Weld defects are frustrating, and more importantly, they waste time and money. The good news is that you can quickly troubleshoot issues and avoid them in the future. Here’s a look at a few common culprits and how to prevent problems going forward.
Problem #1: Porosity
If you’re seeing issues with porosity, it’s likely due to inadequate shielding gas coverage or excessive weld joint contamination that is causing gas to get trapped in the weld metal.
How to Avoid It: Check the regulator or flow meter. Make sure there is adequate but not excessive gas flow and adjust it as necessary. Also, check your hoses and the welding gun for any leaks. If there’s a draft present, block off the area where you’re working and make sure the weld joint is relatively free of contaminants such as moisture, dirt, rust, paint, oil or grease.
Problem #2: Equipment Issues
When you want a quality weld, you need to make sure your equipment is running properly and as designed. If, however, there’s poor connectivity, it can impact your weld.
How to Avoid It: If your ground clamp isn’t clean or in good condition, for instance, it can’t make good contact with the piece and the current or voltage will fluctuate. This creates more spatter and a poor quality weld. Make sure yours is making good contact with the work piece on a clean surface and the cable is not frayed or damaged.
Problem #3: Burnthrough
If you’re welding thin materials, less than 1/8 inch or 12 gauge, the weld metal can penetrate through the base metal.
How to Avoid It: Usually the culprit is excessive heat, which can be fixed by either reducing the wire feed speed, lowering the voltage or increasing your travel speed.
Problem #4: Excessive Spatter
Weld spatter is a nuisance that may lead to a few problems. Besides an unsightly appearance, spatter may break free from the surface after the part is painted which can lead to premature corrosion.
How to Avoid It: There are several causes to check for, including the wrong size contact tip or one that is worn out. Other issues include excessive shielding gas flow rate, too-high voltage, a dirty base material, or excessive electrical stick-out.
If you’re experiencing problems with weld defects, now’s the time to troubleshoot issues and work to prevent them in the future. Your welds will be better-quality minus the headaches and hassles that can slow you down.
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