the use of “saddles” or “notching”; a method that is effective in terms of tube separation, but allows corrosive elements to gather at the points of separation or beneath the tube. Furthermore, the saddle / notch method creates difficulties in the installation process. Without a snap-in-place aspect, other locking systems require multiple persons / hands to secure the tubing in place until the top retainer is ready to be fastened.

The T-SEP™ Assembly’s unique design allows harmful offshore elements (salt water, salt spray, chlorides, etc.) to escape the tubing before corrosion can develop. Through diligent research and utilization of evolving technology, PFS stands by the T-SEP™ assembly as the most efficient method of pneumatic tube separation. The latest version of the T-SEP™ Assembly is the non-metallic version which is designed to maintain a 3/16” separation within pneumatic tube delivery systems while significantly reducing the opportunity for crevice corrosion by avoiding metal-to-metal contact with the tubing.

Every surface that makes contact with the tubing is both non-metallic and utilizes a round-on-round geometry to limit surface contact and maximize the opportunity to inspect the contact points. This also allows for effective application of fresh water cleansing from time to time. The other elements of the assembly that do not make contact with the tubing (flat bar & mounting hardware) are manufactured out of stainless steel grade 316.

For more information about T-SEP™ Assembly and the Non-Metallic Tube Spacers, visit www.pfsno.com, email sales@pfsno.com, or call (800) 216-1827.

Production Fastening Systems LLC, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a complete line stud welding distributor and metal fastening specialist serving the offshore, shipbuilding, and steel fabrication industries since 1987.

Link to US Patent # 9,732,884

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tray Mount Video

January 10, 2017 5:03 pm

 

Production Fastening System, PFS, has created a Pneumatic Tube Channel bracket install instructional video.

Pneumatic Tube Supports: Tray Mount

In addition to our stud mount pneumatic pipe supports and hangers, PFS also carries PTCB-type tray mount pneumatic tube supports. Simple to install, these tube supports will get the job done where stud mount supports won’t.

 

 

 

Available in grade 316 stainless steel or aluminum, according to your preference, PFS’s tray mount supports allow for pneumatic tube systems to use cable tray walls for support. Our PTCB-type tray mount pneumatic tube supports work by fastening mechanically to the outer wall of trays; they are compatible with both B-Line cable trays and fiberglass channel trays. Both the B-Line-compatible tray mount and the fiberglass-compatible mounts can be used with standard tubing line clamps.

Because our tray mounts are designed for easy installation, the only hardware needed to fasten them is a 1/4-20 SS316 hex head bolt, a 1/4-20 SS316 flat washer, and a nylon insert lock nut. These pieces of hardware are included with every PFS tray mount tube support order.

PFS’s tray mount pneumatic tube supports are:

Quick and simple to install (supports fasten easily onto cable trays)
Made of corrosion-resistant grade 316 stainless steel (or aluminum, if preferred)
Available in two sizes (B-Line: 4 in. and 6 in.; fiberglass: 6 in. and 8 in.)
Our customers in the shipbuilding, offshore platform, and steel fabrication industries depend upon their pneumatic tubing, which is why we provide the most reliable, functional tray mount designs possible-in the most corrosion-resistant materials available. To view a photo of PFS’s tray mount pneumatic tube supports at work, you can click on the “See it in Action” button to the lower right.

ARC 656, A Cost-Saving Welding System

February 15, 2016 3:23 am

When it’s time to replace older stud welding equipment, fabricators look for systems that offer the latest in welding technology advancements. At PFSNO, we work with engineers and manufacturers to identify areas in which equipment can be made more efficient, more ergonomic, and more economic, and the ARC 656M stud welder provides all of these benefits and more.

Improved energy efficiency and extended weld system longevity

PFSNO’s ARC 656M replaced the standard continuous duty fan to cool the internal working of the ARC 656 stud welder with an on-demand cooling fan. This advancement means that the fan is only activated when components needs to be cooled.

Not only is the innovation an improvement in energy efficiency, it also extends the life of the stud welder. The continuous fan of the factory model make the stud welder more vulnerable to dust and debris on worksites.

Reduced welder fatigue due to more ergonomic design

PFSNO’s refined ARC 656M model offers dual handles, making it more manageable for two or even one welder to move the equipment. The 50 Ft. extension cord is double the size of the factory model, allowing welders to cover a much larger area without having to relocate the system.

Both of these modifications mean that welders can accomplish more with less fatigue, which improves overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Increased productivity and diminished waste

Clearly, a more energy efficient stud welder that lasts longer is a more cost-effective system. Reduced welder fatigue and increased speed means greater productivity, which means greater profitability.

The ARC 656M also decreases margins of error with its improved arc gun. The gun’s dampener ensures a smooth weld fillet, reduced spatter, and improved perpendicularity for each stud. Fewer mistakes decreases wasted materials and expenses.

Contact the welding innovators at PFSNO to learn more about our ARC 656M stud welder and all of the other high quality stud welding supplies that we provide. Our factory-certified technicians will come on-site to train your welders, making the transition to new equipment even smoother.

When To Replace Welding Equipment

February 1, 2016 3:20 am

Stud welding has been a fabrication staple for more than 80 years, and during that time, the process as well as the equipment has undergone a continuous evolution in design, efficiency, and ergonomics. Today’s solid state stud welding equipment is a vast improvement over the early mechanical models, providing more precise control over weld cable resistance and other parameters.

However, even modern equipment must eventually be replaced. Consider replacing welding equipment under these conditions.

When welding equipment has become obsolete

While it’s not necessary to replace welding systems with each new iteration, when spare parts for older equipment become increasingly difficult to find, it’s time to replace the system.

When the cost of repairs affect the total cost of operations

Along the way, welding equipment will pick up wear and tear. Wiring connections may become dangerously friable; cable connections may disintegrate. Even solid state components can depreciate as they age and accumulate debris and moisture.

When the cost of repairs over time become greater than financing new equipment, an investment in new equipment becomes the more cost-effective decision.

When welding equipment poses a danger

While declines in manufacturing may make fabricators overly cautious about concerning investments in updated equipment, retaining outdated welding equipment can ultimately cost more. Welding systems that lead to hazardous conditions – whether due to injuries during use or to lower-quality welds – are an expensive gamble.

When cost-saving innovations are introduced

At times, innovations in fabrication tools can be drastic enough to make early adoption the wisest course of action. Equipment that has been designed with extended longevity in mind or welding equipment that offers vastly improved technology that ensures higher quality welds and improved efficiency are ultimately worth the investment for forward-thinking fabricators.

Consult with trained welding representatives

If you’re not sure whether your welding equipment is in need of repairs or replacement, consult with trained representatives capable of evaluating stud welding systems and their components. The factory-certified technicians at PFSNO are always available to provide our customers with on-site service, so contact us today to get started.

PFSNO's Guide To High Quality Stud Weld Materials

January 15, 2016 7:03 am

As with most endeavors, the success of fabrication is largely determined well ahead of the act of fabrication. Before the first fastener is ever attached, decisions must be made to ensure their stability and resilience.

At PFSNO, engineers and other manufacturing stakeholders have access to the highest quality stud welds in a variety of shapes and sizes suited to fit the needs of industries as diverse as offshore oil drilling and construction. Our arc weld studs are manufactured from materials that meet codes and specs established by the AWS, ANSI, ASTM, and other respected industry associations.

AISI 1006 low-carbon steel

AISI 1006 low-carbon steel contains by weight .05% to .30% carbon. A soft, ductile alloy, this mild steel is ideal for use in projects that require bending and welding. One of the easiest metals to weld, low-carbon steel is also relatively inexpensive.

AISI 1020 low-carbon steel

With a higher carbon ration than AISI 1006, AISI 1020 low-carbon steel’s increased carbon content translates to increased hardness and strength; however, the trade-off is a loss of ductility. With a higher-carbon steel, preheat must be used to prevent cracking in heat-affected zones. Like other low-carbon steels, AISI 1020 is economical and easily welded.

300 series stainless steel

With a chemical composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, 300 series stainless steel is the most corrosion-resistant, ductile, and weldable type of stainless steel. Carbon steels are unprotected from air and moisture, which leads to prolific rusting. Stainless steels, on the other hand, are protected from corrosion-causing oxygen diffusion by a passive layer of chromium oxide. Stainless steels are more costly, but they’re necessary in heavy duty fabrication.

5000 series aluminum

With exceptional welding characteristics and high corrosion-resistance, 5000 series aluminum  is ideal for harsh marine environments. Though aluminum is not heat treatable, it can be strengthened by cold working, improving both the tensile and yield strength and reducing crack sensitivity. However, it’s important to bear in mind that too much cold work can result in stress corrosion.

Find the right stud weld materials at PFSNO

Get in touch with our factory-certified welding experts today to learn more about our stud weld offerings.

Avoid Common Stud Welding Failures

January 6, 2016 12:48 am

Manufacturing companies that survived the recession have begun to lead the fabrication industry in post-recession America, and they all have one thing in common. They recognized the importance of identifying means to increase productivity, decrease wasteful budgets, and maintain high quality products.

Stud welding facilitates each of these by standardizing expedient fastening processes, and it has proven to be a consistently reliable fastening method. However, to assure high quality welds every time, it’s critical to take steps to mitigate the most common causes of stud welding failures.

Follow these steps to prevent common stud welding failures:

  • Use only high quality stud and base plate materials.
  • Adjust weld settings appropriately.
  • Ensure a minimum plate thickness of one-half the stud diameter as recommended by the pCI Design Handbook.
  • Thoroughly clean the weld area prior to welding, including the removal of weld splatter, weld berries, and ferrule pieces.
  • Keep ferrules dry to prevent damage to composition and potential for expulsion of molten metal via steam.
  • Regularly clean and inspect equipment to prevent malfunctioning, including cable and wiring connections and solid-state components.
  • Provide formal training for stud welding operators.
  • Conduct visual and physical inspection of finished welds to assure satisfactory weld quality.

Secure a relationship with reliable stud weld supplies in New Orleans

Production Fastening Systems New Orleans supplies superior quality weld studs manufactured from AISI 1006-1020 low-carbon steel, 300 series stainless steel, and 5000 series aluminum. Every arc stud that we supply meets the standards of the most respected associations within the offshore, shipbuilding, and steel fabrication industries, including the American Welding Society, ASTM, the U.S. Navy, and the American Bureau of Shipbuilding, as well as the Department of Highways and Transportation in all fifty states.

Contact our stud welding experts today to learn more about our innovative product lines.

Procedures For Mechanical Testing of Stud Welds

December 15, 2015 8:32 am

Due to a historically high rate of success, stud welding does not require the extensive testing that many welding processes do. However, a two-stud test performed by the stud welding operator is required at the beginning of each production period, whether at the beginning of a production run or at the start of a shift change. Testing should also be performed after equipment maintenance or when welding conditions may have otherwise changed.

Testing studs welded downhand to approved base plate materials

  1. Pre-production, weld two studs to a production weld plate according to pre-established welding procedure specifications.
  2. Visually inspect studs to determine a satisfactory weld.
  3. Bend each stud 30 degrees from the vertical using a pipe, hammer, or other bending device applied two in. (52 mm) above the stud weld.

*Satisfactory studs may be straightened to their original axis and using during production so long as they have not been heated during the process.

Testing threaded studs

After pre-production welding and visual inspection:

  1. Secure the threaded stud in an appropriately sized steel sleeve.
  2. Tighten a nut of the same material as the stud against a washer bearing on the sleeve with a torque wrench to apply a tensile load on the stud.

Testing studs at low temperatures

Impact testing, such as a blow with a hammer, should not be performed when studs or base plates are below 50°F (10°C). Instead, perform a tension test, bending the stud slowly with a tube.

Testing studs welded to non-approved base plate material or in alternative positions

  1. Pre-production, weld ten studs of each style and diameter to be used during production.
  2. Ensure that the positions, base materials, equipment, processes, etc. used during test weld replicates those found in the production environment.
  3. Visually inspect studs to determine a satisfactory weld.
  4. Test to failure by tensile, bend, or torque test, or a combination.

Naturally, a secure, reliable stud weld begins with secure, reliable studs and welding equipment. At PFSNO, we distribute everything needed to create ideal conditions for satisfactory welds. Contact our specialists to learn more today.

References:

Chambers, Harry A. “Principles and practices of stud welding.” PCI Journal 46.5 (2001): 46-59.

“Just the Facts: Destructive Testing of Stud Welds.” 2015. 15 Nov. 2015 <https://app.aws.org/itrends/2008/07/it200807/it0708-14.pdf>

 

Creating a Safe ARC Welding Environment

December 4, 2015 5:14 pm

Stud welding systems used in accordance with the National Electrical Code NFPA-70 and local codes should pose no threat to trained professionals. However, steps can be taken to further reduce safety hazards.

Electrical precautions for a safe arc welding environment

DO:

  • Schedule regular inspections and maintenance of welding equipment to identify and correct insulation breakdown, frayed wiring, or other damages that pose a threat to welders.
  • Equip welders with appropriate PPE, such as rubber-soled safety boots and insulated gloves, to reduce risk of injury.
  • Establish proper grounding to prevent stray currents that could threaten the welder as well as others in the weld zone.
  • Turn off power when not in use or when handling the material being welded.

DON’T:

  • Work in wet areas or weld when you or your PPE are wet.
  • Touch live electrical parts as it could establish a current path through your body.

Fire precautions for a safe arc welding environment

DO:

  • Remove all flammable materials from the work station.
  • Take extra precautions when it is necessary to weld near or through combustible materials to prevent sparks or berries from reaching and igniting them.
  • Properly store gas cylinders away from the workstation to prevent ignition.
  • Keep fire suppression equipment on hand for easy access and train welders to properly use it.
  • Be aware of emergency exits in case of fire.

DON’T:

  • Handle welded parts without gloves until they have had ample time to cool.
  • Degrease or use flammable solvents near welding stations.

PPE precautions for a safe arc welding environment

DO:

  • Wear eye protection at all times when welding in accordance with ANSI Standard Z87.1.
  • Wear ear protection when operating or working within a confined environment wherein noise levels are considered hazardous. More information can be found in OSHA Standard 29, CFR, Part 1910, Sub-part Q, Welding, Cutting, and Brazing.
  • Wear flame-resistant clothing, including high boots, gloves, apron, leather leggings, etc. to protect skin from splatter, arc flash, sparks, and berries. See ANSI/ASC Z49.1, Safety in Welding and Cutting for more detailed information.
  • Wear a welding helmet or goggles to prevent burns and other damage caused by intense heat and light.
  • Wear respirators to protect lungs from harmful fumes.

DON’T:

  • Wear flammable synthetic fabrics.

Other precautions for a safe arc welding environment

DO:

  • Handle materials carefully to prevent cuts from sharp metal edges.
  • Use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury when lifting heavy materials.
  • Reduce trips and falls by diminishing loose cabling on the floor and noting hazards where they remain through signage.
  • Avoid arc stud welding if you have been fitted with a heart pacemaker as the high currents can create elevated magnetic fields.

PFSNO takes pride in the distribution of welding equipment that meets or exceeds national welding standards. Consult with our experts to ensure that your arc stud welding environment is safe for all of your employees.

When Hot Work Isn't an Option

November 15, 2015 8:06 am

Corrosion-resistant and plentiful, aluminum has become more widely used in diverse fabrication industries from automobiles to marine vessels. Because it is lightweight, particularly in comparison to steel, aluminum has the potential to reduce the weight of vehicles by as much as 60%, resulting in significant fuel savings.

However, due to its thermal conductivity, aluminum is also subject to deformation during hot work. Additionally, the strength of the heat affected zone (HAZ) is compromised by as much as 50% during welding.

One way to avoid the problems associated with exposing aluminum elements to welding heat is to avoid welding heat altogether. The industrial strength adhesive Click Bond, designed by scientists and engineers, eliminates the need for welding without compromising the strength of fabrications.

Fastening strength approved by the FAA the ABS

While some skeptics still exist when it comes to innovative adhesive fasteners like Click Bond, the product has garnered the approval the Federal Aviation Administration and the American Bureau of Shipping. It has passed rigorous industry tests and proven to be strong enough to be used in the construction of airplanes, offshore environments, marine vessels, and even space-bound vessels.

No damage to aluminum structures via hot work

By eliminating the need for welding, an industrial adhesive allows parts to be joined without impairing the strength of aluminum alloys.

Reduced weight

Lightweight components such as specially designed Click Bond Advanced Composite screws, bolts, and pins, mean that choosing these innovative fasteners will further reduce the weight burden placed on transportation vehicles.

Increased corrosion resistance

Created from a thermoplastic mix, Click Bond’s composite fasteners are capable of weathering highly corrosive environments such as offshore oil rigs and marine vessels far better than metal parts.

The elimination of rivet holes

In addition to eliminating hot work, Click Bond can also replace drilled rivets that compromise the structural integrity of vessels. Rivet holes along with crevices created during welding contribute to corrosion, but that’s not an issue with an industrial adhesive

To learn more about innovative industrial fastening products such as Click Bond, contact the fastener experts at Production Fastening Systems.

What Causes Cracking Around Industrial Fasteners?

November 1, 2015 12:00 pm

Federal laws such as the Fastener Quality Act seek to ensure standardized, rigorously tested industrial fasteners, and responsible fastener manufacturers, likewise, work continuously to identify vulnerabilities in designs. However, even vigilance and strict specifications cannot prevent all fastener failures. That makes it critical for users of fasteners to understand the their causes.

Fatigue contributes to some cases of delayed failure. Like all mechanical elements, perpetual, cyclic pressure on a stud weld, rivet, or other fastener, will eventually result in normal wear and tear. Because this is an anticipated failure, it is less common than stress cracking. Manufacturers are able to identify variables that may contribute to the part’s weaknesses and provide a measure of a particular series of fasteners relative strength.

Stress cracking is the more common and less predictable of the potential failures. The factors that contribute to stress cracking are not as measurable and fluctuate more than the variable that contribute to fatigue failure. While two factors remain consistent with fatigue failure – the strength of the design and materials as well as the tensile stress they are subject to, other rogue elements add to stress, including:

Hydrogen Embrittlement

The most commonly cited cause of stress cracking is hydrogen embrittlement, which occurs when atomic hydrogen is absorbed by a fastener. Many circumstances can result in this vulnerability, including the absorption of hydrogen into a fastener’s surface during a faulty electroplating process. Coupling aluminum alloys to steel creates hydrogen at the steel electrode, which creating hydrogen embrittlement. Incidentally, a more stressed area will absorb hydrogen at a more rapid rate, compounding existing stress.

Caustic Embrittlement

Caustic cracking becomes a problem when metals and alloys are corroded by sodium or potassium hydroxide. Caustic embrittlement results in cracks in boilers where high concentrations of sodium carbonate undergoes hydrolysis to form sodium hydroxide, making the water alkaline. As alkaline water enters into miniscule cracks existing within the metal, hydroxide levels increase and exacerbate corrosion.

Sulfide Stress Cracking (SSC)

Marine environments are particularly vulnerable to sulfide stress cracking, created when tensile stress is combined with the corrosive presence of water and hydrogen sulfide. The aggressive environment found on oil rigs and other offshore environments may contribute to localized corrosion around bolts, rivets, and welds even in high-strength steels.

While neither stress nor corrosion can be entirely eliminated, starting any joining project with high quality, thoroughly tested fasteners will offer a stronger foundation and a longer lifespan for structures. To learn about the superior quality metal fasteners and fastening systems offered by Production Fastening Systems, contact our specialists today.