Selecting Your Welding Process
SOURCE: The Lincoln Electric Company, adapted from The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding
Selecting Your Welding Process
Sure, you know you have a weld to make…that’s the easy part… but you need to start by examining your application… Everybody’s job is an individual and has specific requirements. Therefore, if you’re really confused the best idea is to consult a welding expert in person. If you still have questions after reading this article, just ask us online.
However, this article can help you with welding process selection in four easy steps:
Step 1 – Analysis of Joint Requirements.
The first thing to look at is whether your weld joint is large or small, whether the joint is out-of-position or not, and whether the base metal is thick or thin.
In welding, the needs of any joint are expressed in four terms: Fast-Fill (high deposition rate), Fast-Freeze (the joint is out-of-position – overhead or vertical), Fast-Follow (high arc speed and very small welds), and Penetration (the depth the weld penetrates the base metal)
A joint that requires or can be welded by, just one arc welding process is rare. In fact, the majority of joints usually are characterized by a combination of these requirements to varying degrees.
Once you’ve determined your appropriate joint requirements and ranked them, have your assessment reviewed by an experienced engineer or welder. With time and experience, you’ll be able to make these assessments more accurately and with less difficulty.
Step 2 – Matching Joint Requirements With Processes
Your equipment manufacturers’ literature usually will give information on the ability of various processes to fulfill the needs of the joint. (Or, a telephone call or email will bring the needed information.)
A wrong answer is virtually impossible at this point since the deposition rate and arc-speed characteristics of each process can be clearly defined. Since you have characterized your weld joint it is simply a matter of selecting the process that suits your characterization.
To view some machines and consumables with various characteristics click here to view Lincoln Electric’s product line.
So what do you do when you find that two or more processes are suitable, which is sometimes the case? You create a checklist!
Step 3 – The Checklist
Evaluate these items realistically recognizing the peculiarities of the application as well as those of the process, and the equipment.
Considerations other than the joint itself have a bearing on selection decisions. Many of these are specific to your job or welding shop. However, they can be of great importance – and a key factor in eliminating alternate processes. Organize these factors into a checklist and consider them one-by-one:
Human prejudice should not enter the selection process; otherwise, objectivity is lost – when all other things are equal, the guiding criterion should be overall cost.
Step 4 – Review of the Application by Manufacturer’s Representative.
This may seem redundant, but the talents of experts should be utilized. Thus, the checklist to be used is tailored by the user to his individual situation. You know your application best and your welding expert knows his equipment best. Together, you should be able to confirm or modify the checklist. To contact a Lincoln Electric welding Expert click here.
Systemizing the Systematic Approach.
A system is of no value unless it is used. Create a chart and follow the steps for determining the process. By taking the time to analyze each new weld joint, your operation will become more productive and your welding experience will be more fulfilling.
Source: Adapted from The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding. The Lincoln Electric Company, 1994.
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Sean Coby is a welder par excellence and well respected among the welding community in Woodbridge, VA. He prides himself to be the fabricator and mechanic in the automotive/ diesel industry for the past more than eight years now. As the chief editor of his https://weldinginfocenter.com, he shares his experience to be safe during welding and to take proactive steps for becoming a successful welder like him.