What is Maritime Welding and Why is it Important in Hampton Roads?

Maritime welding is a process that produces coalescence of material by heating them to its welding temperature, with or without application of pressure or use of filler metal. Maritime welding can be performed both offshore and/or at the docks during the shipbuilding processes. Modern welding techniques are employed in shipbuilding. Before, welding ships were being assembled using clinches. Nowadays, welding is preferred because it is water resistant.

There are numerous maritime welding techniques that are employed today. The processes are unique and depends on the manner in which heat, pressure or both heat and pressure are applied as well as the typical equipment utilized. These techniques involve welding using: shielded metal arc, Gas Tungsten Arc, Submerged Arc, Gas Metal Arc, and Oxyacetylene.

In recent years, maritime welding has utilized ceramic welding, especially when it comes to the shell plate of the vessels. The welding process is done with the use of ceramic weld backings, X-ray to ensure quality, full penetration welds is applied on one side in a single pass. This technique achieves high quality weld, saves time, labor and materials. The weld backing can then be utilized for to compensate poor fit-ups, and is essential when the welding conditions are not ideal or when the back side of the weld joint cannot be easily accessed.

Day to Day Responsibilities of a Maritime Welder

Maritime welders are tasked with laying out and fabricating metal structures such as bulkheads, plates, frames, and braces and placing them in position within hull of the ship for welding or riveting. It typically involves laying down the segments of metals by relying on the working templates or blueprints using hand tools.

As a maritime welder, you are tasked with locating and marking reference lines like the buttock, center as well as the frame lines. Using riggers to position the hull of the ship and making sure all the parts are aligned with respect to each other, with the help of turnbuckles, jacks, wedges, clips and mauls.

Marking of hole locations that need drilling as well as installing temporary fasteners to hold the parts in place for riveting or welding. You actively install gaskets, packing, liners along with structural members and accessories like hatches, doors, clips and brackets. May at times be required to prepare templates and molds for fabrication of nonstandard parts.

Tacking of weld clips and brackets in place prior to permanent welding is a necessary technique employed any maritime welders daily. Bending, rolling, cutting and shaping beams, plates and other heavy metal parts using retail machinery, like presses, rolls, bending brakes, as well as joggle machines.

Why is this Type of Welding Important in the Hampton Roads Area?

Welding is a high demand field that is characterized with versatility in terms of career paths. As a welder you could secure employment in education engineering, inspection, robotics, project management, or sales.

Being a professional maritime welder in Hampton Roads area could help  you find employment due to the maritime industry that thrives in the region. Numerous ports are centered on Hampton Roads. According to a report filed by the Virginia maritime industry, the Virginia ports processed 78.9 million tons of foreign and domestic cargo to other countries and states in the year 2013, with an estimated value of $75.4 billion.

To appreciate the sheer volume moved, the 78.9 million tons means transporting an average of four million pounds daily. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average weight of light-duty passenger automobiles in FY 2013 was 4,015 pounds. Therefore, the Virginia maritime industry equates to over one hundred thousand automobiles in a day.

Getting Started with a Career in the Maritime Welding Industry

An entry level job in the maritime welding industry usually requires a formal degree. Training could enable you to acquire the required engineering knowledge needed to develop advanced welding techniques and operate machinery. An associate degree in this discipline should explore physics, higher level math, project management and welding.

To enhance employability, you are often required to join a professional organization. There are numerous professional organizations that are available including the Edison Welding Institute (EWI), among others.

ATI is Ready to Teach, if You’re Ready to Learn Welding

The Advanced Technology Institute is an industry leader that offers hands-on training in maritime welding industry. Enrolling into an Associate Degree in Occupational Science in Maritime Welding Technology with Service Management should expose you to all the practical aspects of maritime welding technologies. The course is structured in a manner that it could equip you with the needed knowledge and practical skills through engaging training sessions and laboratory sessions. Contact us today to find out more about this exciting program.

Maritime Welding Training