Page d'accueil/Blog/[EN] Submerged Arc Welding: Advantages and Disadvantages



[EN] Submerged Arc Welding: Advantages and Disadvantages

Technologie, Soudage à l'arc Submergé

[EN] Submerged arc welding (SAW) was one of the first welding processes to be developed and still is widely used in various sectors of the metalworking industry, such as shipbuilding or renewable energies. Like the other processes, this one also presents its set of advantages and disadvantages and, therefore, it is important to study the company's needs before investing in this or any other welding process.

The possibility of welding metal parts had a great impact on the development of the metalworking industry, as it made possible to streamline production times, reduce costs and increase the quality of the finished parts. The shipbuilding industry, for example, took a big leap with the development of welding processes as it allowed the creation of stronger and lighter structures.

One of the first processes developed was submerged arc welding, also known as SAW.



Submerged Arc Welding is a welding process in which heat is supplied, through an electric arc, between a wire electrode and the workpiece.

Both the electrode and the part are covered by a layer of granular flux that guarantees protection against the effects of atmospheric gases. This flux also works as a thermal insulator, storing a large concentration of heat that allows high penetration of the weld bead into the workpiece. The remaining unfused granular stream is collected for reuse.

Since it is covered with this protective cover, the electric arc is not visible, which means that the welding does not spark or spatter, unlike other welding processes such as MIG/MAG welding or TIG welding.

In addition to being a process widely used in the naval industry, it can also be used in other medium/large components, boilers, shipyards, platforms, among others.

MOTOFIL has several robotic cells installed, especially in the structural steel industry in the manufacture of beams and profiles.



Submerged Arc Welding is ideal for parts that require a long straight weld bead. It has advantages such as:

  • High quality of the welding process;
  • Torch travel speed can be quite high (compared to processes like MIG/MAG or TIG welding);
  • The granular flux prevents visible welding arcs and reduces smoke from the process, which minimizes the investment in protection and aspiration equipment and makes the working environment safer;
  • Greater profitability, as there is no loss of material in projections;
  • High deposition rates which allow welding of large thicknesses;
  • It is capable of welding small or large thicknesses and the vast majority of steels (this advantage makes this process ideal for welding tanks, large pipes or beams);
  • Granular flux can be reused in other projects (there is a limitation on the number of times the flux is reused);
  • Welding bead features high impact resistance and good appearance.



Like all other welding processes, this one also has some limitations that should be considered when choosing the ideal welding process.

Some of the limitations or disadvantages of submerged arc welding are:

  • Due to the large weld pool, the weld has to be done in a horizontal position;
  • The process requires more training from its operators given greater complexity and control of the process;
  • More limited process (the developed equipment is difficult to adapt to other purposes).



Before choosing any of the welding processes, it is important to analyze the complexity and volume of parts that we are going to weld, the time we have and the investment we are willing to make.

If you're not convinced which process is right for you, talk to us! MOTOFIL has over 30 years of know-how in the development of robotic welding equipment and has a team of specialized technicians capable of providing the ideal solution for your challenge.


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