Welding and cutting process and wastes

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The primary raw material for ship construction is steel plates. All types of metal arriving at the shipyard are in standard size and length plates, shapes, and sections that may need customized sizing based on different requirements. Therefore, before welding, fabrication, and ship construction or repair, the material must be cut to required sizes, shapes, and lengths. Metal cutting in the shipyard is performed by either mechanical or thermal hot metal cutting operations (Kura et al., 1998).

Various types of welding processes are used to join the different types of metals used in the construction of ships. Fusion welding, in particular, is performed at almost all locations in the shipyard. An important factor in welding processes is shielding. In most welding processes, this shielding is accomplished by addition of a flux, a gas, or a combination of the two.

The waste generally depends on the methods and magnitude of welding employed. The waste generated by welding of thin metals by any method is the used diluted acids. The wastewater is sent for on-site/off-site treatment and other wastes such as slag are disposed as solid wastes. Welding rod stubs, wire stubs contaminated with flux and welding wire spools are the solid wastes that come from these activities. Welding fumes and particulate emissions are the potential air emissions from these operations.

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