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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.