ESAB is launching the Elite Optiflow gas regulator that is claimed to cut the consumption of shielding gas by up to 50 per cent. Unlike welding wire and the regulator, shielding gas is invisible, so the cost is often overlooked. Now, gas welding operations can achieve substantial savings in shielding gas usage; payback on this investment can be achieved in just a few months, and thereafter the savings can make a notable improvement to gas welding profitability. Users who upgrade to the Elite Optiflow gas regulator can find that it will pay for itself very quickly.
With traditional regulators, a large amount of gas is lost on start-up. The new ESAB Optiflow has an optimum start flow that is just a quarter of a traditional regulator. This is achieved through the inclusion of a two-stage reduction valve that has been developed specifically for use with welding shielding gases. Its pressure-sensitive second stage reduces the gas surge that normally occurs at start-up of gas-arc welding, saving up to 50 per cent of the gas when welding normally. Savings are particularly pronounced with start-stop welding processes.
The more welding that is undertaken with Optiflow, the greater the savings. Typically, if a user normally consumes around five tons of welding wire per year, with half of the welds being long welds and the rest being spot welds, Optiflow could save up to 2000 Euros per year.
Optiflow ensures that the gas flow is very accurately regulated and kept constant even when the pressure in the cylinder drops. An even start flow provides a higher quality weld, since any turbulence that can disturb the welding process is avoided. With this higher-quality weld, the risk for pores in the welded joint is minimised. Lower gas consumption means less time changing cylinders, increasing effective production up- time for welding.
From an environmental viewpoint, Optiflow can produce up to 50 per cent more welded joints with the same amount of gas. This means less environmental impact and also a reduction in the amount of gas that might require transportation.
Optiflow is available in two basic versions, either for connection to gas cylinders or as part of a system for outlet points. For even greater savings, Optiflow is also available in a lockable version to ensure the exact gas flow is always achieved. This is a major advantage for users always looking to ensure the highest and most consistent welding quality, as might be required for companies with ISO 9001 certification.
Optiflow II is a special version with an extra gas outlet for backing gas. This reduction valve is primarily used for welding where the user wants to take both the shielding gas and the backing gas from the same cylinder and adjust them separately. The same savings for shielding gas are obtained as with the basic Optiflow.
For more information about ESAB products, including the Elite Optiflow gas regulator, please visit www.esab.co.uk.