Key things to consider when choosing an ARC welder
Choosing the right arc welder
TO Eng-Weld we are well acquainted with the art of arc welding; a technique that is used to make durable connections between metal parts. By using a power supply to create an electric arc to create intense, localized heat which then melts, joins and fuses metals together. This intense temperature created by the arc allows, for example, to melt and fuse the edges of the weld with filler metal, in the form of rod or wire depending on the method used, although not all work requires a filler metal. be added.
There are three main types of arc welding technologies:
- MMA welders
- MIG / MAG welders
- TIG welders
Before we get familiar with each of these welding technologies and techniques, let’s first look at a few key points.
How to choose an ARC welder?
When it comes to choosing an ARC welder, there are certain criteria that each type meets, and unfortunately, there is no one welding process that is right for all applications.
You should always take into consideration:
- Is the intended use for occasional maintenance, production or for high quality welds?
- What kind of material are you going to weld?
- What is the thickness of the material you are going to weld?
- What food do you have access to?
- What is the machine’s duty cycle and how would that affect the work you intend to do?
By answering all of these questions, you are sure to find the ARC welder that best suits your needs.
What is an MMA welder?
Also known as a “stick welder,” an MMA welder is an electrical transformer that delivers a high level of electrical current to the output. By bringing the electrode closer to the workpiece, a short circuit and a high temperature electric arc occur which locally melt the metal parts to be welded as well as the electrode itself.
The electrode consists of a metal core and a protective layer to prevent oxidation. The core is used as a filler metal for welding, while the protective layer must be removed after the weld has cooled. Electrodes are therefore consumables whose composition and diameter must be adapted depending on the metal you are working with and the work you are doing.
MMA inverter welders are compact and lightweight, allowing better welding quality thanks to their precise power regulation and are usually equipped with a safety device that cuts off the current in the event of electrode sticking.
- Manual welder.
- Inverter technology.
- Coated electrodes.
- For minor repairs rather than major jobs.
Key questions about MMA welding.
What is hot start? – The Hot Start is a special function for MMA or MMA welding. The machine delivers a peak current when starting the arc, which greatly increases the ease of starting the electrodes. Especially useful for imperfect surface work or when using “hard to use” electrodes.
What is Arc Force? – Sometimes called ‘Dig’ or ‘Arc Control’, this is a function similar to Hot Start, except that it works during the welding process. It greatly helps in stabilizing the arc, preventing it from cutting during soldering and preventing the electrode from sticking, because when it detects a short circuit, the machine will provide a current peak.
What is Anti-Stick? – Anti-adhesive is a feature by which the welding machine will detect when the electrode sticks, where it will collapse the welding current to prevent the electrode from continuing to weld while working, allowing it to be easily detached or broken.
What is a MIG / MAG welder?
A MIG / MAG welder is also a form of arc welder, here the electrode is replaced with a coil of wire which unwinds as the welding torch consumes the wire. Again, the type of yarn depends on the job you are doing. As this is the filler material, different metals require different loads and varying thicknesses depending on the job.
MIG or MAG welders use gas to protect the weld bead from oxidation produced by ambient air, which is released by the torch at the welding site.
- MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding uses an inert gas such as argon or helium. It is suitable for stainless steels, light alloys and non-ferrous metals.
- MAG (Metal Active Gas) welding uses a mixture of argon and CO2, or argon and oxygen, which reacts with the welding to improve its quality.
By choosing the right gas or gas mixture, MIG welding and MAG welding can be applied to all common metals. The weld produced by these welders is of a higher quality than that of MMA welders, allowing the welding of thinner sheets and is more suitable for production, automation and robotization. MIG welding and MAG welding are also easier to learn, in general than MMA welding or TIG welding.
It is possible to use a MIG welder without a gas supply, thanks to the use of a wire filled with a powder which evaporates during welding to reproduce the inert gas blanket that protects the weld from oxidation . While MIG welding provides cleaner welding and is less expensive because solid wire is less expensive than filled wire, gasless welding frees a hand from the bottle and is more suitable for outdoor work because it is less sensitive. to drafts.
- Flux-cored wire.
- Strong wire.
- Spool of thread.
- Active gas.
- Semi-automatic welder.
- Inert gas (neutral).
What is a TIG welder?
Through the use of a non-fusible electrode, inert gas and filler metal, a TIG welder can weld thin films and weld with precision. Comes with manual or semi-automatic operation, where the welder will either hold the auxiliary rod in his hands or the welding machine is equipped with a spool filled with filler material.
Again, with TIG welding, the weld seams are protected from corrosion by the inert gas. This method generally produces high quality results, especially when it comes to thin sheet welds or tight welds.
Although the electrode is not fusible, it will still generate wear and therefore must be sharpened regularly as the electrode must have the correct tip shape for a quality electric arc to form.
TIG welders are gas or liquid cooled welders. On a low amperage weld gas cooling is sufficient, however, for higher amperage welds a liquid cooler is essential to prevent overheating.
- High quality welds can be obtained.
- Can work with thin sheet metal.
- Used for non-ferrous metals.
- Inert gas.
- Non-fusible electrode.
- Semi-automatic capacity.