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Old 12-06-2012, 04:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JFlowers1300 View Post
Is that what will happen if it's not backed purged with argon gas regardless of the welder's ability?
Exactly. Every welder worth his salt should back flush these welds. Obviously, a sanitary weld is not required in this scenario but back flushing doesnt take that much extra effort. It can be set up with cardboard and duct tape.


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Old 12-06-2012, 04:52 AM   #12
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Alright, thanks to everyone for the advice. It's really starting to sound like my initial worries about this place might be accurate. It seems like they just don't want to take the time to do what I need them to, the welds will just have to wait a little while longer to be done right, unfortunately, but at least my kegs weren't ruined figuring that out the hard way!



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Old 12-06-2012, 04:54 AM   #13
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So, my next question... Anyone know of any reputable SS welders in the Orlando area?

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Old 12-07-2012, 02:08 PM   #14
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Okay, injecting ferrous materials is one thing that should be avoided in the grinding and finishing process.

BUT - you guys are a little nuts with the back flushing of the welds. I have done a lot of welding in my time, took a night school class to learn it and improve my skills, and worked in industrial maintenance for a large national poultry processing plant that produced all of the chicken for Wendy's chicken sandwiches globally. I was the welder for my shift and everything there was stainless. I can tell you that in an FDA inspected plant, there was never back gassing of the welds. If properly shielded with argon and tig welded, then there will be no sugaring, porosity, or issues. By welding from both sides as the welder suggested above, this will further flush and smooth the weld. This is often called tig washing by experienced welders and is a process used in food service applications to smooth and flush the weld bead without grinding.

Think about it this way, when you boil something like wort, the by-products rise through the liquid and escape out of the top surface of the liquid. The same thing happens in a weld. When you strike an arc and burn in to your base metal, you push the impurities to the surface of the weld. The shielding gas displaces the impurities and keeps them from re-entering the weld surface until it has cooled. The sugaring that you get on the back side of the weld is from the arc burning through on the back side of the thin metal and that is partly inexperience of the person welding but nothing that a tig wash on the back side won't fix.

Do you really think that welders back gas large welds in bulk holding tanks or vessels in food processing plants? No way as it is impractical and unnecessary. That may be the reason that some welders look at you like you have two heads.

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Old 12-07-2012, 02:57 PM   #15
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Okay, injecting ferrous materials is one thing that should be avoided in the grinding and finishing process.

BUT - you guys are a little nuts with the back flushing of the welds. I have done a lot of welding in my time, took a night school class to learn it and improve my skills, and worked in industrial maintenance for a large national poultry processing plant that produced all of the chicken for Wendy's chicken sandwiches globally. I was the welder for my shift and everything there was stainless. I can tell you that in an FDA inspected plant, there was never back gassing of the welds. If properly shielded with argon and tig welded, then there will be no sugaring, porosity, or issues. By welding from both sides as the welder suggested above, this will further flush and smooth the weld. This is often called tig washing by experienced welders and is a process used in food service applications to smooth and flush the weld bead without grinding.

Think about it this way, when you boil something like wort, the by-products rise through the liquid and escape out of the top surface of the liquid. The same thing happens in a weld. When you strike an arc and burn in to your base metal, you push the impurities to the surface of the weld. The shielding gas displaces the impurities and keeps them from re-entering the weld surface until it has cooled. The sugaring that you get on the back side of the weld is from the arc burning through on the back side of the thin metal and that is partly inexperience of the person welding but nothing that a tig wash on the back side won't fix.

Do you really think that welders back gas large welds in bulk holding tanks or vessels in food processing plants? No way as it is impractical and unnecessary. That may be the reason that some welders look at you like you have two heads.
Every tank I ever had any retrofit welding on from 50bbl to 300bbl had the weld back flushed. I agree it is not always necessary when using low heat and a tig torch. I do think that if the welder in question did a good job on the outer weld, that doing follow up pass on the back would yield a good product. But most welding shops just break out their MIG and leave results like the first couple posts.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:58 PM   #16
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I dare the OP to let that guy weld on his kegs and post pictures later. I love Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich, but now I'm worried about eating them ;-) Just kidding. This is the first time I've ever heard of a sanitary welder not back gassing. If you get penetration on the keg wall, you'll get sugaring. Back gassing with argon is the simple way to avoid this and if you use a volume reducing attachment, you don't spend up all your gas in the process. In vessels this size, there really is no room to get in there and play around with welding from the inside. Most of the sanitary standards that the FDA would lean on are specific to the dairy and pharma industries and even a quick glance from someone outside of that industry can find back purging language. Hey, what do I know. I have never TIG welded in my life so I could be blowing smoke, but I do know how to read. That's probably just enough info be an ass though.

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Old 12-07-2012, 03:47 PM   #17
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I will accept the challenge and be willing to post the pictures myself. If the OP wants to pay to ship the keggles both ways to Georgia, send the fittings, and throw in $20 for the consumables that I use, bring it on. I am not trying to be arrogant or assinine. I would say that back gassing is an insurance policy against a crappy weld from an unskilled or unprepared welder.

As far as mig welding stainless goes I have never attempted it and don't know what the results would be if I tried. In my opinion, this is one of those ares where just because you CAN doesn't mean that you should. I can say that the weld pictured earlier in the post was something that was not tig.

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Old 12-07-2012, 03:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
I dare the OP to let that guy weld on his kegs and post pictures later. I love Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich, but now I'm worried about eating them ;-) Just kidding. This is the first time I've ever heard of a sanitary welder not back gassing. Hey, what do I know. I have never TIG welded in my life so I could be blowing smoke, but I do know how to read. That's probably just enough info be an ass though.
For the record, I still eat chicken sandwiches from Wendy's. I always thought it a bit macabre but the served fried chicken in the cafeteria almost every day...and it was good chicken.

And Bobby, you aren't blowing smoke....you are back gassing :-).
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:53 PM   #19
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Argoodin is correct in a way on this. The picture Bobby posted has something that protrudes through the sidewall. In this case you would need to purge the otherside with argon. If you make the hole smaller on the keg and weld a half coupling to the sidewall you don't have to purge the otherside and worry about sugaring. All of the argon will be shielding the puddle on the front when the half coupling will be welded to the keg. If the welder burns through that keg then yes it will reach oxygen and cause sugaring. A lot of pipe fitters love the socket weld style fittings because it's a small fillet weld that doesn't require purging.

On the flip side of this is trying to be as sanitary (clean and smooth) as possible for us homebrewers to avoid small places for infections to form. You do want to purge and get the puddle hot enough to create a nice bead on the inside as well. If you don't have your heat high enough and just join the top layer of metal together, you'll still have a lip/crack where the two joints meet on the inside which can leave an area for bacteria and junk to form. You want that puddle of molten metal to go all the way through to have a nice bead both inside and out for 16ga (.065) sanitary systems.

Like others have said I'm no certified welder that been welding for decades but I've been around stainless welders that have.

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Old 12-07-2012, 04:06 PM   #20
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By welding from both sides as the welder suggested above, this will further flush and smooth the weld. This is often called tig washing by experienced welders and is a process used in food service applications to smooth and flush the weld bead without grinding.
The problem in a lot of our setups is that you cannot weld from both sides when the coupling sits as low as it does in the kettle.


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