As on the surface, underwater metal structures may require welding to solve structural problems and continue to function effectively.
Underwater welding works in the same way as the surface: merging different elements through an increase in temperature. However, the techniques vary underwater, and the operator requires more experience, since these involve greater complexity.
Underwater cutting techniques
Usually, the Arc-Oxygen Cutting technique is used. This consists of applying heat to the metal to be cut using a specialized device, which produces an electric arc between the instrument and the metal. Immediately, a jet of pure oxygen is released at high speed, thus producing the oxidation of the specific point and its due cut.
There are other cutting techniques, such as Arc-Water and ultra-thermal electrode cutting, which can be used in certain situations. However, these techniques also use electrical current to generate the heat needed for cutting.
Underwater welding techniques
There are two underwater welding techniques. The first is known as wet welding, and it is done directly in water. In this technique, the welding equipment fires an electrode that produces an electric arc between it and the metal that will receive the weld together with the waterproof material that covers it. This reaction generates the heat necessary to perform the weld while creating a gaseous environment that protects it from contamination from the surrounding atmosphere.
The second technique is hyperbaric welding, in which a dry habitat is installed around the structure to be welded.