Last Updated on August 15, 2021 by weldinghubs
Welding pipes is a task that many people do not enjoy. It can be hard to get the perfect angle on the pipe every time, and it takes hours to complete one project. How often have you tried to weld pipes and had them turn out horribly? I know I have! Thankfully, there is an easy solution for this problem: beveled welding pipes. All you need are a few basic tools, some patience, and some creativity to make your welds look great.
So here in this article, I will share the details about the bevel pipe for welding and how to use it for creating it.
But first, let’s discuss how to bevel pipe for welding?
There are different methods to bevel the pipes for welding that includes:
But keep in mind that the bevel of the pipes is not as simple. So there is more to know for the welders for better understanding and deciding which method works best for you and your project.
So let’s dive into it.
# Table of Contents
What is Pipe Beveling?
Pipe beveling is the process of reducing the radius of a pipe end to bevel it. This is done by grinding or cutting away material from one side and leaving more on the opposite side, creating an angle with the bottom surface. A common angle used in pipe welding is a 37.5-degree bevel.
Pipe beveling can be used in many different applications that require joining pipes together such as building gas lines, building water lines, welding pipes together, making a pipe joint sealant, such as duct tape or silicone, more effective. This is often called “stuffing” the joint with something to make it airtight and waterproof.
While beveled joints are generally stronger than butt welds and less expensive than threaded joints, they do require a more skilled welder and are usually only done in the field.
Pipe beveling is not just for pipes! You can also use this technique on other cylindrical objects such as aluminum or steel strapping to prevent unraveling.
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Why Bevel Pipe for Welding?
Beveling is an important process that destroys the edges of a tube in order to make it safe. This also provides for aesthetically pleasing results by having smooth ends on all welds. Simply put, beveling reduces the chance of sharp points and makes welding easier with smoother surfaces at each end of the pipes being joined together.
- The beveling also helps with the penetration of hot filler metal which is why it is important to bevel all pipes that will be welded together.
- The process itself can easily be done on a manual pipe cutting machine or as part of an automated welding setup and typically requires minimal preparation time in advance.
- To ensure that the pipe is cut at a precise angle, it must be set in place and clamped securely before cutting.
- After clamping, simply pivot the tube 90 degrees to create an angled edge which will allow for proper penetration of filler metal during welding.
- In some cases, welders may need to insert the second piece of pipe to act as a support for the beveled pipe being cut.
- This is done in order to create an overhang that will prevent the tube from bending and breaking when it’s cut at a sharp angle.
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How to Bevel Pipe for Welding?
Beveling is a process that smoothes out the edges of steel pipes. The beveling process can save time and money, as it creates a clean edge for welding that will not require additional work or finishing after completion of the weld.
Step-01: Create an angle on the edge of your metal by using a grinder with different grit sizes for example 100-120-180 grade.
Step-02: Hold the pipe at a 45-degree angle and grind to create your desired bevel size.
Step-03: Repeat as necessary for all of the pipes in your project.”
Step-04: After grinding rivet or weld-on flanges, bend and cut steel with appropriate tools to reach required lengths.
This is the basic working process for beveling pipe for welding. However, there are different ways of pipe bevels, and here are the most common ways. Let’s dive into those.
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Common ways to bevel a pipe
As I already said, there are various ways to for pipe beveling during the preparation process. So I am going to share four of the primary methods to bevel a pipe. Keep in mind that every project requires different beveling methods. So understand every beveling process for better results in the welding.
01. Hand grinding:
Hand grinding is one of the cheapest ways to bevel pipes. It is a particular method that uses hand grinders but is considered the least safe method for welders. In addition, it demands more time and skill to provide you with the best results. If you are not an expert, you may face many drawbacks, ensuring that you will use the process after having sufficient training.
Moreover, the hand grinding process didn’t allow you to produce the J bevel using the manual grinder. It will create many messes, fire hazards, varying levels, safety dangers, and many more.
It refers to the most dangerous tool, ensuring that you follow the extra protective measures for creating the bevel.
02. Torch or plasma cutter:
After the hand grinder, there is another way to bevel the pipes by using the torch or plasma cutters. It cuts the pipe at a particular angle by using the plasma cutters, and you will also use the portable clamp to guide the flame in a specific direction. It provides faster beveling than the hand grinders, but it also has similar drawbacks in the hand grinding process.
Moreover, it demands touch-ups, creates a lot of mess, fire, and safety hazards. Keep in mind that you can’t cut every material with the plasma cutters, so it is only suitable for specific pipe materials. It will also not create the J bevel.
If you want to use this technique to bevel the pipes, prepare the flat surface at the pipe end using your hands. It is not a safe process, so ensure that you follow all the safety measures before using it.
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03. Portable beveling machines:
It is more reliable than the techniques mentioned above. In addition, it has different interfaces and configurations that make it a safer process for welders. You will find its portability a significant benefit because it is easy to take it anywhere and process the pipes. Moreover, it also provides a consistent level of bevels compared to manual techniques.
But beyond all these benefits it also has some drawbacks that you need to consider. It has hazardous electronic cords that lessen the safety of welders. It creates the guarding issue and becomes an expensive ground tool for beveling the pipes.
If you want to use it for the construction and maintenance sites, then portable beveling machines are suitable as it has high-speed cutters that cut the pipe in any direction.
- Portable hand-held beveling machine for 45 degree weld seams
- Ideal for mold making, boiler and process plant construction, deburring machined parts, chamfering edges, and sheet metals cut edge deburring
- 13.5 amp, 110V, 3000 sfpm, 3 inserts, 10.5 lbs., max bevel 1/4 inch
- Standard equipment includes: milling head and two inserts, Sw22 key, carrying case and users manual
04. Stationary beveling machines:
Now here is the last way to bevel the pipes. Stationary beveling machines are the most reliable option that welders have during their work. It is specifically designed for high production as it comes with different tools and creates every beveling type.
It has standard carbide cutting inserts that are inexpensive and can easily be used in any production line. The most important thing that amazes you is that you don’t require a skill for using the stationary beveling machines as it doesn’t demand to monitor while beveling the pipes. Moreover, it has an inbuilt cabinet that reduces the mess because it automatically catches all the spattered metal pieces.
So stationary beveling machines provide many benefits to welders, including fast beveling, safe, require low maintenance, mess-free, inexpensive, and reduced cost of bevel. Easy to use or set up and many more.
Moreover, it can produce every type of bevel that welders require for joining the pipe ends.
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How many types of pipe bevels are there?
Beveled ends are one way to make a weld seam smoother and aesthetically pleasing. There are many different types of bevels, depending on the weld joint you’re looking for. Such as:
- I—Type Butt Joint Beveled End.
- Single U-Bevel.
01. I—Type Butt Joint Beveled End:
The I-Type Butt joint is the most common construction method for joining pipes, but it’s not a beveled joint. It is possible to join two pieces of pipe with fittings by welding them together so that they are parallel, perpendiculars, and clear of any angles.
As a beginner, it is important to understand the difference between V-bevels and other bevel types. The 45 degree cut on either side of the blade creates an angled edge that forms two sharp points when put together – hence “V” for its name.
X-Bevels are similar to V bevels. When welders cut bevels of material from both sides, the joint moves twice as far and in a lower angle. This provides a stronger weld than when cutting only one side. X Bevel joints are most often used for welding pipe in an elbow, tee, or reducer. X-Bevel joints are also called “X Joints” and they’re used to create a welded joint at the end of pipes that will not be threaded into another fitting.
J beams are very common as well, but V Beams differ from J beams. Instead of cutting from top to bottom, a chunk of metal is left un-beveled at the joint area. The X bevel has an angle that resembles the letter X and it’s used for welding pipe in elbows and tees with no threaded fittings on either end.
05. Single U-Bevel:
There are also single U-bevel joints, which make for a more expensive joint to produce. They’re not as easy to manage when welding and they require less material than double X bevels do. These types of joints have the most uniform bonding layer and it’s easier to fill in compared with X or V beams. This type of joint is also the sturdiest.
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How to Choose the right method for healthy beveling?
Now you know the different techniques for beveling the pipes, but still, it is essential to choose eh right way. It will help you in getting healthy beveling and reduces the chances of health issues.
So before selecting a method, you need to clear your mind regarding some essential questions. So ask yourself for the following facts; rely on them.
- Required beveling quality.
- Suitable time for beveling a single pipe.
- Do you require a portable machine for a specific project?
- Check electricity connectivity.
- Your skill level for operating a pipe beveling machine or technique.
- What specifications a task demands regarding the beveling?
However, always keep in mind that safety comes first from all these facts. So don’t forget to check the potential safety hazards of a process before choosing. It helps you follow all the safety measures and protect your skin, referring to healthy beveling.
Health beveling refers to some metal that will emit toxic material or gasses when they are heated. These gas emissions are dangerous for humans who are present at the site. So it is also essential to know the composition of the material that you are going to bevel and then ensure the protective measures.
Drawbacks of the Beveling Methods
There are four methods to bevel a pipe before welding, each with its own drawbacks. Here is a detailed overview of each type and its cons.
Hand Grinding: This is a time-consuming process and can only be done on a small pipe. The pipes must often be turned in order to grind away from its edge. This also means that not all sections will have been ground properly as they would need to turn around again, which takes more time.
Power Grinding: This process is faster than hand grinding, but can only be done in small sections and it is not a consistent way to grind. It also produces harmful dust which should be avoided by wearing appropriate protective clothing such as goggles to protect eyes from the flying grits that could scratch eyes or damage other sensitive tissues. Safety equipment such as a mask should also be worn to protect lungs from the dust, which can cause lung damage.
Grinding Wheel: The grinding wheel is similar in speed and safety hazards to the power grinder but it does not need as much space or require all of the spinnings around that hand grinding requires. Drawbacks include needing replacement blades more often than with other methods of pipe beveling and the possibility of it breaking, which makes it a safety hazard.
Beveling Methods: time-consuming process can only be done on small pipe hand grinding; power angle grinder produces harmful dust that should be avoided with appropriate protective clothing such as goggles to protect eyes from flying grits; grinding wheel often need replacement blades more often than other pipe beveling methods and can break which is a safety hazard.
Important Factors in Successful Pipe Beveling
Welders often have questions when welding pipes, as there are different kinds of pipes for many industries. High-pressure and high-purity pipes used in the food and beverage industry to pipe that can be used for oil or gas applications are all common types of piping jobs done by manufacturing companies. There are many challenges in pipe welding. Being aware of the most common issues can help you address these problems — especially when working with new materials while also increasing quality and productivity within your company.
Learn more about nine common issues when it comes down to steel pipe welding:
- Defects due to improper gas shielding and excess spatter.
- Too much welding rod protruding from the pipe joint.
- Excessive penetration of molten weld material past the outside edge of a butt weld, which can lead to distortion or cracking around the corners.
- Welding too fast for proper arc control with short circuits in between electrodes leading to over currents.
- Excess current due to a lack of voltage, causing welders not to use the right welding technique.
- Defects from improper mask and ventilation with no clear view of the joint being welded.
- Lack of attention paid to pressure relief holes for pipes carrying high pressures or fluids under extreme temperatures can lead to excessive pressure and weld defects.
- Incorrect welding rod protruding from the outside of a joint, which can lead to distortion or cracking close to corners when using butt joints with an angle less than 30°.
- Incomplete penetration of molten weld material past the inside edge of a butt weld in pipes that are thicker than desired for consistency purposes.
Beveling vs. Chamfering: What is the difference?
Pipe chamfering is a type of pipe beveling, but the main difference between them is that with pipe chamfers there’s an edge connecting two faces at 45 degrees while for a pipe to qualify as just simply being beveled it has to have any angle other than 45 or 90-degree angles.
Why companies prefer to automate pipe beveling?
You may notice that many companies and giant industries install automated beveling units referred to as stationary pipe beveling machines because they are safe and also provide many benefits. Here are some potential reasons due to which companies prefer choosing to automate pipe beveling.
- It saves them time and bevel pipe faster than all other ways.
- It creates less mess than hand grinding and torch cutting methods as it has build-in cabins to entrap the scrap.
- It is safe for the welders, and there is no flying component that can hurt any person.
- It doesn’t require a skilled operator to operate the machine and handle the beveling process.
- It is suitable for all types of materials, including stainless steel beveling.
Summing up the above discussion, you have a clear idea regarding the beveling process and its requirements. Ensure that you follow all the safety measures that a welder must-have during the welding and beveling process. Safety comes first from all the benefits. Moreover, it is also wise to use the correct angle between the pipes and machine to get accurate results at the end of beveling and welding.
I hope this guide will help you in your beveling task, and you will choose the proper technique according to your pipe material.
When welding a pipe, what size is the gap?
Qualified welding procedures have a specific width for their root gap, but it also depends on the joint angle or geometry, material, welding process, material thickness, and type. For example, the hole for 1/16 inches is more petite and tight, but there is a significant gap or width for the 5/32 inches thickness.
Why must the ends of the pipe be beveled before being welded?
Yes, it is essential to bevel the pipe end when the wall thickness is more the 3mm, and the weld puddle is significant, and welders cannot control it. However, the J bevel is suitable for attaining the particular wall thickness and make the welding process easy.
Can you weld two pipes together?
Yes, it is easy to weld two pipes together. It is an easy and durable process to join in piping ends using the MIG, TIG, SMAW welding procedures. However, before welding two pipes, ensure that there is no gap between them.