What Is Butt-Welding?

Butt-welding is the process of joining two pieces of material together along a single edge in a single plane. This process can be used on many types of materials, though metal and thermoplastics are the most common. When two sheets of steel are laid side-by-side and joined together along a single joint, this is an example of butt-welding.

Usually, a butt-welding joint is made by gradually heating up the two weld ends with a weld plate and then joining them under a specific pressure. This process is very suitable for prefabrication and producing special fittings Afterward, the material is usually ground down to a smooth finish and either sent on its way to the processing machine, or sold as a completed product.
This type of weld is usually accomplished with an arc or MIG welder. It can also be accomplished by brazing. With arc welding, after the butt weld is complete, the weld itself needs to be struck with a hammer forge to remove slag (a type of waste material) before any subsequent welds can be applied. This is not necessary for MIG welds however, as a protective gas removes any need for slag to appear. Another advantage with a MIG welder is that a continuous copper wire is fed onto the stock, making the weld virtually inexhaustible.

Preparation

The first stage in preparing to butt weld is to clean the surfaces of both pieces of metal. Dirt or debris may make the welding process inefficient and lead to imperfections in the final weld. Use a soft, damp cloth to remove any debris and ensure both ends fit together smoothly.

Safety

Welding can be a dangerous activity, so make sure there are no flammable items near your workstation. Any items of clothing, alcohol-based substances and fuels such as gasoline should be kept well away from your work site. It only takes a stray spark to ignite these materials and cause a fire. Ensure you have a welder’s mask and safety gloves on too before you begin the process.

Process

Butt welding can be performed manually using a hand held welder, but is most often done through the use of an automated machine. Both segments of metal are secured in the welding machine using clamps. The machine pressure is then set and the heating feature activated. Once the welding machine is powered up, electricity surges through the ends of the metal segments. They are then heated up so minor melting occurs and the ends are bound together. The liquefied metal swiftly cools down and solidifies into a single, stable unit once the machine is turned off.

Uses

Butt welds are commonly used in the construction of pipe lengths and other metal goods, such as instruments and tools for the manufacturing industry. Butt welding is hugely advantageous in the welding industry as it is the only welding joint that can be automated so a machine can repeat the process continuously. Pipe is bound together through the welding process and folded over the seams. Butt welding is also used in the manufacturing of thermoplastics

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