Raise your hand if you love cleaning up weld spatter.
(We don’t see any hands up.)
Grinding off spatter after finishing a weld is no one’s idea of a good time. But did you know you can limit or even avoid the time and costs associated with spatter altogether? Read on for tips to help you keep spatter at bay so you can spend more time doing what’s important.
The Problem With Spatter
Caused by metal thrown free from the welding point to land on nearby surfaces, spatter reduces efficiency and increases overhead in your assembly line. Welders need to clean up the weld after they’re finished, and excess material is wasted each time.
Many welders consider this part of the territory. Visual cues like sparks or sizzling sounds are the ways many people learned to weld.
“They’re so used to that, and when it’s not there, they question the quality of the weld,” says OTC DAIHEN Regional Sales Manager Chris Sharp. “They’re used to welding on sound and seeing the sparks fly.”
The bad news is, these signals are actually signs of an imperfect weld - and they themselves create spatter.
Why would you spend time and money removing part of what you worked so hard to apply? And how do you reach a point of having minimal spatter in your welds? Here are three tips for reducing spatter from your production line welds.
Three Ways to Reduce Spatter
1. Adjust the Arc Voltage
If it's not set correctly, your voltage setting can significantly increase spatter. Low voltage settings will cause spatter because the wire is repeatedly short-circuiting in the weld pool, causing small explosions at the tip of the wire.
This short-circuiting is normal for short-arc MIG welding, but if arc voltage is set correctly, you can typically keep the expelled spatter to a small size and avoid it sticking to your workpiece or surrounding fixtures. On the other hand, a voltage that’s too high can also produce excessive spatter due to extreme arc force.
2. Change the Stick-Out
The amperage of the arc is determined partially by the length of the stick-out, or the amount of wire that is beyond the contact tip that creates the arc.
If the stick-out is too long, it can reduce amperage, throwing spatter out of the weld because it's not penetrating deeply enough into the weld. If it's too short, it increases amperage, throwing material out of the weld due to the force of the arc.
3. Upgrade Your Welding Machines
Ever considered that your welding machine - whether manual or robotic - could be causing the problem?
Consider welding machines with special features, such as ultra-low spatter or our new pulse capabilities (learn more below), to minimize or virtually eliminate spatter. With the advent of ultra-high-speed electronics, some of today’s welding power sources focus on spatter reduction because of its costly impact. They also offer other benefits that improve total weld quality and they easily justify the investment.
Cleaner Welds with OTC DAIHEN Welding Technology
OTC DAIHEN has spent decades developing advanced welding technology for producing greater efficiency and higher quality welds.
There are three main ways we’ve done this:
- Synchro-feed for our robotic platforms. Our proprietary Synchro-feed welding technology uses the pulse of the welding arc combined with the pulse of the wire feed, then reversal of the wire direction to deliver a small droplet of weld metal.
Hundreds of times each second, the arc is extinguished and the wire advanced and retracted to gently place the formed droplet in the weld puddle without creating spatter. This results in an ultra-low amount of spatter, fine control of heat input and thinner weld application supporting much higher-speed welding.
- Low-spatter mode for steel welding on manual and robotic power sources. The advanced welding processor inside the power sources monitors and manipulates the arc every 20 nanoseconds. That’s three times more often than the nearest competing power source.
- NEW Smart Pulse Technology: OTC DAIHEN's new Smart Pulse weld modes, with improved ASIC chipset and Artificial Intelligence (AI) control algorithms, produce a flatter weld bead profile, less undercutting, good penetration and reduced spatter with aluminum, steel and stainless steel. The new technology is now available in our newest Welbee model, the Welbee II.
How does it work? The 20ns speed of the computer results in the adjustment of the welding output to either eliminate spatter before it can form or to reduce the size of the spatter so small that it will not stick to the material being welded.
Standard upgrades included with the new Smart Pulse technology allow for:
- High travel speed, steel welds with reduced tendency to undercut, lower spatter and a flatter bead.
- Stainless steel welds with softer arc, better weld color, less residual oxidation on the weld surface.
- MS-MIG on aluminum with new programming for 5000 series aluminum wires on thicker sections to keep the arc stable while reducing bead wandering and poor penetration.
Also included is an option for Low Slag Wire to accommodate the new class of welding wires that have very low silicon levels to reduce fisheyes on painted assemblies. The weld mode allows for an improved arc by reducing bead meandering, undercut and spatter creation at speeds up to 130 cm/min.
Not only does OTC DAIHEN technology produce high-quality welds - it’s easy to use.
“During an aluminum welding demonstration I did, we called over an employee to try the machine out, and he produced a great-looking weld,” Sharp said. “I joked that it was probably the best weld he’d ever created. And he said, ‘I’ve never welded aluminum before.’ When we do aluminum demos with our technology, we get that jaw-dropping effect almost every time.”
More Information About OTC DAIHEN Technology
Learn more about the Welbee II and other cutting-edge welding solutions released in 2021.
If you need help finding the right equipment to get the job done, contact the knowledgeable professionals at OTC DAIHEN. We've been providing top-quality automated welding equipment since 1979 and can help you create a process that's right for you.