The freedom of speech that
flows through the internet in
combination with sound advice from many experienced welding individuals, now allows
the welding industry to obtain practical weld process data without "weld
sales prejudice or weld process hype"
However in this so called
free speech society, I have already found when you provide the truth and criticize
the few monopolistic North American weld equipment and consumable manufactures,
that bear the responsibility for the extensive weld shop confusion that exists,
well I have to watch my rear end. With this in mind this site "will try"
to reveal the complete welding facts as I find them in weld shops. The purpose
of this site is to try and always deal with "weld reality"
the last four decades weld marketing practices and weld salesmanship has had a
tremendous negative impact on the MIG welding industry. Hopefully sites
like this will eliminate many of the weld shop process myths, and eventually help
drive the sales induced weld process confusion out of this "technical industry".
months welding special"
Provide weld process reality with a dose of weld process / application knowledge"
After all, these are two two key factors that will hopefully bring "respect"
and sanity back to the welding profession.
This months Weld Product News:
WELDING WIRE ISSUES?
During July 2000, on the AWS bulletin board web site there were many complaints
about the 500 lb drum ESAB carbon steel MIG wires. I have not tried the wires
for awhile so I will reserve judgment on present day products. However the past
problems that I have had with these wires and also with the National Standard
carbon steel MIG wire in 500 lb drums was "excess helix", "cross
wound wires" and poor wire connection weld wire joints. These issues can
cause excess tip wear, burn backs, wire feed, and weld issues.
Recently I was assisting a weld manufacturing plant in S. Dakota. This company
is a large user of Lincoln L50/ L56 wires. While at the plant, they asked if I
would look at the Lincoln "Easy Feed" MIG wires and also evaluate the
Lincoln "Super Arc" MIG wires.
When I tested the Easy Feed MIG wires, I noted these wires were in contrast to
the traditional L50/L56 wires "voltage sensitive", To maintain arc stability
the weld voltage had to be constantly fine tuned. This was on a robot application
in which the wire stick out was constant, when the arc should have been stable.
The spray transfer
weld plasma generated with this wire was narrow and favored the center of the
6 mm fillet weld puddle. This weld performance is a contrast to the traditional
L50/56 wires which are noted for their arc consistency and a wide plasma that
provides greater coverage of the weld puddle surface. The narrower plasma resulting
from the Easy Feed wire produced poor wetting of the weld edges, resulting sometimes
in convex weld beads with scalloped edges. This increases potential for weld fusion
issues on specific applications.
The Easy Feed wires also were inconsistent
in the slag island production. Sometimes on clean plate with no mill scale the
Easy Feed S3 would produce much more surface slag islands than the Easy Feed S6,
this was a surprise as there is supposed to be more slag producers in the S6.
The weld voltage
sensitivity was also noted using short circuit transfer with the Easy Feed wires.
By the way the wire test welds were carried out both manually and also with a
robot. The welds were made on clean, ground plate using optimum weld parameters
in extremely controlled conditions. So much for the Easy Feed, what came as a
shock was when we tested the Lincoln Super Arc it appeared that the Super Arc
and Easy Feed had more in common with each other than they had in common with
the traditional USA manufactured L50/56 wires.
five questions that came out of this weld wire test.
Is the Easy Feed and the Super Arc the same wire in two different packages?
 What was the Easy Feed wire and the Super Arc wire called before it
was given the new Lincoln S3/S6-L50/56 brand names?
 If a company
has asked the weld distributor for a traditional Lincoln L50 or L56 wire, and
that distributor provides them with the Easy Feed Lincoln product, a product that
appears to provides inferior performance to the L50/56?. Should that customer
be a little upset
 Is Lincoln concerned about the inconsistencies
with the silicon and manganese content of the wires under discussion?
The once completely American made Lincoln L50/56 wires were for decades the best
and most consistent MIG wires in North America. If today you examine the side
of the Lincoln wire boxes or drums you may note that this L50/56 steel product
may have generated in Mexico, China, South America and many other places from
around the globe. Can Lincoln today guarantee to its welding customers that these
wires are identical in performance to the Cleveland made L50/L56 products that
have been incorporated into the majority of MIG weld procedures in North America?
We had to waste a costly day testing MIG wires that did not perform in the
way that the designated wires were supposed to perform. One of the great benefits
of a robot is it will quickly show the inconsistencies of a poor quality MIG wire.