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Metal Welding Tampa Florida

Common Problems in Wire Welding

Using best practices has been a standard at Tampa Sheet Metal for almost 100 years. Our shop has invested into the safety of the employees and that includes better equipment like a fiber laser and better sheet metal machines that give us the unparalleled consistency that our customers expect from a metal fabricator that can handle high volume parts.

Below are some common problems with wire welding from fabricator.com that we found interesting to share. If you have questions about welding, fiber laser, punch press machines and anything related to sheet metal, call us today and talk to one of our experienced employees and email us direct at Sales@tampasheetmetal.com


Common problems in wire welding

If solid wire must be used on thick material, you may need to use multiple weld passes and then gouge or grind out previous weld passes until the weld joint is fully fused.

Welding typically is the most critical and scrutinized process in fabricated items, weldments, and pieces of equipment. The integrity of any finished product requiring welding is only as good as the welds joining together the different components and materials. Because of this critical nature, all quality assurance inspections and requirements revolve around the welding operation.

As with any fabrication process, there is a right way and wrong way to weld. And even when done correctly, it’s important to be aware of the other factors that can sabotage the job.

Solid-wire Welding Versus Flux-cored Welding

One type of welding that often is performed is solid-wire welding. The advantages of this type of welding are that it produces a very clean weld and it is better suited for thin metal. A solid wire does not puddle and flow as needed to fill a joint consistently, making it unsuitable for thicker metals. It is also harder to apply a weld joint accurately as it tends to stick to one side of the joint more than the other. If solid wire must be used on thicker material, you may need to use multiple weld passes and then gouge or grind out previous weld passes until the weld joint is fully fused.

Another type of welding is flux-cored welding, in which a hollow wire is filled with flux. The advantages of this process is that it is better suited for thick metal, it puddles and flows into weld joints consistently and accurately, is more forgiving, fuses equally, and provides good joint penetration.

The disadvantages are that the flux-cored wire puddles and runs out too flat and quickly when this method is used for thinner metals. The flux burns, leaving a charred discoloration on the weld that requires extensive brushing and cleaning to remove. If you have to use flux-cored wire on thin material, be sure to use welding tabs at the beginning and end of the weld joint to create “dams,” which will help keep the weld from flowing out of the joint.

Wire Welding Similar and Dissimilar Materials

Regardless of the material grades being welded or whether you are joining similar or dissimilar metals, if you follow proper procedures, you shouldn’t have a problem making a quality weld. The best way to achieve good welds is to develop a thorough welding plan for the specific project. Start at the beginning and follow the necessary steps one by one until complete.

First, study the plans and drawings to identify all the types of welds, material grades being joined, and the joint preparation required. Second, produce sample weld coupons that mimic the welds you will need. You can then send these coupons to a lab for bend/break testing either through a third-party certified welding inspector (CWI) or an in-house CWI. Last, create the procedure qualification report (PQR) and welding procedure specification (WPS) for each type of weld required on the project.

The PQR and WPS determine the parameters of the welding that needs to be done, such as amps, volts, travel speed, electrode, metal thickness, material type being joined, and the weld joint configuration. These are just a few critical items listed on these reports and specifications; they contain additional information as well that you need to follow.

What Makes a Bad Weld?

It only takes one wrong move to put the quality of the weld in jeopardy. Some examples are using the wrong filler metal for the materials being joined; not performing pre- or postheat processes; using the wrong shielding gas; running the wire at the wrong speed; using the amps or voltage outside the proper range; not applying the proper joint preparation; and even something as simple as having a fan blowing toward the weld station that can blow away the shielding gas. These factors all can result in a bad weld.

What makes a weld bad? Too much weld deposited, undercuts, pinholes, porosity, improper penetration, cracking, lack of fusion, and excessive weld spatter. For example, everything on the weld may look good visually even if you use the wrong filler metal or electrode. However, problems can arise later in the product’s life when it is in use. During the stress of operation, vibration, and hot and cold expansion and contraction of the metal and welds, the wrong filler metal may have less or more expansion than the metals it joined together. This difference could cause the welds to break, leading to product failure and physical or financial damage to the end user.

Quality Control

Properly certifying welders is a requirement for controlling weld quality. A welder qualification is similar to the weld procedure qualification (WPQ) in which test coupons are welded together. The coupon undergoes a bend/break test, and upon satisfactory results, the welder is granted a certification once he or she has passed. Certified welders are issued a stamp number, which is used during production to identify who performed the welding. This initiates accountability and traceability, which increase quality assurance of the welder.

Also, calibrating welding machines properly is an important factor in controlling quality. Over time welding machines tend to lose their calibration and performance. When this occurs, consult a calibration expert who can test the machines periodically to make sure the performance output matches the settings entered into the machine. A properly calibrated welding machine is a necessity to get the proper performance.

Finally, ensure the wire that you are using is in good condition. There are quality procedures that you need to follow when purchasing and storing new and used welding wire spools. Moisture and cool weather can damage the weld wire, whereas rust and other contaminants can damage the quality and integrity of the filler metal. Because of this, store welding wire in a temperature-controlled storage cabinet when it’s not being used.

Author: Steven Guisgond- not a TSM employee


Give us a call if you need need help with a welding project:

(813) 251-1845

quality supply vendor tampa sheet metal

4 Questions to Ask Your Vendor Before Committing

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A few questions to ask your vendor before making a commitment for your production runs:

-Does a high-quality machine producer with a solid history of reliability build the equipment installed at the vendor?

-Does the manufacturer provide local support to your vendor in case equipment needs repair during production of your parts?

-Is the laser equipment capable of handling the parts you need i.e. — a decent wattage and size? For example, prior to the invention of the fiber laser, the lower the wattage the lower the cost to operate the laser. That has changed drastically; fiber optics is three times faster than a conventional laser.

-Does the company have a long history of producing high quality parts?

If you responded with a “yes” to all the questions, then it is time to take the next step—give them a call to discuss your project. Not sure who to contact? Consider Tampa Sheet Metal in Tampa, Florida.

Tampa Sheet Metal, in business since 1920, has progressed from the early days of using hand tools into a modern facility of custom sheet metal manufacturing equipment including a laser running at the speed of light, robotic arc welding, and a fully integrated computer system running on Windows.

 

Call or email sales@tampasheetmetal.com

laser cutting steal engraved parts

Tampa Sheet Metal Specifies in Fiber Laser with Steel Metal Parts

Specifying fiber laser steel metal parts compared to other options reduces cost and meets higher quality standards. For companies outsourcing sheet metal parts for electrical, building, packaging, medical, oil, gas, marine, power generation, packaging, and other applications, should consider specifying steel fiber laser parts.

 

Why? Fiber laser steel cut parts are produced extremely fast, at precise measurements, allowing for more per parts per sheet. All three of these factors reduces the overall cost per part. In addition, the parts will be of higher quality compared to other options.

Other benefits of laser cut steel parts:

-Thick and/or thin materials can be efficiently processed
-Can produce parts that have curves
-Laser parts do not leave tool marks or scratches
-Setup time and programming are reduced
-No tool development time or tool inventory is needed
-Surfaces and edges are smoother

 

However, as everyone knows not all fiber lasers are created equal in terms of performance, quality, and reliability. This is why it is essential to investigate your vendor’s equipment before making a commitment for your parts.

Amada FO 4020NT Fiber Laser

To see more about our Amada Laser, and its capabilities, visit our Amada FO 4020NT fiber lasermachine page here –> http://tampasheetmetal.com/laser-cut-and-laser-engraved-parts/


Tampa Sheet Metal, in business since 1920, has progressed from the early days of using hand tools into a modern facility of custom sheet metal manufacturing equipment including a laser running at the speed of light, robotic arc welding, and a fully integrated computer system running on Windows.