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About Graham

Tuesday, 8th April 2014

Graham

Hello, my name’s Graham, I’m one of your Technical Advisors and a founding partner of The Welders Warehouse

My job is to help you select the correct products for whatever it is you want to do and to help you get the best out of your purchase.  So please, get in touch, tell me what you’re working on and what you need and lets make your job more of a pleasure than a chore!

I started my working life back in 1977 as an Apprentice Sheet Metal Worker and welder in Chessington, Surrey before moving to Milton Keynes in the mid 80’s to buy a house I could afford with my lovely new Wife.

In the late 80’s I jumped from manufacturing engineering to a sales career, selling first Carbide Burrs, then specialised welding equipment and consumables, before helping found The Welders Warehouse in 1993.

In 1999 The Welders Warehouse entered the then exciting new World of Cyberspace with our first e-commerce website.

The rest, as they say, is history!

When I’m not working I enjoy Photography, Walking, Travel and a bit of Golf (which I’m not very good at 🙂

Best Regards

Graham

Weld Distortion, Causes and Remedies

Friday, 24th November 2017

Weld distortion is the bane of every welders life!

You start out with two beautifully flat pieces of metal, then a few minutes welding later, the shape is more akin to a Donkey’s Hind Leg!!

Believe me, weld distortion is something I have FAR too much experience of  🙂

Back in my Days as a Sheet Metal Worker I had to dress out a LOT of weld distortion.  As an Apprentice I HATED the job as I never seemed to get it right, but with time, I learnt the knack.  I still hated it 🙂 but got good at sorting it.

Weld Distortion – Causes

Weld distortion has two causes:

  1. Heat that’s introduced to the job by the welding process.  This will vary depending on the welding process used.
  2. The Weld metal shrinking as it cools.

Lets put a bit more detail on those!

Welding Processes (part 1)

In my experience, by far the worst welding process for introducing heat into the job is Gas Welding, partly because it’s a slow process but mainly because the heat from the flame goes everywhere.  Mig Welders and Tig Welders introduce much less heat to the job, despite an arc being far hotter than a flame.

Mig because it’s faster and Tig because it’s more precise about where the heat is focused, ie is where it’s needed.

Reducing Heat Input

There’s not loads you can do about reducing the amount of heat that goes into the job, but here are a few preparitory things you can do that will help.

  1. Ensure a nice tight joint (unless a gap is necessary for penetration).
  2. Don’t use excessive power, or move slower than necessary.  Clearly you need to uses enough power and move at the right speed for a sound weld, but the objective is not to avoid putting unnecessary heat into the job.
  3. If possible, place heatsinks (blocks of metal for example), close to each side of the weld.  Avoid placing these directly under the joint as this may affect penetration.

Weld Metal Shrinkage

Like most materials, metal expands when it gets hot and shrinks when it cools.

When you produce a weld your putting down Moulten Metal, which will be in an expanded state.

As the weld metal solidifies and cools it contracts, pulling on the metal around it, causing weld distortion.

The easiest way to correct this distortion is to place a solid block of metal behind the weld and gently dress the weld with a Hammer.  This will stretch the weld and relieve the pull effect on the surrounding metal.  This process should be carried out a little at a time because if you over stretch the weld, you can’t go back and you will still have distortion, only this time caused by a stretched weld rather than a shrunken one!! So be patient, take your time and hammer along the whole weld a little, then repeat as necessary until the distortion is relieved.

Welding Processes (part 2)

The choice of welding process will have an effect on the amount of weld shrink distortion and the ease with which it can be relieved.

Gas Welding and Tig Welding allow the operator better control of the size of the weld.  Whilst the weld needs to be big enough to do the job, clearly the bigger the weld the more it will shrink and cause distortion.  Mig Welding on the other hand is harder to control when it comes to weld size.

Gas Welding and Tig Welding produce a soft, more malleable weld deposit which is easier to dress, whilst Mig Welding produces a harder weld that can be more prone to cracking when dressed.  This hardness is made worse if pure Co2 is used as a shielding gas, so I would alway recommend an Argon/Co2 mix where distortion is likely to be a problem.

If you found this article helpful, you may also find this article on Welding Defects helpful.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

Welding Aluminium with Mig

Wednesday, 22nd November 2017

Firstly, Mig Welding Aluminium with a general purpose Mig Welder is not ideal, a DIY type machine is even less suitable.

The best type of machine to weld Aluminium with is an AC/DC Tig Welder

Having said that, with the right set up, most Mig Welders can be used for welding aluminium (more or less), provided they’re set up correctly.

The challenges of Mig Welding Aluminium

Mig Welding steel is not difficult, this is because when it comes to setting the machine up:

> Roller Tension

> Torch Liner Quality

> Power Setting

> Wire Feed Speed

there is a reasonable margin of error.

For example, if your wire feed speed is a little High, or Low, you’ll get away with it.  If you’re trying to weld Aluminium you WON’T get away with it.  Wire feed speed that’s too low will cause the wire to burn back on to the Tip, too high and it will hit the job, potentially causing a “Birds Nest” of wire inside the machine!  All very frustrating.

For Mig Welding Aluminium, you will need:

> Pure Argon Gas, NOT Co2 or an Argon/Co2 mix

> Plastic or Teflon Liner in your Torch (more on this later)

> An oversize Tip for the end of the Torch (more on this later)

> A Reel of Aluminium Wire suitable for the grade of Aluminium you intend welding

> LOTS of patience getting the Power and Wire Feed Speed right

Mig Torch Liner for Mig Welding Aluminium

A Regular steel liner (looks like bicycle brake cable), will scrape the surface of the Aluminium Welding Wire, causing the wire to bind/jam in the liner.  A Plastic or Teflon Liner MUST be used to avoid this.  If your Mig Torch already has a plastic liner, but you’ve been using it to weld steel, I would recommend fitting a new liner for Mig Welding Aluminium.

Oversized Mig Tip

Because Aluminium has binding properties, it may jam in a regular tip, especially when the tip gets hot.  Some types of tip can be purchased in an “Aluminium” version, these are slightly oversized to compensate.  If your machine’s tip type is not available in an Aluminium version, I would suggest using 1.0mm tip for 0.8mm wire.

Aluminium Mig Welding Wire

Several grades of Aluminium Mig Welding Wire are available and the grade selected needs to be compatible with the Aluminium to be welded.

If your welding a straightforward commercial grade of Aluminium, my suggestion would be to use a 5356 grade Aluminium Mig Wire  You can use a 4043 grade, but this is a softer wire and therefore more prone to feed problems.

Setting up for Mig Welding Aluminium

OK, you’ve got Argon Gas, you’ve fitted a Plastic/Teflon Liner and oversized tip and you’ve fitted your spool of 5356 Welding Wire.

Next you’ll need to place close attention to the tension on your feed rollers.  Ideally, you’ll be using ‘U’ shaped rollers, but if all that’s available for your machine is ‘V’ shape, these will have to suffice.  Set the Roller Tension AS LOW AS POSSIBLE.  Do this by starting at a point where the rollers slip and don’t feed the wire.  Then slowly increase until the wire does feed OK.  More info on Roller tension can be found in our Knowledge Zone

Power Setting

This will be determined by the job.  If you’re an experienced welder of steel, start by setting the Power about 50% higher than you would for the same thickness of steel.

Wire Feed Speed

This will be determined by the job.  If you’re an experienced welder of steel, start by setting the Wire Feed Speed about 100% higher than you would for the same thickness of steel.

Ambient temperature

If you’re doing a job in cold weather, try warming the job up a little.  What you’re looking for is the job to not be cold to the touch, so if it is, put a fan heater on it for a few minutes.  A job that’s warm to the touch will weld easier.  This shouldn’t be necessary in Summer.

Getting Started – Patience Patience Patience

Make sure metal you intend welding is clean, running a sanding disc over the area to be welded can also help if the aluminium is old as this will reduce the effects of surface oxide.

Getting the balance of Power and Wire Feed Speed when trying to Mig Weld Aluminium is a frustrating exercise of trial and error.

Start by angling the torch at 45⁰ as this will minimise the risk of birds nesting wire inside the machine if the wire feed speed is too high.

Once you’ve got the Power and Wire Feed Speed set correctly the process is not dissimilar to welding steel.  Hold the torch at around 70⁰, and move slowly along.

I hope you found this useful, if things work out well for you, please feel free to post some pictures of your achievements on our Facebook Page

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

3 Easy Steps to Perfect Mig Wire Feed Speed

Friday, 17th November 2017

Mig Welders are relatively simple pieces of equipment and are easy to use, the key is getting the machine set up correctly in the first place.  Key to this is the setting the wire feed speed correctly.

A lot of smaller machines on the market, BlueMig BM-150T for example, have a helpful Chart, indicating the settings most likely to suit a given thickness of metal with a given size of wire.

Example of Welding Chart

Mig Wire Feed Speed Chart

3 Steps to Perfect Wire Feed Speed

  1. Set the wire feed speed to a level that you know will be too high for the power output setting you’re using (this may be a best guess).
  2. Start an arc on a scrap piece of metal.  With too much Wire the arc will “Stutter” and you will feel your torch bucking in your hand as the wire repeatedly hits the metal.  If it doesn’t, increase the wire feed speed, whilst welding, until it does!
  3. Whilst maintaining this Stuttering Arc, SLOWLY reduce the wire feed speed.  The Arc will suddenly run smoothly with an even “Crackle” and the torch will stop bucking in your hand.

CONGRATULATIONS, you now have the correct wire feed speed for the Power Output you’ve set on the machine and the size of wire you’re using.

Once you’ve got the setting right, it’s worth making a note of the setting for that wire and power output for future reference.  Essentially, you start writing your own chart!!!

Conclusion

Getting the correct Wire Feed Speed on a Mig Welder is critical to getting a good quality weld.

Too much wire feed will generate a lot of spatter and a lack of penetration, not to mention a weld that looks like a line of Pigeon dropping 🙂

Too little wire feed will generate a weak flat weld, possibly with undercut.

 

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

PS – We have some other Mig Welder related information and videos in our Support area, simply click Mig Welder Info to have a read/view.

Gas Flow Rate for Mig

Monday, 6th November 2017

What’s the right Gas Flow Rate for a Mig is a question we get asked a lot, but like many things in welding, there’s no definitive answer.

The correct Gas Flow Rate for a Mig will depend on a number of factors:

  1. The diameter of the Gas Shroud
  2. The joint configuration
  3. Whether there is any uncontrollable factors that may disrupt the gas shield around the weld, draught/wind being the most obvious

Having said all that, I understand you need a start point, so I’ve produced a simple chart showing suggested Gas Flow Rate for a Mig.

This is based on a formula of the cross sectional area of the Gas Shroud Bore divided by 13.

For Example, let’s assume the Gas Shroud Bore is 10mm.

Cross Sectional Area (as I’m sure we all remember from school Maths), is 𝝅r² so:

𝝅 (3.142 is close enough) x 5 x 5 ÷ 13 = 6.042

We can round that to 6 litres per minute Gas Flow Rate for a Mig with 10mm bore Gas Shroud.

I would stress that this figure is a start point.  Try a test weld, if you see tiny pin holes in the surface of your weld, you need more gas, but in still conditions, this formula should provide enough shielding without wasting gas by using more than necessary.

Gas Flow Rate Chart Mig Welder

Gas Flow Rate Chart Mig Welder

I hope this helps

If you would like a higher resolution copy of the chart, use the “Contact Us” link on our website to drop me a note and I will email you a copy.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

Setting up a Gas Regulator

Saturday, 28th October 2017

How you use your Gas Regulator will have a direct impact on long term life and accuracy.

Incorrect use of a Gas Regulator and incorrect storage are the two most common reasons for Gas Regulator failure, or the delivery gauge becoming inaccurate.

Oxygen Gas Regulator

Putting Gas Equipment together

When putting Gas Equipment together, including fitting the Gas Regulator onto the Cylinder, it’s important to:

NOT use any kind of thread sealer (ptfe tape etc). Gas Equipment threads do not seal at the thread and using thread sealer will most likely cause leaks and can be dangerous.

NOT to over tighten any of the fittings.  Fittings only need to be nipped up with a short spanner.  Heaving on a spanner, especially a long spanner, will almost certainly lead to damage of the sealing surface causing leaks.

Setting Gas Delivery Pressure or Flow Rate

You should refer to your equipment for the amount of gas required to operate it.

Mig and Tig Welders will normally specify a Flow Rate in Litres Per Minute (LPM).

Gas Welding and Cutting Equipment will normally specify a Pressure in PSI or Bar.

When you first fit your Gas Regulator to the Cylinder the cylinder will obviously be OFF. The following list explains delivery Flow Rate/Pressure setting (if using two gases, do one gas at a time).  Carry out procedure in a well ventilated area with no combustion sources if the gas is flammable.

Ensure the Gas Regulator Control Knob (big Black Knob with Blue Cap in the picture), is unscrewed to the point where it is loose and floppy.

Slowly open the Cylinder Valve to turn the Gas ON. Note the Contents Gauge Needle pops up to show the pressure in the cylinder.

DO NOT open the Cylinder Valve with the Gas Regulator Control Knob screwed in as this may damage the Delivery Gauge.  Manufacturers will not warranty replace parts damaged by this sort of incorrect use.

Open your Gas Torch Control Valve ½  turn (note no gas will come out at this time). If your setting gas flow on a Mig or Tig, operate the machine so it’s gas valve is open.

Slowly turn the Gas Regulator Control Knob clockwise. When you start to feel resistance the gas should start to flow and the Delivery Gauge Needle will start to move around the scale.  Continue to turn the Control Knob until the desired Flow Rate/Pressure is reached.

Close the Gas Torch Valve or shut off the Mig/Tig Welder so gs no longer flows.

Note that when gas is no longer flowing the Delivery Gauge Needle will creep above the value set.  This is quite normal and will go back down once gas starts to flow again.

Closing Down your Equipment for the Day

Closing down your equipment is correctly is as important to its long term reliability and accuracy as the set up.  Follow these simple steps (if using two gases, do the following for each gas separately):

Turn the Cylinder Valve OFF

Open your Gas Torch Control Valve or activate Mig/Tig Welder, so gas flows, note how the Delivery Gauge and Cylinder Contents Gauge Needles drop to Zero.

Unscrew the Gas Regulator Control Knob until it goes loose and floppy.

Close the torch Control Valve or deactivate the Mig/Tig Welder.

Storing Gas Regulator

If you don’t intend using your Gas Regulator for a Month or more, it’s a good idea to apply just a small amount of pressure to the internal valve, to stop it from sticking.

Do this by slowly screwing the Control Knob clockwise until you just feel resistance, then screw it one quarter turn further.

Remember to unscrew the Control Knob bar to loose and floppy before fitting to a pressurised gas cylinder.

Well I hope you found that informative and useful.  More information on Gas Equipment can be found within this blog, or in our Knowledge Zone.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

Choosing Welding Gas Regulators

Monday, 23rd October 2017

All compressed gases are dangerous, some more than others, so the correct Welding Gas Regulator is essential.

Gas Regulator Construction

Gas Regulators vary in construction, depending on the gas they’re intended for.  Probably the most obvious difference is the screw threads.  Regulators for combustible gases (Acetylene, Propane, Propylene etc), usually have Left Hand Threads.  The left hand thread is indicated by little cuts in the flats of the Hexagon.

Regulators for non combustible gases (Oxygen, Argon, Co2 etc), usually have Right hand Threads and as such do not have the cuts on the Hexagon.

Another important difference can be the material used to manufacture internal components.  For example, internal Acetylene Regulator components are manufactured from different material to Propane Regulators.  It’s therefore important that the correct regulator is used as failure to do so can be extremely dangerous.

In the example outlined above, Propane will corrode the internal components of an Acetylene Regulator, inevitably leading to failure and leaking!

ALWAYS use the correct regulator for the gas!

Oxygen Regulators

Oxygen Regulator 4 barOxygen Regulator 10 bar

The most common type of Oxygen Regulator has a 0-10 bar outlet.  However, as Gas Welding Torches typically only require around 0.2 bar, a Regulator capable of delivering up to 10 bar is going to be difficult to adjust accurately at such a low pressure.

To overcome this, 0-4 bar Oxygen Regulators are also available.  These are much easier to adjust at the low pressures required for most Gas Welding & Brazing torches.  Even Cutting Guns can be used with nozzles up to 1/16″.

0-10 bar Oxygen Regulators are for where larger Nozzles are going to be used.

I would also recommend not considering a regulator with less than a 300 bar input rating as 300 bar cylinders are becoming more common and are likely to become the norm in future.

Acetylene Regulator

Acetylene Regulator

Acetylene becomes unstable and explosive if compressed to a high pressure.  Because of this, Acetylene is dissolved in a filler material and solvent.  Because of the low pressure nature of Acetylene cylinders, the Gas Regulator for Acetylene has a different internal set up.  Most Acetylene Regulators have a maximum delivery pressure of 1.5 bar.

Propane Regulators

 

Propane Regulator with GaugesPropane Regulator

Propane Regulators are commonly supplied with, or without gauges.  As discussed earlier, Acetylene and Propane Regulators should never be used with any other gas than that which they are designed for, although Propane Regulators can be used for Propylene, which is made up of around 50% Propane.

Argon and Argon/Co2 Regulator

Argon Regulator

Argon Gas Regulators are much the same as Oxygen Regulators.  However, a key thing to look out for is the Delivery Gauge (usually the right hand gauge).

On an Oxygen Regulator the delivery Gauge normally shows Pressure in Psi and Bar.  Argon Regulators normally show Gas Flow Rate in Litres Per Minute and Cubic Feet Per Hour.  It’s important to make sure the Delivery Gauge reads Flow Rate as most Mig and Tig Welders will quote a recommended gas delivery in Litres per Minute.

An Argon Regulator should also be used for Argon/Co2 Mixed gases.

CO2 Regulator

Co2 Gas Regulator

Most of a Co2 Regulator is the same as an Argon Regulator.

The one BIG difference is the Cylinder Fitting, which is Female.

All the other Regulators we have discussed have a Male thread to go into a Female Fitting on the cylinder.  Co2 Cylinders have a Male thread, so the Regulator has to have a Female fitting.

Regulators for Disposable Gas Cylinders

Disposable Cylinder RegulatorDisposable Cylinder Regulator with Gauges

Regulators for Disposable Gas Cylinders do the same thing as their refillable cylinder counterparts, except the fitting onto the Cylinder is completely different.

Disposable Cylinders are filled to a lower pressure.

For these reasons, Disposable Cylinder Regulators are not compatible with refillable cylinders.

Regulators for use with Disposable Cylinder can have no Gauges, 1 Gauge and 2 Gauges.

 

I hope you’ve found this article useful, you can find more Gas Equipment related information in our Knowledge Zone and in other articles of my blog.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

 

Gas Vs Gasless Mig Welding Wire

Tuesday, 17th October 2017

 

Gas vs Gasless Mig Welding, which is best? is a conversation I have with customers on the phone on an almost daily basis.

Gasless Mig Wire

Firstly, let’s clarify that “Gasless” Mig is not actually gasless, because there is no such thing as gasless mig welding.  The weld pool has to be protected from the oxygen in the air and this is done by displacing the air with gas!

So called “Gasless” Mig Wires are actually “Self Shielding”.

Self Shielding Mig Wire is a tube of metal with a flux core.  As the welding arc melts the wire it also burns the flux, this produces a gas shield around the welding process.  So NOT “Gasless”.

Secondly, I’m going to put my cards on the table!  I’m not the Worlds biggest fan of Self Shielding Mig Wire!

OK so it has some uses, but it produces a fierce arc that’s not much use on steel thinner than around 1.2mm and as for car body welding, well if a mig welder supplier tells you their machine can weld car body thickness steel without gas GET THEM TO DEMO IT!!!

Self Shielding Mig Wires also produce a LOT of nasty smoke, so are best used in the open air.  And that really is the only place I would advocate using self shielding wire, in the open air and even then, only when its too windy to use solid wire and gas.

A Little Bit of History

Self shielding mig wires were first developed in the USA for use on the vast prairie farms of the mid west.  A small hand held mig welder was developed that would operate off a deep cell, 24v Tractor battery.  This welder was part of a tool kit carried by the farmer and used to carry out on the spot repairs to gates etc out in the fields.

Self shielding mig wires found their way into the UK DIY welder market in the 80’s, before disposable gas cylinders became available.

Solid Wire + Gas

By far the most common and best way to use a Mig Welder is with solid wire and a cylinder of gas.  With this system, the Mig Welder pours gas over the weld pool as you weld, thus keeping Air/Oxygen from contaminating the weld.

Solid Wire + Gas is easier to use and produces better quality welds

I’ve written a separate Blog article called:

What Gas do I need for Mig Welding and Tig Welding which you may find useful

Bottom Line

In my opinion, if you have a Gas/No Gas Mig Welder you should always use it with Gas, unless you absolutely have to use self shielding wire.

I personally, would prefer to protect the work area from wind with screens etc than use self shielding wire, but as I said earlier, I’m not a fan 🙂

We offer a full range of Mig Welding Wires for most materials, including Solid and Self Shielding wires for steel.

Need to Know More?

If you’re not sure what type of Mig Welder would best suit your needs, get in touch, you can write via our Contact Us page, or phone and ask for me! (numbers at the top of this page)

I hope you found this useful.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Regards

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

Welded Scrap Metal Art

Monday, 16th October 2017

Hi Everyone

I recently attended an International Welding Expo in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Whilst wandering around I came across an impressive display of Welded Scrap Art.

OK, so most of us would have seen this sort of thing before, but it’s the first time I’ve seen more than one piece in one place.  All were made from scrap metal, and old car or motorcycle parts, so as well as being impressive to look at, it struck me a a great way to recycle!

I couldn’t get photos of every item because it was VERY busy with people taking selfies next to them, but I hope you enjoy the photos I did get.

To give you a sense of scale, the 4 figures were all around 7ft/2.2M tall and the car was full size.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

Alien Metal Sculpture Archer Metal Sculpture Car Metal Sculpture Eagle Metal Sculpture Warrior Metal Sculpture Predator Metal Sculpture

Can I use Propane Gas instead of Acetylene

Monday, 9th October 2017

Well the short answer is, “Yes” and “No”.

Sorry its ambiguous, but it all depends what you want to do!  Let me explain!

Fuel Gas Options

Oxygen + Fuel Gas kits used to be simple, you had Oxygen + Acetylene!  However, the waters are now muddied by a number of factors.

  • Acetylene can be hard, and expensive, to obtain.
  • Cylinder Rental for Acetylene Cylinders has shot up in price.
  • Acetylene often rings alarm bells with Health & Safety conscious officials because of its combustibility and unstable nature!

Unfortunately, Acetylene is still the best all purpose gas, but there are viable alternatives, as long as you know what you want to be able to do and choose carefully.

Propane + Oxygen

Oxygen Propane KitOxygen Propane Gun

Propane is the easiest fuel gas alternative to Acetylene to obtain and is normally supplied in cylinders on a Deposit basis, rather than rented (as is usually the case with Acetylene).

For most users, Propane works out cheaper, especially for infrequent users of Oxygen + Fuel kits. The only real downside to using Oxygen and Propane is that it can’t be used for actual Welding.  Oxygen and Propane fuelled kits are however, ideal for Silver Solder, Brazing, Cutting and Heating.  So as long as you don’t want to Weld, Oxygen and Propane is a great way to go! Oxygen + Propane produces a flame temperature of around 1800⁰C.

Propylene + Oxygen

Small Gas Welding KitOxygen Propane Torch

Propylene is a blend of gases, including Propane and available in a number of throwaway canister Brands, Gasex, Mapp & Turbo Gas to name but three, it’s also available in larger, refillable cylinders.  An Oxygen and Propylene mix burns quite a bit hotter than Oxygen and Propane, typically around  3100⁰C and could, therefore, be considered better as jobs will reach operating temperature quicker.

Unfortunately, like Propane, Propylene is not suitable for fusion welding.  You will find people out there who will tell you it can be used to weld, but in tests that I’ve carried out, the welds it’s produced have been fairly brittle and break easily.

Propylene + Oxygen is however excellent for Silver Soldering, Brazing & Heating.

Oxygen + Propane equipment should also be used for Oxygen + Propylene.

The Welders Warehouse offers a number of excellent Oxygen + Propane Kits, please take a look at our Gas Equipment Page to see the range!

Hope you found this article useful.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

Technical Advisor – The Welders Warehouse Ltd

Duty Cycle, what do the numbers mean

Thursday, 14th September 2017

If you prefer to watch video than read, the following link will take you to a video we’ve produced that explains Duty Cycle.

Understanding Duty Cycle

“Duty Cycle” is probably the least understood of the specification data published for any type of Mig Welder, Tig Welder or Plasma Cutter.  Essentially it’s a set of figures to indicate how long a welder will run for before it gets too hot and the thermal overload mechanism shuts the machine off for some cool off time.

However, as there are a number of variables (ambient temperature and power setting for example), Duty Cycle data is more for comparison of different welders.

Manufacturers establish the Duty Cycle figures by putting the machine in a controlled temperature environment and running it at a specific output until it overheats and shuts off.  The time this takes is recorded and presented as a percentage of a work period.

The European Union definition of a Work Period is 10 minutes.

A typical Duty Cycle will be shown as follows:

30% @ 200amps at 40°C

So what do the numbers mean?

30% is the percentage of the work period the machine operated for during the test.  In this example, the machine operated for 30% of the 10 Minute work period, which is 3 minutes.

200amps is the power output that the machine was set to for the test.

40°C was the ambient temperature the the machine was tested in.

As mentioned earlier, this data is notional because of the variables.

For example, in the UK you’re unlikely to ever be welding in a 40°C ambient temperature! (good luck if you are 🙂 )  If its Winter it may be below 10°C in your workshop, so the machine will be cooled by air that is substantially below the test temperature of 40°C so the welder will clearly run for longer than 3 minutes!

If you were to set the machine to an output below 200amps it will weld for longer, set it higher than 200amps and it will overheat sooner.

So the Duty Cycle figure is a guide only.  But as I said earlier great for comparison and making sure you get the right machine for the job!

Hope this helps

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Graham
The Welders Warehouse