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Welding: surface preparation, weld seam cleaning, finishing

Chicago Pneumatic supports you throughout all your metal welding processes, from surface preparation to weld seam removal and finishing. Our range of angle, vertical and die grinders, angle and belt sanders is designed to optimize your metalworking applications.

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Working with tools & abrasives: how to choose the right tool?

1. Metal plate preparation

For metal plate fabrication, surface preparation can be carried out using an angle grinder (4”, 4.5" or 5"), a die grinder for chamfering, or a vertical grinder (7” or 9”) where a very high material removal rate is required. Resinoid grinding wheels or flap wheels are recommended.

2. Weld seam removal

After welding, weld seams are removed to make the surface flat and/or the corners sharp again. These activities are carried out with angle grinders (4”, 4.5" or 5") with traditional wheels, or die grinders with mounted points or carbide burrs. If cleaning is required for painting applications, a wire brush is recommended.

3. Surface finishing

Finishing operations are performed to achieve a smooth surface finish or to prepare for metal for painting. Rotary, belt or orbital sanders are used with sanding pads, abrasive discs or belts.

  Vertical grinders Angle grinders Angle sanders Belt sanders Die grinders  
  CP3349 CP3550 CP3650 CP3850 CP3550 CP3550 (low speed)
CP3650 CP3850 CP5080 CP3550 CP3119
Power (Hp/W) 4.0  hp /
3000 W
1.5 hp /
1100 W
2.4 hp /
1800 W
2.8 hp /
2100 W
1.5 hp /
1100 W
1.5 hp /
1100 W
2.4 hp /
1800 W
2.8 hp /
2100 W
0.5 hp /
400 W  
1.5 hp /
1100 W
1.2 hp /
900 W
Abrasives
  • Depressed center wheel
  • Cutting wheel
  • Cup wheel 6"
  • Depressed center wheel
  • Cutting wheel
  • Depressed center wheel
  • Cutting wheel
  • Depressed center wheel
  • Cutting wheel

Sanding pad

Sanding pad

Sanding pad

Sanding pad

Sanding belt

Mounted top
Carbide burr

Mounted top
Carbide burr

Abrasive size 7" - 9" /
180 mm -
230 mm
4" - 6" /
100 mm -
150 mm
4” - 7” /
100 mm -
180 mm
7" - 9" /
180 mm -
230 mm
5" - 7" /
125 mm -
180 mm
5" - 9" /
125 mm -
230 mm
4” - 7” /
100 mm -
180 mm
7" - 9" /
180 mm -
230 mm
1/2x18" - 1x18 /
13x457 mm -
25x457 mm
NA NA
Applications in welding Surface preparation
  • Surface preparation
  • Weld seam removal
  • Surface preparation
  • Weld seam removal
  • Surface preparation
  • Weld seam removal
  • Surface preparation
  • Finishing
  • Surface preparation
  • Finishing
  • Surface preparation
  • Finishing
  • Surface preparation
  • Finishing
  • Deburring
  • Cleaning with limited access
  • Chamfering
  • Weld seam removal
  • Chamfering
  • Weld seam removal
Special features Shut-off mechanism Rotative guard
  • Rotative guard
  • Optional silencer
Rotative guard / / Optional silencer    

Spindle lock for easy change of abrasive

 
Anti-vibration option (autobalancer) Yes No Yes Optional (not for ANSI market) No No No Optional (not for ANSI market) No No No
Pol-Dunoyer expert head-zoom

Did you know? Up to 1/3 of welders and fitters’ activity consists of grinding weld seams. This is an important information to consider when choosing your tool.

Pol Dunoyer , Global Business Development Manager at Chicago Pneumatic

3 Safety tips when working with pneumatic grinders

  1. Speed: Make sure the tool’s speed never exceeds the abrasive’s maximum operating speed (MOS).
  2. Air: Make sure you have a good, tight connection between the air line and the tool’s inlet. Use Teflon tape or similar to help achieve this. 
  3. Abrasive: Always use an abrasive designed for the job: i.e. only use a cutting wheel for cutting and a grinding wheel for grinding.

Pol-Dunoyer expert head-zoom

Stainless steel and aluminum have a lower heat conductivity than steel and overheat more readily. To avoid overheating and melting the metal onto the abrasive, don’t push on the tool too hard and ensure you use the right abrasive for the job.

Pol Dunoyer , Global Business Development Manager at Chicago Pneumatic

The welding process

Welding is a very important stage of fabrication. However, for any welding process to be efficient and accurate the material must be prepared properly so that it is in the best possible condition for the next step. This can be achieved by effectively removing coatings such as paint, oils, greases, and rust (oxides).

It is crucial to remove impurities such as rust and mill scale when working with carbon steels. However, when working with stainless steels, it is often important to remove chromium oxide if a shiny decorative finish is required.

Nonferrous materials present their own challenges in the weld preparation process. For example, oxidation can take place very quickly on metals such as aluminum and titanium, and so there is a short time frame between surface cleaning and welding. If large areas are cleaned too early this often results in needing to rework the piece.