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Welding Enclosures®


Index .............................................................. 2
Introduction ..................................................... 3
Features .......................................................... 4
Instructions to use ........................................... 5
Fitting the gloves ............................................. 6-7
Support stand .................................................. 8
Demountable stand .......................................... 9
Table top ......................................................... 10
Internal baseplate ............................................ 11
Suggested specifications for internal baseplate ... 12
Purging ........................................................... 13
Earthing, electrical feed throughs ...................... 14
Welding torch .................................................. 15
Welding torch continued and earth cable and welding
return cable .........................................................
Argon hose and purging lock ................................ 17
Operating instructions ....................................... 19-19
Repair instructions ............................................ 20-21
Trouble shooting .............................................. 22-23-24
Other languages ............................................... 25
Customer support and Worldwide care ............... 26
Warranty ......................................................... 27
Address and contact details ............................... back cover

Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® Argweld® Flexible Welding

Enclosures® are designed to provide an inert atmosphere for the
welding of reactive metals such as titanium, zirconium, molybdenum,
nickel and aluminium, as well as their alloys and other metals such
as stainless steel.

For cost reasons it is not always possible for a fabricator to justify

purchase of a rigid welding chamber so the flexible enclosure was
introduced as a low cost method to ensure overall argon gas shielding
of parts.

Being flexible, it is possible to compact the enclosure around parts

placed inside for welding before purging to expel most of the
atmosphere within the enclosure.

This reduces the time and amount of inert gas required to purge
the enclosure with inert gas and produce an atmosphere ready for

HFT® have a standard range* of Flexible Welding Enclosures® as

shown in the leaflet. To remain competitive in the domestic and
overseas market place, we are allowing customers to provide their
own metal welding table and other accessories to fit inside the

It is recommended that these operating instructions be used to

obtain the most efficient usage of inert shielding gas for the expulsion
of air from the enclosure during the purge.

*In addition, HFT® designs and manufactures special purpose

enclosures of any size and shape.
features PAGE 4

• Available in nominal diameters of 900, 1200, 1500 and 1800 mm

as standard or custom-built to your fabricating application.
• Two pairs of neoprene gloves on the end of PVC sleeves provide
two work stations.
• Argon entry connection.
• Full diameter entry zip.
• Security draw string to stop gloves popping out.
• Feed through service panel for earth cable, water lines (if needed),
control wires (if needed).
• Weld torch cable feed through pockets, for both left handed and
right handed welders.
• Exhaust gas release valve.
• Separately purged access sleeve, to allow small parts to be
inserted or taken out of the enclosure without disturbing the
quality of the gas purge.
• Gas sampling port for any of the Argweld® Weld Purge

Gas relief valve

Gas sampling port

Air tight zip

Pair of sleeves
and rubber gloves

Gland for torch with

blue high density
foam C clamping
ring and strap

Purge lock sleeve

Purge sleeve locking clamp

© HFT®

To fit the gloves please follow the instructions below, you may need
the assistance of a colleague for the last instruction.

1. Unzip the enclosure and then gently pull the sleeve inside out so
that it now faces out instead of inside the enclosure.
2. Locate one of the white plastic cones that come with the enclosure,
this has several machined grooves in it and it tapers. Place the
narrow end into the sleeve from the inside of the enclosure so
that it appears at the other end, see photo below.

© HFT®
3. Using one of the rubber rings provided stretch this over the end of
the cone and sleeve so it seals the sleeve and cone together into
one of the machined grooves, see photo below.

© HFT®

4. Now gently pull the sleeve back inside the enclosure so that when
back in the correct position the larger end of the white cone is facing
out of the end of the sleeve.

5. Depending if you are working on the left or right hand sleeve locate
the correct glove for this sleeve and pull the end of the glove over the
white cone so it meets the sleeve, see photos below.

© HFT® © HFT®

6. Using another rubber ring bring this over the glove and stretch it
over the cone so the glove is then sealed to the cone in one of the
other machined grooves.

7. Now this is complete repeat the process for the remaining gloves.

© HFT® © HFT® © HFT®


As previously stated, the enclosure is shipped in the bare form to

prevent the extra expense of shipping metal baseplates, wooden tables
and support frames etc. It is felt the user will be able to purchase the
relevant materials inexpensively in their local vicinity to manufacture
their own.

However to help, here are some instructions to assist in construction

of a frame for the enclosure to be placed on, followed by instructions
to make the table and the internal baseplate.


There are two forms of stand that can be made for the enclosure to
be placed on. The first is a one piece stand, this is ideal as it gives a
permanent surface for the enclosure. To construct, cut four legs to a
suitable height, weld cross sections near the base across the top of
the legs. The pictures below gives an idea of a 1 piece stand.

© HFT®

If space is a concern and when the enclosure is not in use the stand
can be dismantled and stored until it is needed.

To construct, using either square or rounded sections of metal tubing,

cut to a suitable height and cut cross sections to size accordingly.
However use suitable connectors to push the sections together.

The photos below demonstrate in greater detail.

Connectors to secure sections together

© HFT®

Once a suitable stand is made a table top needs to be prepared. This

table top will need to support the internal baseplate and any welding
fixtures that you may need to place on the baseplate.

We recommend wood for the table top to sit on the stand. We recommend
you make the table top round to the equivalent diameter of the base of
the enclosure. Another recommendation is to ensure the table top can
be secured to the stand. The underside of the wooden table should have
four location blocks which sit securely inside the top of either stand.

See pictures below which show a round wooden table top with securing
blocks, the table top being located and secured and finally with the
table top in place.

© HFT® © HFT®

Now this is complete you may Place your Argweld® Flexible Welding
place on the stand Enclosures® on the stand and prepared

© HFT®

An earthed metal baseplate is required for the support of weld

tooling or fixtures. The baseplate should be separated from the PVC
enclosure base, by insulating material. See below for suggestions.
Ideally a stainless steel plate should be used as having the best
properties for argon welding chambers, titanium can also be used. If
a thin plate is used, it may need some insulating pillars underneath,
using a material such as PTFE, nylon or tufnol.
For earthing, a lug can be welded or bolted to the table to avoid
the need to earth the component being welded. Alternatively, the
earth cable can be provided with an earthing clamp to clamp on to
each component being welded.

Consider the material being welded and whether there is any
concern about contamination by touching other metals. Select the
most appropriate material therefore. The table should be at least
6 - 12 mm (0.25 - 0.5") thick.
The photos below show one example of two halves of a table made
from stainless steel. This table when in the enclosure makes a
circular shape. It is made in two semi-circles to aid installation and
removal through the enclosure zip.
This table has a series of holes drilled into the top to allow gas
escaping from a spiral tube (see further in this user instructions)
to pass evenly out through the holes in the table top.
We made this table top with a skirt around the circumference. This
skirt prevents objects which might roll or fall over from the table
and either hit the side of the enclosure or rolling under the base
where it might be hard to retrieve. However if you do not require
a skirt the table can be made without it.

© HFT®
The table should be raised off the base of the enclosure by at least
25 mm (1"), using insulated feet, made from a material such as
PTFE, tufnol, etc.

This will create a valuable space between the plastic base and the
table, as well as reduce heat transfer from the table to the plastic
that may damage the enclosure base.

The photo below shows one half of the metal welding table with
insulated feet on.

Insulated feet

© HFT®

The enclosure is provided with sealed glands, one of which can be

used for a hose connection for connecting to an argon gas supply.
As argon is released into the enclosure at the recommended flow
rate, it will flow across the base of the enclosure as it is heavier/
denser than air. Oxygen will be displaced by the argon and will be
released through the pressure relief valve, located at the top of
the enclosure.

If this simple “Hose Only” method of purging is used, it is conceivable

that some of the residual atmosphere may mix with the argon gas
as purging takes place.

For improved purging, we recommend an argon entry system is

designed to introduce argon in a number of places across the base
of the enclosure, to minimise argon mixture with residual atmo-
sphere. This will help reduce overall purging time, before welding
can safely commence.

A suggestion is to make a spiral tube to an approximate diameter,

200 mm smaller than the base of the enclosure. Drill holes along
the length of the tube which will allow the gas to escape at an even
rate around the surface area of the base.

The photos below show a complete spiral on enclosure table top and
a close up of the holes that are drilled into the spiral to aid release
of the purge gas. This spiral tube should be made from stainless
steel or even teflon. The tube should be at least 6 mm OD and the
holes about 150 mm apart.

© HFT®

Before welding can commence it will be necessary to earth or

ground the welding table. A ground cable should be clamped to
the table. One of the gland positions can be used to pass the extra
cable through.

Ensure the earth cable inside the enclosure is clean and it cannot
contain any trapped air.


Glands are provided to pass wires through if an additional electrical

power supply is required in the enclosure.

The glands should simply be pierced with a sharp probe such as

a pointed tungsten and the wires pulled through so that they are
self sealing.

See Picture:

TIG torch hose, exit seal

TIG torch hose C clamp

TIG torch hose sealing tie wrap

For simplicity, an argon cooled torch is the best type to select.

In the event that you are going to be carrying out heavier duty
welding, then you may prefer a water cooled torch. In any case, it
is preferable to obtain a torch with just one cable containing the
various leads. This is to avoid sealing difficulties and leaks in the
Clean the tig torch really thoroughly. Even if it is new, it may
have finger prints and hand grease on the outer cover. Take every
precaution to ensure that there isn’t the slightest water leak where
the internal water hose is joined to the copper tube that leads to
the TIG torch body. All water, electric and gas hoses are inside the
black outer cover of the TIG torch cable. Remember that everything
that goes inside the enclosure is a source of contamination that can
outgas and make it extra difficult for you to reach your ultimate
oxygen level.
Place the complete tig torch and hose assembly in the enclosure
prior to purging and feed the end that connects to your welding
power source out through the sleeve marked in the diagram above.
At a suitable distance when you have sufficient length to manipulate
the torch to all points where you are likely to have to weld, fit the
C clamping fixture shown around the torch cable, compress it tightly
by hand and pull it into the PVC sleeve.
WELDING TORCH continued... PAGE 16

Once you are satisfied with the position, as close to the wall of the
enclosure as possible, to avoid any unnecessary trapped space, use
the tie wrap shown to tighten the pvc sleeve around the outside
of the plastic tube.
This is a potential leak path for air, so ensure that there are no
Note that you have a tig torch entry to the left of the other glove
ports for the left handed welder.

The earth cable/welding return cable should be pulled through the
appropriate gland in the same way, by piercing the gland with a sharp
probe and pulling the cable through, ensuring that it is self sealing.
A worm drive clamp can be added to the outside of the gland to
tighten it against the cable. See photo.

© HFT®

Connect an argon hose to the gas inlet gland in the service panel
of the enclosure (see page 6), ensuring that the argon supply has
a regulator and flow meter.

© HFT®

A sleeve is provided to act as a purge lock to allow small parts and

spares to be fed in and out of the enclosure without opening the
zip and losing the purge quality.

On despatch the sleeve is provided with a seal at the end and two
ties. It should be rolled up and tied so that it does not inflate and
protrude. If it is required to be used, the sleeve seal should be cut
and a twin clamp system put on the sleeve, one either side of the
purge gas connection and vent.

By leaving the clamp on the chamber side closed, the far end clamp
can be opened and components inserted.

The far clamp can be closed and the interspace between the clamps
purged with a separate argon line.

After purging, the clamp nearest the enclosure can be opened and
the components taken into the enclosure by the welder/operator.

1 Ensure there is sufficient high purity argon in the purge enclosure

supply facility and the torch gas supply to complete all welding
operations. Failure to do this will result in the introduction of
air during a change which will require re-purging of the system.
It is a good idea at this time to use one of the Argweld® Weld
Purge Monitors® to check the quality of the gas supply and that
it causes the purge monitor to show zero.

For purging we recommend five nines argon which is 99.999%

pure, ie 10ppm of impurities.

2 Check to ensure all gas lines to the enclosure, to the welding

machine, and between the welding machine and torch entry port
terminations are tight.

3 Check that there is no damage to the gloves.

4 Make sure all components to be placed inside the enclosure for

welding are wire brushed around the weld zone, de-greased
and dry (a clean uncontaminated stainless steel wire brush
should be used. We recommend either isopropyl alcohol or MEK
(methyletheylketone for final cleaning.).

5 Load components into the enclosure and close zip.

6 Purge out torch lines using welder pre-purge controls.

7 The enclosure can be pressed down all around the parts to

expel all air then open the argon supply. The argon flow rate
should not exceed 10 L/min (20 cubic feet per hour), otherwise
turbulence will cause mixing of the argon shielding gas with air
in the chamber. The purpose is to displace the remaining air
using argon which is significantly heavier than air.
8 Using one of the Family range Weld Purge Monitors® to check
the oxygen level of the gas escaping through the valve at the
top of the chamber. When the ppm oxygen level is less than that
required for welding, reduce the flow rate to 5 L/min.

9 Using a piece of scrap material, carry out a sample weld run and
check for freedom from discoloration (for titanium, this should
be no worse than a light straw colour).
10 When changing tungstens, be careful not to puncture the gloves
or enclosure.

OPTIONAL EXTRAS (to be specified prior to ordering

your enclosure)
• Additional glove ports.
• Special posting ports to maintain argon in the chamber when
replacing parts or consumables. Standard port comprises a
600 mm long sleeve of 230 mm width when flat. Other sizes
are available as required.
• Welded plastic holder for welders eye glass.
All options are quoted separately and deliveries will vary subject to
work load and complexity of application

1. If welded parts are too hot to handle with the rubber gloves,
do not put dirty welders gloves inside the chamber as they will
contaminate the atmosphere. Clean gloves of the right quality
may be acceptable. Try wearing cotton gloves inside the glove
ports or see if the part can be put on a manipulator inside the
2. If the parts become too hot, forced gas cooling can be stimulated
by putting a fan inside the welding enclosure.
3. The components being put into the enclosure must have been
cleaned with a suitable solvent and dried. The parts should be
handled with clean hands.

Although the Argweld® Flexible Welding Enclosure® is strong and

will not tear easily sometimes accidents do happen. Should a tear
appear in the enclosure we have supplied a repair kit. Please follow
the instructions below for repairing your Flexible Enclosure.

1) You have noticed that there is a hole/tear in your Argweld®

Flexible Welding Enclosure®.

2) Locate the repair kit that came with your Flexible Enclosure. You
will see there are different PVC material sheets to cut patches out of.
Two clear sheets are in the kit. A clear sheet for the side of the
enclosure and an optically clear sheet for the dome sections of
the enclosure. Cut a piece of the correct material depending upon
where the tear is on the enclosure from the repair kit larger than
the hole/tear in the enclosure.

3) Using sand paper, sand down the surface of the enclosure along
the edges of the tear as well as the contact surface of the repair

4) Apply the adhesive that came with your repair kit onto the
flexible enclosure around the hole/tear and on the surface of the
cut out patch.


5) After 2 to 3 minutes stick the patch on to the flexible enclosure

over the hole/tear and apply pressure on to both surfaces.

6) Allow surface to dry thoroughly before using enclosure again.

7) One tip is to glue a patch on to the inside of the enclosure as

well as the outside.

Thus when inflating the enclosure the gas pressure pushes on the
internal patch and will not weaken the outer patch.

Discoloured welds

In the event that welds are continuously discoloured after, follow

installation instructions carefully, this would suggest that the oxygen
level around the weld is still too high.

Stainless Steel Welding

For stainless steel welding the oxygen level needs to be around 0.01%
or 100 parts per million (ppm) for clean, discoloured welds.

Titanium and other reactive alloy welding

For titanium and other reactive alloy welding, the oxygen levels should
be around 10 ppm or lower.

One of the PurgEye® family of Weld Purge Monitors® can be used to

check the oxygen levels in different parts of the enclosure.

Having established that oxygen levels are too high, it is necessary

to detect where the gas is coming from. Use the selected monitor
to check oxygen levels in different places, suspect any of the feed
throughs, any items brought into the enclosure other than the clean
parts to be welded.

Check that the tig torch hose isn’t leaking and allowing oxygen to find
its way in.

Here it is important to know that because oxygen is largely absent from

the enclosure, according to the laws of partial pressures, the oxygen
outside the enclosure will treat the volume inside the enclosure as a
total vacuum as far as the outside oxygen is concerned and it will try to
leak in anywhere it can to try to equalise the pressures inside and out.

Leaks may be found in the areas where the hoses and cables are
fed through from the outside. Leaks can be found in the sleeve
connections. Check the tig torch inside the enclosure as well as the
feed through. Check all purge hoses outside the enclosure, that are
being used to bring the gas into the enclosure. Check the zip and tape
it as necessary.

Lengthy purge time

The first time your enclosure is purged, it may take much longer than
the expected time. This is because atmospheric contamination enters
the enclosure during transportation and other contamination may be
brought into the enclosure during the work done, such as making the
internal baseplate, placing tooling and weld torches inside etc. This
time reduces more and more as each purge cycle is made.

Enclosure not fully inflating

This may be because your gas flow rate is set too low or has become
restricted somewhere by a compression of the purge line for example.

Arc not striking

Should the welder not be able to strike an arc in the enclosure, check
your earth (ground) connection. If that part of the circuit is open
somehow, the arc will not strike.

Burning holes in enclosure

In the event that the welder accidentally touch some part of the
welding enclosure with the electrode while still hot, or by touching a
hot metal part against the wall of the enclosure, a hole may be burnt.
In this case, there is a repair kit included with your shipment that will
allow you to cover small holes.

For larger damaged areas, if you return your enclosure to HFT®, we

can repair it for you. Once received we can provide a quotation to
cover the cost of the repair so that you can decide whether to go
ahead or purchase a new enclosure.

Further information

For further information please see page 26 for customer support

and worldwide care.

Les autres langues sont actuellement dans le progrès. Pour le

moment, s’il vous plaît contacter votre Distributeur local

Andere Sprachen sind momentan im Gange. Kontaktieren Sie

vorläufig, bitte Ihren örtlichen Verteiler

Otros idiomas son actualmente en progreso. Para ahora, contacta

por favor su Distribuidor local


For further information and support, please contact us at:

Tel: +44 (0) 1554 836 836
Worldwide Offices, Partners and Distributors are listed on our website
or contact us and we will direct you to the correct location

For further information and support, please contact us at:

Toll Free: 1-800-431-1311 and 877-431-1311 or 321-723-3200

Umfassende Informationen in deutscher Sprache finden Sie bei

unserem strategischen Partner Dänner Industrie Services
Tel: +49 (0) 2423 954 051

Veuillez contacter notre partenaire en France et en Afrique

France Inertage®
Tel: +33 6 52 84 28 39 HFT® France

Para la información adicional en Español, contacta por favor

Tel: +34 (0) 93 564 0804
Latino America:
Tel: +31 6410 100 77

All products are thoroughly tested to our Quality Control Procedures

prior to leaving our manufacturing facility. Should you encounter
a problem with your product, please notify us immediately upon

Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® warrants this product to be

free of defects in workmanship and material, with exceptions stated

Warranty applies for normal and intended use of the product.

Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® will not be held responsible

for any incorrect use of the product.

For further warranty information, please refer to our terms and


All warranties shall not apply to any product or component which

has been repaired or altered by anyone other than Huntingdon
Fusion Techniques HFT®.

Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® shall not be liable for indirect,

special, incidental or consequential damage or penalties and does
not assume any liability of Purchaser, or to others, for injury to
persons or property.

This warranty is in lieu of all other warranties, expressed and implied.

© HFT®

AFE UI A5 AK91 - 26-04-2016 ME

Stukeley Meadow BURRY PORT Carms SA16 OBU United Kingdom (UK)
Tel +44 (0) 1554 836 836 Fax +44 (0) 1554 836 837 Email
E&OE Copyright © HFT®. All rights reserved.
This publication may not be reproduced by any means without the written permission of Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®