Rapid Takes Vegas!

by Rapid Welding 10. October 2012 11:49


The show is called FABTECH, North America's largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event. The venue is the Las Vegas Convention Centre....and Rapid is dropping in to say hello!

The event describes itself as 'a convenient 'one stop shop' venue where you can meet with world-class suppliers, see the latest industry products, and find the tools to improve productivity, increase profits and discover new solutions to all your metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing needs.' Running from November 12-14, the event will cover in excess of 400,000 square feet, and with 1,100 exhibiting companies it is expected to attract an attendance in excess of 25,000.

Marianne, who's a very lucky but very deserving girl, says, 'Rapid is hoping to find new, innovative products to bring to the UK as a distributor to enlighten and educate the UK market. We are buoyed by our success in becoming the sole CK agent following our attendance in Atlanta two years ago, and we already have many appointments with North America Manufacturers.'

In order to prevent downcast faces and pouty lips, which nobody wants to see, our four Rapid Representatives will also have the opportunity to enjoy their fair share of fun in the party capital too.

Watch out for our blog and follow us on Twitter, where we will keep you updated on what happens in Vegas, including news from the event, the fabulous surroundings and people, and a very special trip down memory lane....

For more information on FABTECH visit: http://www.fabtechexpo.com/overview.cfm 

Follow event on #fabtechexpo

Show days/Dates

Monday, November 12, 9.00am - 6.00pm

Tuesday, November 13, 9.00am - 5.00pm

Wednesday, November 14, 9.00am - 4.00pm








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Kemppi SuperSnake Protection Frame Now Available From Rapid

by Rapid Welding 3. October 2012 15:03

The Kemppi SuperSnake Protection Frame for the SuperSnake Subfeeder is now available from Rapid

  • Made of hot galvanised steel, the frame protects the feeders wire feed casing from damage in heavy environments and when device is pulled across the floor.

  • Can be used for carrying and hanging the SuperSnake Subfeeder.

  • Weighs in at 2.3kg.

  • Replaceable display protection piece.

  • Support for opened hatch.

  • Can be used with all GT02S/6153XXX and GT02SW/6154XXX models (the liquid-cooled models must have a new water hose connector (W004227) according to version A. It can be obtained as a supplement part for old products.


Visit Rapid's website for further details by clicking on: http://www.rapidwelding.com/dynamic/DisplayItem.aspx?c=6185276

Order ref: 6185276







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Submerged Arc Welding

by Rapid Welding 2. October 2012 09:42


Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) is so called bacause the tip of the welding wire, the arc, and the weld joint are covered by a layer of granular flux. The purpose of the flux is to act as a shield against spatter, fumes, and sparks, clean impurities from the weld metal, help prevent contamination and oxidisation, and shape the welding bead. In some cases, flux alters the chemical properties of the weld by adding alloy elements to the metal.

The process of SAW uses the heat of the arc to melt the surface of the metal and the end of the electrode to become the deposited weld metal. Flux covers the weld area and generates gases and slag to provide a 'glass-like' shield during the process.



Advantages of SAW:


  • High travel speed
  • Deep penetration
  • Safe to use - no visible arc or spatter
  • Weld quality is high and consistent
  • Fully automated - Beam-mounted, portable tractor or semi-automatic systems for heavy fabrication environments.
  • High productivity and deposition rate - It is possible to weld very large joint areas with fewer passes.
  • Easy set up.
  • SAW can be carried out both manually and by mechanised techniques. Mechanised welding is used in the majority of applications.   


'The machine does most of the work. The user just has to adjust the parameters when necessary. The new equipment is fairly simple for the operators to run."

Mike Flagg, SAW manager for the Lincoln Electric Co.






Flux comes in powder or granual form and can be mixed to create a paste, depending on the application it is used for. As with anything these days, it is important to choose the right kind of flux for the job otherwise there is a risk to the overall join quality. There are different fluxes for different metals and applications, such as but not limited to, aluminium and aluminium based alloys, steel, bronze, iron and ferous metals.

Flux Handling: Unopened packages should be stored in dry conditions. Once opened, packages should be used immediately or kept in a humidity controlled store for re-use and dried according to manufacturers guidelines. Slag or dust particles may change the composition of flux and could cause blockages to the feed system


SAW is slightly different to other welding processes, in that it doesn't produce high levels of spatter or fumes - depending on what is being welded. - and normal workplace extraction should be sufficient.

In terms of what the welder should wear, normal gear, such as a head shield and leather apron is often not necessary, although it is important to follow workplace procedures in place.

 Other PPE such as goggles, heavy gloves and protective shoes are required for related operations such as chipping or grinding.







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Meet Andy - Rapid's Online Specialist!

by Rapid Welding 25. September 2012 08:22

Meet Andy!

 'Our' Andy is on the front line when it comes to advising customers, answering queries, and going through product choices over the telephone. His cute dimples and charismatic smile beams from the top of the homepage every time you access the website, and with glowing customer reports as to the service he provides, we decided to delve a bit deeper and learn about the man behind the knowledge. I managed to pin Andy down in a rare moment off the phone and between web chats, to ask a few questions about welding, life, and his rise to becoming Rapids Online Specialist!  

Q.       Andy, what first sparked your interest in the welding industry? 

A.     I did a welding course at a local tech college when I was still at school, then did more welding for my Engineering apprenticeship.

Q.       What was your first weld job?

A.     Joining Universal Welding Alloys in Chessington in 1987

Q.       Worst Welding moment? 

A.     Using a 100 amp Plasma cutter for a whole morning without eye protection. I was young and never gave it the respect it deserved. I didn’t see for 2 days.

Q.       If you hadn’t gone into welding, what would you be doing now?

A.      Enjoying Retirement!

Q.       Worst thing about working in the welding industry?

A.     Lack of planning. Why is almost everything needed yesterday ?

Q.       If you were a customer, why would you choose Rapid?

A.     Because you know you will receive a quality product. We don’t buy anything we would not be happy to receive ourselves.

Q.       Favourite welding process and why? 

A.     Submerged Arc. Great speed and great quality, and so under-used. It will go down to 3mm material if needed and is pretty simple to set up.

Q.       Do you always smile for pictures?

A.     Certainly do. I have dimples and the Ladies love them.

Q.       Biggest pet hate?

A.     Radio Jingles. I turn off  Radio 2 everyday at 5.05pm to avoid the Simon Mayo Jingle.  I don’t even listen to commercial radio because of  the advertising Jingles.

Q.     Perfect day?

A.    Sailing in the Solent

Q.      Music you would get up and dance to? 

A.    The Spin Doctors -  Two Princes

Q.      One thing you wish you’d known when you were young?

A.     Never argue with a Female. Or even try to work them out.

Q.       What do you drink with dinner?

A.     Guinness. It's not just for breakfast you know !

Q.       The title or nickname your colleagues would give you?

A.     Maverick

Q.       You would be the person most likely to ….. at a works party? 

A.     Drink 20 pints and shout “Who wants a Lift?” 



Why Rapid's Customers love Andy.......

"Thanks for your excellent service. The online chat helped me choose the right equipment. You have welded me to your website."

"Andy sorted it out within 15 minutes of my enquiry."

"Very good general advice. If you are hobbyists don't hesitate to call them...it's not just the professionals they deal with."

"The online question and answer service was very useful."


Thanks Andy



Low-hy Rods - Baked Not Fried!

by Rapid Welding 5. September 2012 12:44

 When a welding electrode is removed from its factory container, the coating is vulnerable to absorbing moisture from the air. Moisture contamination in an electrode releases hydrogen into the metal during the welding process, which can cause the weld to crack and become brittle. 

Low Hydrogen, or low-hy rods, are used to create stronger welds than higher hydrogen electrodes. With added alloys to improve strength, low-hy rods are often favoured in the construction of ships, bridges, oil rigs and high rise buildings. Substandard equipment and improper usage could therefore result in unmentionable catastrophes. 




Two Ways To  Keep Rods Dry

Firstly, use within a certain time after unsealing the packaging, to prevent the rods absorbing moisture from the environment. The time frame will depend on the conditions and level of humidity being worked in. 

Secondly, it is possible to condition the rods in a rod oven, storing them at high temperatures for several hours. This effectively prevents the rod from absorbing moisture from the air and reduces the risk of damaging the weld.

 As with anything, it is always wise to adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines and low-hy rods are no exception. The rods are manufactured to be suitable for different welds and have acceptable moisture limits consistant with the types of covering and strength of the weld metal.

The main points to take into account are the desired weld quality, the environment, and the welding set-up, i.e. amperage, range and rod size.


Rapid have a range of rod ovens for sale online. Check out the website: http://www.rapidwelding.com/dynamic/TextSearch.aspx?t=2&cd=1&s=low%20hydrogen%20electrodes&sor=3



or call Andy on 02392 214214 for a more detailed discussion of your needs.



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On Your Arcs ...Get Set ...Weld!

by Rapid Welding 22. August 2012 09:59

Still Suffering from those Pesky Post-Olympic Blues? Have no fear. The Games are far from over, even for Welders!


All hail the fabulous sport of Wheelchair Rugby. 


Did you know Wheelchair Rugby was invented in 1977 - which apparently makes it quite young in terms of sporting activities - and premiered at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. This year it is said to be one of the most hotly anticipated sports in the Para-Olympics in London, with GB fielding a formidable team.

Wheelchair Rugby isn't particularly well publicised as a sport, but those in the know liken it to a mix of ice hockey, basketball and Rugby. From what I've seen it's fairly full on; making contact with the other players is to be expected, and although bodily contact is banned, players can and do use their wheelchairs to forcefully gain possession. The main objective is to dodge- or ram into - members of the opposing team in order to carry the ball across the goal line.  

Arcs at the ready!

As with any contact sport, injuries are part and parcel of the game, and not just to the players. While teams of Physio's line up ready to jump into action if a player is injured, joining them on the sidelines will be scores of...wait for it..... Welders! Yes, Welders will be there, primed and ready to fix broken equipment and get the players back in the game.


 A Welder Makes On-Site Repairs.


So come on all you professional and hobbyist welders, and the masses suffering from post-Olympic blues, let's get behind our Team - and our Teams support Team - one more time!

Wheelchair Rugby is running from September 5th - September 9th in the Olympic Park

For more information on this great sport and for player profiles, visit: http://www.itv.com/news/2012-08-21/murderball-medal-hopes-for-gb-in-wheelchair-rugby/

To anyone wanting to get involved, here's a link to the main governing body website: http://www.gbwr.org.uk/main/index.php



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Flashback Arrestors for Welding and Cutting Applications

by Rapid Welding 15. August 2012 12:34

Did you know that approximately 80% of all incidents are related to human error? 

With statistics like this there's no question that processes within the welding and cutting industry should be carried out by fully trained personel. Working with Acetylene, Propane or Hydrogen is a relatively safe process if handled correctly, but it can lead to dangerous situations very quickly if not.


When things go Wrong

The term 'Flashback' describes a condition which occurs when a flame returns into the supply system of a gas fuel. The causes of this vary, but may include: 

  • Wrong gas sequence during start-up
  • Blocked, worn, undersized or overheated blowpipe tip
  • Blocked section in the blowpipe, cutting attachment or heating attachment
  • Hose run over by vehicle during welding
  • Kinked or restricted hoses
  • Hoses of incorrect diameter
  • Wrong gas pressures - gauge should be in sight of operator
  • Gas hose too long causing pressure loss
  • Old gas hoses becoming still or brittle
  • Carbon or slag deposits blocking tip
  • Flame held too close to work surface
  • Hot metal falling on or burning through hose
  • Faulty equipment
  • Wrong equipment for the job

 Aviva - Risk Management Solutions


If an application results in a Flashback then a number of outcomes can occur:  The gas hose could burst, a flame could be located at the pressure regulator, or worse still, there is an explosion of the pressurized gas cylinder as the flame races through the hose at an impossible speed.

Alongside well trained staff and the correct maintenance of equipment, a Flashback Arrestor can protect against the risk of serious injury or damage. The level of protection offered will vary depending on the application being carried out, and it is always recommended tho seek advice on which product to ultimately go with.




Main Safety Elements of a Flashback Arrestor:

  • Non Return Valve - Stops the possibility of reverse gas flow, preventing two gases from creating a highly explosive mixture.
  • Flame Arrestor - A hollow cylindrical filter made of sintered stainless steel at the centre of this component effectively stops the Flashback by causing the flames flowing through the cylinder to lose energy and cool down.
  • Thermal Cut-Off Valve - Before dangerous temperatures are reached, an integrated plastic seal melts and activates a spring-loaded valve which cuts off the gas supply.

Rapid Stock a wide variety of Flashback Arrestors to suit your needs. Give Andy a call or follow the link to visit our website:





The Importance of Dry Air when Plasma Cutting

by Rapid Welding 7. August 2012 13:50

When operating a Plasma Cutter you need to have dry air. Dry air is important because if moisture is present in the line it will travel with the air and exit the end of the torch. Although not necessarily dangerous, water will change the gas mixture inside the torch and reduce the life of your consumables. Simply put, the arc will follow the moisture in all directions, damaging the electrode and nozzle and affecting the quality of the cut.


Says Rapid’s online expert: “I recently used a compressor with an air dryer and filter and was shocked that the consumables were hardly worn after 4 hours cutting. I would have normally expected to have changed consumables after 2 hours. 


So how does an air compressor actually work?

Firstly, the air we breathe is already compressed to around 14.7 PSI from pressure generated at sea level by the weight of the air above. PSI is a measure of force meaning Pounds per Square Inch.  An Air Compressor takes in this air through an intake port, via a mechanised system, pushing it into a smaller area - usually the air tank on the compressor. As more air is pushed inside, so the pressure too begins to increase.

The air is heated during this process, but once inside the tank it begins to cool and the moisture that is present in the air separates and pools at the bottom of the tank. The system is ongoing: as air exits the tank, so more air is pushed in and more water collects.

Plasma cutting requires a lot of air – unless the cuts made are very short – and so the tank capacity needs to be such that it is able to supply the appropriate CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute). Small compressors won’t have the tank capacity or longer duty cycle of the larger models, and running them continuously will greatly reduce their operating life. 


There are a number of Dryer/Filters on the market designed to keep the air moisture free and clean. Climate and humidity also play a vital part.

·         In very dry conditions there will be little or no moisture to separate from the air so a weekly manual draining will often suffice.

·         In low to medium humidity conditions, or where there is a low level of use, a coalescing or absorbing filter might be installed, such as the Eliminizer, which allows the compressed air to cool slightly as it passes down the line, separating or absorbing the water from the air. Reports on Filter Systems that use a paper filtration medium haven't been so good; the paper can break down, clogging the machine internally and contaminating the stream.  In these humidity conditions it is recommended to manually drain the tank once a day.

·         In high humidity conditions you may want to consider installing an automatic drainer on your compressor or consider – especially during levels of high production – a refrigerated air-dryer.


The bottom line is it all comes down to the amount of work you're doing and the conditions you’re working in. There are many products out there to supplement your requirements, but as machinery doesn’t come cheap it pays to do the research and protect your investment. It is also worth checking the operators manual on your current compressor to check what filters are already installed.

At Rapid, there is a large selection of dryers and filters to view online, and if you are in any doubt as to which is the right product for you, then feel free to contact the team or ask Andy.




A new Era in Welding Training - Launch of the Welding & Fabrication eLearning DVD

by Rapid Welding 2. August 2012 11:45


Within hours of launching the Welding & Fabrication E-Learning DVD Package, Rapid took its first order! 


 Learners can carry out training in a safe environment before entering the workplace.




Rapid Welding is proud to announce the launch of an innovative and modern instruction package from Weldability Sif, consisting of a Welding and Fabrication eLearning DVD which gives learners the opportunity to develop a theoretical understanding of modern welding and cutting processes. This new software – aligned to the National Occupational Standards (NSO), provides a firm foundation from which to progress into further practical learning of welding, cutting and brazing processes, can be used as a support tool whilst taking any number of welding progression pathways,or as a return-to-work memoire.


This exciting new eLearning package is more than just a simple welder training DVD. It provides a comprehensive introduction to all associated skills supporting the welding process.


For Instance, the Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) module covers:

  • Health and Safety
  • PPE
  • Safety Signs
  • Control of Hazardous Substances
  • Working at Height
  • Basic First Aid
  • Manual Handling
  • Risk Assessments
  • Fire Protection
  • Electrical Safety
  • Working as a Team
  • Communicating Technical Information



Other modules include Engineering Materials, Metal Fabrication and Cutting and Quality Control, and each module is summarised by an overview and short knowledge test. Once the modules are complete you can apply your newly gained knowledge in a fully interactive 3D workshop where you are given a set of realistic scenarios to experience each welding process.


To view a demo and for more information click: http://www.rapidwelding.com/dynamic/DisplayItem.aspx?c=E-LEARNING&zl=1







Tips On Staying Cool At Work

by Rapid Welding 25. July 2012 16:03


So it's hot, finally, and despite our grumblings that the Great British summer was never going to arrive I'm sure there are a few of us - namely those operating heated welding tools under the blue, cloudless sky whilst shrouded in PPE - who wish it would cool down just a tad.

Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone and in some cases can lead to heat stroke. According to the NHS, symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Feeling flushed
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Mental confusion
  • Extreme tierdness
  • Urinating less often/ darker coloured urine  



So for those of you who don't have the luxury of an air conditioned work space to take sanctury in, here are a few tips to help you keep your cool!  

  • Work as early or as late as possible to avoid the mid-day heat.
  • Take regular breaks and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Water isn't the most exciting of drinks, but caffine will have the opposite effect to what you want. Try adding concentrated juice to water to make it more enjoyable.
  • Fact is, you're going to get hot and sweaty and tierd, so eat plenty to keep energy levels up. Try to eat cold foods like salads and foods with a high water content such as fruit.
  • If you are working indoors, try turning off electrical equipment not required for use as these can generate additional heat.
  • Advise workers on heat stress, especially new or young employees.
  • Even when you're not working, take care to avoid sun burn. Use sun cream or cover up and wear a hat.

A person with heat exhaustion should be moved quickly to somewhere cool and given fluids (preferably water) to drink. It is always advisable to seek medical attention.

For more information visit:  http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/heatstress/index.htm 





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