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welding under water

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  • welding under water

    I was watching an old World War 2 movie and saw Navy Seals welding underwater to make emergency repairs to a ship. I was just curious as to how this was possible without shorting out or frying the operator, espeically in salt water. I would think that as soon as power was applied to the rod holder, it would short through the water to the work. I have no intention of trying this, it's just something that I've been curious about for a long time. When I first saw a submerged arc power source in a catalog, I thought that it was for underwater welding until I read more and found out that submerged arc
    acutally is welding in a bed of flux.

  • #2

    i heard that they dip the welding rod in wax ?



    • #3
      wax ?

      seems that the wax wouldnt hold long? solid ox would be my gess not an arc ? just gessing but all the older underwater iv seen was flame of sorts (solid oxigin torches been around a long time). although the special forces do have acces to the newest tecnolagy they tend to stick to what works best and is reliable (not always the newest thing on the market)
      just my $.02
      thanks for the help
      hope i helped
      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
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      • #4
        The way I understand it they use DC only. Diver has communication with dry land and an assistant throws what amounts to a knife switch when the diver requests it. When done diver tells asst to cut the power. They use, I understand, specially coated electrodes. This is wet water welding. Generally used for emergency repairs like a patch or something.
        The definition of courage. "It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through to the end no matter what." From "To Kill a Mockingbird"


        • #5
          The rod they use are 6013 dipped in airplane dope. They only take a few rods with them because their life is short, there are proprietary type rods also , but I have never seen them listed. The knife switch is true, Diver only touches rod when no current is on. The water cuts down on the visible light so only a number 5 lens is needed, most of the diving is hardhat and not SCUBA. Some of these emergency welds will last quite a while and are only replaced if needed when in drydock, they are not as strong as 'landbased' welds due to the quenching effect of the water. OxyHydrogen cutting is done underwater, acetylene is not used as it will selfcombust if over 15psi and at about 20 feet you probably need 30psi. The movie 'Men of Honor' with Deniro and Cuba Gooding has some welding stuff in it, it is a pretty good Navy Diver movie. I got this info from Lincon's welding procedure book printed in 1990, Paul
          More Spark Today Pleasesigpic


          • #6
            Underwater work

            They make underwater welding and cutting systems
            Dynasty 200DX With TEC Superflex 9 & 17 Torches,
            Hypertherm 30A Plasma
            Rincoln SP130T Mig


            • #7
              Sorry for the late reply, have been busy the last few days. Take a look at the Arcair website. They manufacture underwater torches and consumables.


              • #8
                I was going through diving school in seattle and learned a little about the welding, but never got that far in the school. Had to leave for reasons not getting into here.

                Dont remember much about the welding but the cutting is done with a rod that uses oxygen to keep it going the fuel is metal based and burns at like 10k deg and will just anything.

                Dry Creek Welding
                Dynasty 300DX Tigrunner
                Trailblazer 302
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                suitcase 12RC


                • #9
                  Back 17 or 18 years ago, I had a friend that went to an underwater welding school, somewhere in southern California. He had already attended a Technical School here and recieved his degree. After he got the underwater certification he went to work welding on off shore drilling rigs, made big bucks, but since the deepest water around me is at the local municipal pool, I never gathered any info from him.


                  • #10
                    uw welding

                    i attended a deep-sea dive school in the bay area.

                    we used 6010 rods coated in shellac. the stinger was

                    insulated and all you had to remember was not to ground

                    yourself. we were in a small tank filled with water,

                    but sufficient to learn the principals of uw welding.

                    also the dive master said an electrolysis occurs with

                    the current flowing thru the water which could affect

                    the enamel on your teeth.


                    • #11
                      bobw does that mean a woman underwater welder's extra fleshy parts could act as capacitors?