When welding is a vital part of your production line, every component in your machine can make a big difference in your efficiency and in the quality of the finished product. One of the areas where your choice can make a big difference is the welding wire diameter you decide to use. Is the wire you're using too small, too large or right where it should be? Today we'll help you learn how to decide by taking a good look at wire diameter and how to choose welding wire that will work best for your project.
Choosing the right wire diameter for welding
The primary consideration in choosing welding wire diameter is the thickness of the material being welded. If you select wire that is too small for the material, the welding process is inefficient, costing time and production as the welder has to spend more time completing the weld. It can also cause quality control issues, as the welds may not completely penetrate the material. Another issue with using a wire too small is arcing occurring between the inside of the tip and the wire, which can erode the tip's inside diameter and eventually cause the tip to fuse to the wire.
But simply selecting a large diameter wire won't necessarily work either. If the wire is too large, it can cost you precision, also leading to quality control issues as other parts of the product may not fit properly. It can also cost you efficiency and material loss in terms of excessive cleanup or additional production steps following the welding process. It can also cause tip blockage, excessive feeding force and wire slipping. All of these concerns can lead to downtime on the line while the issue is fixed, costing you labor and productivity.
Beyond selecting the correct size, you'll also want to ensure you're getting wire with a consistent diameter. Why? Uneven diameter can prevent proper current passage between the wire and contact tip. You can end up with variations in diameter when using low-quality wire or when wire ends have been joined using butt welds. Wire that falls within AWS specifications can have a weld deposition difference of up to 8%. Wire that has been inspected using laser micrometer ensures the best consistency.
By selecting the right wire diameter for your welding job, you can ensure that your production runs operate efficiently while still giving you the precision you need to manufacture a quality product. If you have questions about wire diameter or need further information about which welding products work best for your situation, please feel free to contact us today. At OTC Daihen, we've been providing innovative technology for industrial welding for nearly 100 years.