UA and Egan Collaborate to Develop New National Weld Procedure

September 20, 2023
(From left to right): Egan Fabrication Shop Foreman Shane Shook and UA Training Specialist Robert Derby.

Mechanical contractor and fabricator Andy J. Egan Co. (Egan), an MCAA member, has a reputation for being an innovator within the industry. From its world-class fabrication shop to cutting-edge construction technology department, the company creates a culture that encourages employees to explore methods for delivering higher-quality projects on expedited schedules. Fabrication Shop Foreman Shane Shook developed a time-saving weld procedure in partnership with the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA), with a certification that will soon be available to all UA members and contractors.

For many years, Egan has certified its own welders on a GTAW procedure the company internally refers to as “Hot Gas” for hand welding. This blend of 95% argon and 5% hydrogen is ideal for Egan’s work on schedule 10 piping for the process piping code. Shook explains that it creates a hotter arc which helps to penetrate thicker-walled stainless piping. Travel speed can be increased, creating less heat input, which is an important feature when welding any stainless steel. While the Hot Gas procedure originally started with hand welding, Egan now uses it in orbital procedures for many customers, allowing welders to complete their welds at a faster rate when compared to traditional GTAW procedures. The result is a significant time savings for a repeatable, high-quality weld. “The root welds look perfect,” adds Shook.

The UA’s Robert Derby inspects a weld for the certification process.

Before purchasing new orbital welding equipment earlier this summer, Shook visited UA Local 174 Plumbers and Pipefitters for a training day. His former colleague Robert Derby, now a UA Training Specialist, was in attendance to support the training and suggested a collaboration between the UA and Egan. Derby wanted to ensure all UA members had the opportunity to get certified in the Hot Gas orbital procedure.

From there, Derby and Shook coordinated the required steps to make the certification available to the UA’s more than 368,000 members. Derby visited Egan’s Fabrication Shop in August to witness and document the procedure and expects that certification tests will be available to local training halls later this year. “It’s exciting to make this available to our members,” says Derby. “Our goal is to ensure welders of all skill levels are successful with this mix of gas.”

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Founded in 1919, mechanical contractor and fabricator Andy J. Egan Co. (www.andyegan.com) offers engineering, fabrication, mechanical insulation, controls and 24/7 service for commercial, industrial and institutional applications.

Founded in 1889, the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (www.UA.org) proudly represents approximately 368,000 plumbers, pipefitters, pipeliners, sprinkler fitters, welders, and HVACR service techs in the United States and Canada.

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