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How do I prevent wire feeding problems when using the MIG welding (GMAW) or flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) process?
Wire feed problems can be caused by a variety of circumstances. Some of the most common reasons for wire feeding issues include:
Drive roll tension: The drive rolls that push or pull the wire through the system have a tension that is either too great or too little. Adjust the spring pressure until the tension is appropriate.
Drive roll size: The drive rolls may be the wrong size. For instance, if 1.3 mm drive rolls are being used to move 0.9 mm wire, slipping will most likely occur.
Drive roll type: Some wire requires specific kinds of grooves for optimal feeding. Flux-cored and metal-cored arc welding wires typically require V-groove drive rolls that are knurled. Aluminum wires require a smooth U-shaped groove.
Drive roll condition: Worn drive rolls will be ineffective at moving a wire through the system.
Liner size: If a liner is too small for the wire it will not feed. If the liner is too big, the wire may have too much freedom to twist inside of it, causing an unpredictable feed.
Liner type: For most wires, steel liners work excellent. However, some wires, such as aluminum, require a nylon liner to help ensure proper feeding.
Liner condition: A worn liner will be detrimental to wire feeding. Replace the liner if it is worn or damaged.
Contact tip size: A proper contact tip size should be used. If the tip is too small, the wire will not feed; if the tip is too large, wire feeding and electrical conductivity may be negatively affected.
Wire condition: Not all wire manufacturers put out the same quality product. Some wires may have thin and thick spots as well as lubricants that can cause poor wire feeding.
When MIG welding was first invented, it used a constant voltage source of electricity for the arc. While this method is still used today, the invention of pulsed MIG (or MIG pulse) welding has allowed welders to realize several advantages over conventional MIG welding, several are listed below:
Pulsed MIG can be used to weld thin materials. Conventional MIG welding runs at a constant amperage whereas pulsed GMAW welding runs a peak and background amperage. The constant switching between these two amperages enables the welder to put out a lower overall heat input into the material. This helps prevent blowouts on thin materials.
There is less spatter than conventional MIG welding. Pulsed MIG welding uses a peak electrical currents to cleanly burn the wire off at a high amperage. It also employs a lower background welding amperage immediately after the peak electrical current to prevent the interaction of the electrical arc and the wire from becoming unstable. This ultimately results in a reduced amount of spatter.
MIG pulse welding is excellent for out of position welding. At the same voltage and wire feed settings, conventional MIG tends to have a weld puddle that is larger and more fluid than that of pulsed. MIG pulse welding has more controllable puddle that prevents it from falling out when gravity is a concern during out of position welding. Furthermore, the reduced amount of spatter than can be achieved with this method makes it safer for the welder to perform the out of position operation.
Red-D-Arc carries a number of Pulsed MIG enabled machines
Originally built in the 1930s, the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State has been undergoing a series of maintenance projects to ensure that it will continue to produce safe and reliable power into the future. One stage of the project required the heating of a 40-ft wide, 7-ft tall outer headcover of the turbine shaft to specific core temperature. In order to achieve this temperature, the engineers applied induction heating to one side of the workpiece.
Only when the opposite side of the workpiece reached target temperature could the maintenance engineers be certain that the required core temperature had been achieved. The team from Red-D-Arc provided induction heating systems and assistance with training and set up during this essential part of the maintenance process.
More than equipment
Red-D-Arc brings more than equipment to each project; it partners with customers to provide helpful insights into the unique challenges that each project presents. Red-D-Arc associates have many years of experience supporting customers involved in energy-related projects including hydroelectric, wind energy and nuclear power. Red-D-Arc’s induction heating experts are highly respected for their innovative approach to induction heating technology applications.
One of our customers was trying to heat 42” diameter pipe using pear burners so that welders could weld out the joints. Our team saw an opportunity to create a solution that would help our customer get the job done much more quickly. To make this in-the-field heating job go faster, we put together a package including a Miller ProHeat 35 induction heating system, a 60kVA generator and a DP25 power distribution panel.
With this setup we were able to get the pipe up to 250 degrees in about 5 minutes. Our customer was able to beat the competition’s target time by over 19 hours and has been asked to quote on other pipeline work for their client. Needless to say they were pleased with the solution and the opportunity for extra work it created.
This portable induction turnkey package is a great way to heat pipes in remote locations. There is less risk to the welders from the hot pipe and the process is much, much faster.
“We were able to get the pipe up to 250 degrees in about 5 minutes”
Custom turnkey packages like the one described here are Red-D-Arc’s specialty. Our team of experts has created turnkey solutions to solve challenges in diverse industries including, mining, oilfield, offshore, nuclear and manufacturing. We enjoy helping our clients find new ways to grow their businesses, by combining the latest technology, depth of experience and flexible leasing options that fit their needs.
Plasma cutters are capable of cutting metals in simple and complex shapes including producing holes, bevel edges, gouging, and markings. Plasma is a cost effective and practical alternative to oxy-fuel, laser and water jet cutting processes and is used in industrial, trade and DIY applications. Plasma cutters are used in all types of industries including manufacturing, pharmaceutical, oil/gas and arms industries.
When gas is heated to extremely high temperatures, the electrons in the gas molecules break free from the nucleus, turning the gas into plasma. Plasma cutting is carried out by directing the plasma jet through the metal.
The advantages and disadvantages of plasma cutting as compared to the other cutting processes are as follows:
Airgas, an Air Liquide company, is the nation's leading single-source supplier of gases, welding and safety products. Known locally nationwide, our distribution network serves more than one million customers of all sizes with a broad offering of top-quality products and unmatched expertise.