Irrespective of the process of welding you are using, whether it is flux-cored welding or solid-wire welding, if you don’t follow the proper process, you will not be able to get a good quality weld. In this article, we will be discussing some of the tips and techniques that will enable you to get high-quality welds time after time.
Welding is among the most critical processes in fabrication and the integrity of any product which requires welding is as good as the quality of welds that join the materials and components together. Just like any other fabrication method, welding has a right and a wrong way and even when done properly, there are other factors that may ruin the job.
Flux-Cored Welding vs Solid-Wire Welding
Solid-wired welding is a very commonly used process and this process is ideal for thin metal and produces very clean welds. The solid wire, however, is not suitable for thicker metals, as it does not form a puddle and flow to fill a joint properly. It is also quite difficult to apply a weld joint, as it sticks more to one side of the joint.
Flux-cored welding, on the other hand, is a process where a hollow wire is usually filled with the flux and this process is more well-suited for thicker metals as it forms a puddle and flows more easily and accurately into the weld joints. The process is more forgiving and delivers very good penetration of the joint. However, flux-cored welding is not very suitable for thinner metals as the puddle runs too flat and very quickly and the flux leaves a discolouration on the weld that requires a lot of cleaning to be removed.
Wire Welding of Similar and Dissimilar Materials
Whether you are welding similar metals or dissimilar ones, if you follow the right process, you will not have a problem in getting a good quality weld. It is a good idea to draw up a welding plan and follow the various steps carefully until you complete the welding process.
Identify the material grades to be joined, the kind of welds and the joint preparation needed. Produce samples of the welds, send it for testing and create a report on the types of welds needed for the project. The reports determine the parameters required for the weld such as an electrode, travel speed, thickness of metal, amps, metal to be joined, etc. that you need to follow.
What Causes a Bad Weld?
Using the wrong gas for shielding, the incorrect filler metal for the materials that are being joined, the wrong speed to run the wire, the wrong voltage or amps, not using the appropriate pre- and post-heating processes, not preparing the joint properly, etc. can all lead to a bad quality weld.
What really makes a weld bad? Pinholes, undercuts, porosity, cracking, inappropriate penetration, lack of fusion, excessive spatter, too much weld deposit are all examples of bad welds. Visually, a weld may look good although you have used a wrong electrode or filler metal. However, you may have problems later on when using the product.
A very important aspect to maintain quality is to have certified welders working on the project. Another aspect of quality control is that the welding machines must be calibrated properly. And, finally, the wire used must be of good quality and the new welding wire spools must be bought and stored according to the quality procedures.
So, despite the kind of welding you are using, by following the above tips, you can ensure that you get high-quality welds consistently that will help to improve the productivity and profitability of your fabrication business.