Keys to Quality Precision WeldingBlog | August 27th, 2018
Weld torch travel speed is constant, yet there are weld line inconsistencies occurring every few centimetres. The contact to work distance is just-so, yet the melt pool is spitting explosively. Cracks, pinholes, and more, a formerly predictable workflow is suffering from strange, unpredictable material fusing issues. Even if the welder has a reputation for applying precision-placed welds, his credentials are about to receive a dent, unless we address these issues.
Keys to Precision Welding
The recently inspected welding equipment is in the hands of a pro welder. The area to be joined is clean, there are no oxidizing agents inbound, and the base electrical settings are configured on the control panel. Travel speed comes first, with the trailing weld seam forming as an oval-shaped dome. It’s smooth, absolutely consistent. As the welder’s hand moves and a sharp eye follows behind a protective mask, the angle of the welding torch assures a precisely controlled weld pool. That pool stays the same size, even when the operator’s gloved hand dabs his filler rod in the puddle. All-in-all, the job is skillfully managed, yet it’s still accumulating those frustrating inconsistencies.
Ensuring Quality Precision Welding
There could be several factors hampering the process. For example, if the latest batch of source metal has impurities, the welding process is going to hit problems. Either the alloy is impure or the heat treatment work has added incongruities to the alloys’ microcrystalline structure. Before blaming the source alloy, however, have there been any other changes made to the welding rig? If the same equipment and same settings are in use, the culprit could be a different kind of filler rod, which is far easier to replace than the workpiece. Area contamination is another common issue here, with a patch of concealed oil or dirt introducing melt pool impurities. Sometimes, just as a handy pointer, the puddle of hot metal will spit explosively when a contaminant enters its molten reach.
When all other possible causes are eliminated, return to the basics. Have the controls on the welding equipment been changed by another operator? Is the torch clean and loaded with undamaged electrode material? Even the grounding clamp could be causing trouble, perhaps by moving and altering zone conductivity. Finally, assess the joint geometry. If there’s a gap in the site to be welded, the hot gases generated by the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) will try to escape. In this case, critical engineering tolerances are impacting weld seam continuity. The machined parts may need the services of a grinder, a tool that can remove those uneven surfaces.
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