Vertical Welding: A Complete Beginners’ Guide

Description

Welding is done basically in the position of how the particular metal and its joint are wished to be joined together or worked with. It can be on the ceiling, wall, or floor. New techniques have been established and practiced in such a way that welding is done in any position now.

Based on the position and placement of the workpiece, we classify welding processes. 3 is used to represent vertical and hence for vertical welding, we have two representations – 3F and 3G.

Vertical Welding
Source: https://weldguru.com

Vertical Welding Tips

Until the discovery of vertical up/down welding, these types of welding have never come to such high demand. New power plants, mines, construction of buildings and industries and even repairing refineries owned by the Gulf countries are still being done all around the world at a large span.

  • When we dig deep into the core of this work, we can see that it requires an advanced and experienced welding technique that is used other than horizontal welding; which is vertical-up shielded metal arc welding.
  • We know that welding processes are done faster by using horizontal and flat welding techniques but vertical welding can produce weld at a higher league.
  • This can lend you good welds and a good reputation. Let us now see the basic tips to be kept in mind.

    Choosing the Electrode

    In vertical welding, the main challenge a welder might face is to fight/ work against gravity where the working angle will be more than 45 degrees or even steeper. For vertical welding, electrodes with AWS classification of 7018 type are recommended to be used here.

    This is because these electrodes have low iron powder content and hence less prone to any rust or defecation due to moisture. The molten metal weld produces a puddle/concentrated zone where it can freeze quickly and cannot be dripped easily during its liquid state.

    • The AWS 7018 is preferred over the AWS 6010 as it has a faster weaving pattern technology.
    • Moreover, to use 6010 electrodes, a whipping technique must be followed and the stick must be pulled out of the puddle immediately every time a weld is being done and vice-versa.
    • To use the 6010 electrodes, more patience and experience is required by the welder.
    • The AWS 7024 is a good electrode but cannot fill the filler metal properly and drips the weld during work.

    Weld Shelf

    We have five different welding techniques known to us namely – flat, horizontal, overhead, vertical-up, and vertical-down. Out of these techniques, the vertical-up position is the most time-consuming and skill-based welding technique as one needs to fight against gravity all the time.

    If you use a slower travel speed and use a thick metal sheet, then better penetration results can be obtained.

    The main objective while doing vertical or overhead welding is to prevent any sort of spilling out of the weld. For thin metal sheets, vertical-down welding technique, and for thicker metals, vertical-up welding can be done for prominent results.

    • The vertical-up welding process is very similar to that of bricklaying, where here we weld bit by bit upwards just like laying bricks on top of the other and so on.
    • A weld base is first created and then more bases are added up slowly at one section at a time in small time intervals.
    • Each weld shelf should be around 1.5 to 2 times the diameter of an electrode.
    • An electrode of 1/8 inches, it needs to be about 1/6 to ¼ inches itself.
    • When producing a weave bead, mainly focus on doing the welds on the sides of the joint.
    • At regular intervals, leave the bead on the sides to cool down and lower the weld shelf to help it form on its own.
    • Make sure the slag does not fall into the weld as it may create distortions and it might reduce its strength and produce spores.
    • If the base metal tends to overheat at any stage, the weld can spill off.
    • If you notice that happening, immediately move your electrode away from the crater.
    • Whereas if you are experienced and tend to weld using the AWS 6010, a whipping technique is used.
    • The stacking technique resembles the poker chips that you see out there and each chip kind of creates a shelf to accommodate the next one.
    • Here too for vertical-up welding, keep the electrode in the root of the weld.
    • Whip the electrode upward as you see the formation of the puddle.

    Avoid Undercutting

    One of the most precautionary measures to be taken while welding is to avoid undercutting. If you lack sufficient amounts of filler metal during the weld and during vertical welding, gravity draws most of the filler metal away from the workpiece which is disadvantageous.

    Reducing current supplied and slowing the wire-feed speed can be some great remedies. You can even reduce the weld puddle size to get better control.

    In both weave and stacking techniques, the slag will leave the shelf and the puddle will stay in place to fill the gouge properly.

    Power Settings

    In vertical-up welding, the weld puddle needs to freeze quickly and hence low amperage setting is recommended to be used constantly. If you are welding in a flat orientation, then you are benefitted from gravity and hence faster travel speeds can be appreciated.

    Using electrodes having the power of 120-130 amps in 1/8 inches of 7018 electrodes and 90-100 amps of power supply also require only 1/8 inches of 6010 electrodes.
     

     

    Flux-cored Welding

    In this age, flux-cored welding has replaced most of the traditional stick welding because of the higher productivity rates that it can offer. Stick welding is preferred by a welder who tends to move around their workplace a lot during the welding process.

    Whereas if you have a very big and detailed project to weld, flux-cored welding can be a great option for one to work for extended periods of time. First, build a shelf and then weave upward slowly to allow the lower level to freeze, and then it should not overheat at any cost.

    Safety First

    Vertical welding has more damage that one can get due to its effects like spatter and molten weld fallout. The use of proper safety glasses, welding gloves, dimming helmet, fire-resistant clothes, and working shoes are highly recommended before starting the welding process.

    • If you get certified in vertical-up/down welding, you get all the certifications of flat and horizontal welding.
    • It is also a great idea to get a lot of projects and experience as a full-time professional welder.
    • If you are planning to do 3F or 3G welds, do a dry run first.
    • Weld along with the entire dummy workpiece up and down several times and see if you do not change the direction and work angles while doing so.

    Take Breaks

    It is better to get more comfortable and used to your welding equipment and technique before starting a big project as it can provide you efficiency and safety too while doing the weld. Use the arc feature on the power source if you got one.

    • This can increase the arc/stick energy and help prevent any sort of sticking.
    • This can produce some fruitful welds.
    • You never know how hot the working environment can get to be.
    • Standing in front of molten metal and weld wearing all those heavy protective gear can be really tiresome and produce a lot of heat internally.
    • In addition to this, it is a hot day with you getting dehydrated, your hands will tremble and you might even faint down unconsciously.
    • This will lend a poor focus on the weld and produce bad outputs.

    Optimal Welder Settings

    There are several settings for each type and technique of welding for the welding machines. It is necessary to change these settings for each type of weld. Fine-tuning these settings and parameters is essential.

    Once you monitor and analyze the settings for your weld, document them down on a sheet of paper or using any device and store it safely. This can be your “cheat sheet”.

    This can help you produce the welds of your style and quality without having the trouble of sorting the settings out every time you need to do a new weld. This will provide consistency in your welds and improve your game!

 

 

FAQ

  1. Is it better to weld upwards or down?

    • Vertical-up welding is preferred more than a vertical-down welding technique. This is because vertical-up welding produces much better puddle control and helps the welder do a full penetration into the metal.
    • Without proper experience in maintaining proper puddle control, a welder will find it very tedious or else cannot do vertical-up welding at all.
    • When it comes to vertical-down welding, the puddle and weld bead profile looks good but has very little strength. This is because no matter whichever type of welding you do, be it, MIG, TIG, Flux-cored, or Stick welding, without a proper weld puddle control, no good weld can be produced.

  2. How to weld using an E7018 electrode?

    • Vertical welding can be very hard and frustrating when learning as a beginner. Let us see some of the basic tips to run an E7018 electrode.
      • Set your welding machine with a lower amperage setting.
      • Make sure the electrode work angle is having a maximum of only 45 degrees.
      • Make sure the arc length is short and not touching the workpiece metal.
      • Use a zig-zag motion or a side-to-side motion while welding.
      • For running 1/8-inch of E7018 electrode, 110 to 120 amps are correct. On a 3/32-inch electrode of E7018,85 to 95 amps is preferred. The electrode must also be heated up to a very good level.

  3. Can you weld using the 7018 electrode vertically-down?

    • The shielding gas coating using the 7018 has a ‘fast depositing’ feature. So, it sets and hardens the coating which is ideal for vertical welding technique. While welding flat or ‘T’ joints using this method can be a pain as it might deposit the slag in any manner as it wishes to which is not ideal.
    • If this slag deposits in-front of or around the weld puddle, then they need to be grounded out, which is a waste of time, energy, and resources. This can be tiresome sometimes.
    • Even the most professional and experienced welders, have certain problems using the 7018 electrodes even in ideal conditions.