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Our Guide to Pipe Bevelling

A key part of the pipe preparation process, pipe bevelling is essential to getting a high-quality weld.

With multiple bevelling methods available, in this blog we detail them all, as well as their pros and cons, and how to choose the right one.

Bevelling Methods

As with many processes, there are multiple ways to bevel a pipe, all with their benefits and drawbacks.

The processes are:

  • Hand grinding,

  • Torch or plasma cutter,

  • A portable bevelling machine, and

  • A stationary bevelling machine.

Hand Grinding

Although it’s the cheapest of all the options, hand grinding comes with considerable risk in terms of both end result and safety.

A time-consuming process, even for the most experienced of welders, the bevels produced are often inconsistent.

Only capable of producing certain bevel types, hand grinding is often best left unless there is no other option available.

Torch or Plasma

Using a torch or plasma cutter to create your bevel will produce a better finish than hand grinding, but it can still often lead to inconsistent results.

This method is also incompatible with certain materials, and so limits its versatility.

Designs like J-bevels or more specialist work aren’t possible when using a torch or plasma, and additional equipment like oxygen or dry compressed air is required to get the job done.

Portable bevelling machines

The perfect bit of kit if you’re an engineer on the move, portable bevelling machines allow you to get clean, consistent bevels in a wide variety of environments.

Capable of all bevel types, portable bevelling machines are often cheaper than their stationary counter parts, but can sacrifice performance on more intricate work.

They will also need a readily available electricity source, which are not always easily accessible on site.

When using a portable bevelling machine, you’ll need to be aware of the potential hazard of flying chips. Most portable bevellers don’t come with a chip container, and so time will need to be spent tidying after operation.

Stationary Bevelling Machines

Where possible, a stationary bevelling machine will be the best option.

What they lack in portability, they more than make up for in versatility and end product.

Capable of producing any type of bevel, stationary bevelling machines create workpieces that are not only are functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Which method should I choose?

Alongside the necessary safety checks, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing your method.

They are:

  • Who will be doing the bevelling? – If the engineer is a beginner, both the hand grinding and plasma or torch methods should be avoided as they require an experienced operator.

  • What environment will they be working in? – Will the work be carried out on site and will there be access to electricity? Are you able to move the pipe to machinery? If the work has to be carried out on site, a portable bevelling machine could be the best option. If the work can be carried out away from site, a stationary beveller is a possibility.

  • What are the specifications/requirements? – This is perhaps the most important question (other than safety concerns). The requirements of a project will govern which method is best placed to achieve the desired end result. Bevel type, quality and aesthetics will give you a good indication of which method will be best.

Bevelling Equipment and RentArc

At RentArc, we offer a comprehensive range of pipe & tube cutting and bevelling equipment.

We have a wide selection of electric, pneumatic and hydraulic models that are capable of all bevel types, as well as a specific range that is excellent for operation in confined spaces.

Whether you need just one bit of kit for a short job, or a number of machines for a long-term project, chat to our friendly staff today on, call us on 023 80 867 789, or download the brochure here.


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