Stainless steel is the preferred material for highly regulated industries such as nuclear power, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage for their piping, tanks, and pressure vessels. Stainless steel offers a variety of benefits that make it so appealing: corrosion resistance, durability, and resistance to bacterial growth being a few key features.
Many of the benefits of stainless steel can be undone by a poor quality weld. Contaminants that enter the weld area can cause the stainless to lose its corrosion resistance. Corrosion and pitting will not only lead to leaks, it can also contaminate the product flowing through a pipe or being held in a tank. Along with its own contamination, corroded areas will give bacteria a foothold to rapidly grow, which can be disastrous for pharmaceutical or food and beverage operations.
It is absolutely vital that welders take care to use proper purging procedures while using approved and safe materials for stainless steel. Aquasol Corporation’s Water Soluble Paper and EZ Purge® pre-formed water soluble purge dams are preferred choices for stainless steel as they lack contaminants that can enter the weld zone and increase the effectiveness of a purge while reducing the consumption of argon.
Aquasol’s water soluble paper and EZ Purge® dams are both EPA and CE approved, chloride free, and 100% biodegradable. The water soluble paper can be cut to fit a variety of pipe schedules while the pre-formed EZ Purge® and its self-adhesive lining offers reduced setup times and ease-of-use. EZ Purge® also features ZAP (Zero Air Permeability) technology to give operators the optimum purge and weld for their stainless steel. When the weld is completed, the paper can be washed out with water. As the paper or EZ Purge® dissolves it will leave no residue behind.
Aquasol’s paper and EZ Purge® dams are frequently used in nuclear reactor plants and other strictly regulated operations to achieve high quality welds with stainless steel as many other products or “makeshift” dams can cause excessive contamination of the weld.