This process was developed between the two world wars for the welding
of heavy sections in ships, combat vehicles and pressure vessels.
In this process, an arc is struck between a continuously fed bare
wire electrode and the work piece. The arc and molten metal are
submerged in a blanket of granular fusible flux. The flux has a
similar composition to that of the coating materials used in the
manufacture of manual arc welding electrodes. It serves to provide
a good arc stability and the required chemical and mechanical properties
of the welds by using relatively high current densities deep penetrations
and thus, high welding speeds can be obtained.
Submerged arc welding may be used with semi-automatic as well as
fully automatic process. The automatic submerged arc welding process
is used extensively for welding plain carbon steels, low-alloyed
steels, high strength low-alloyed steels and stainless steels. The
process is most suitable for making flat butt or fillet welds. The
main application areas of this process are circumferential welding's
of large diameter pipes and thanks, longitudinal welding of fuel
storage tanks, ship plates. "I" beams and other heavy
sections. This process is also used for the hard surfacing of large
parts, such us the wear parts in earth moving and mining equipment,
hot drawing cylinders in the steel industry, etc.