Welders have always had to deal with spatter. It creates considerable problems for gas metal arc welding, also known as GMAW. As this process uses an arc, the high heat generated instantly turns the base metal and the welding wire into a molten liquid that produces small to large sized droplets that will cover the area around the weld. It will also get into the tool, creating problems with the weld over time.
The Causes of Spatter
While there will always be some spatter, and there is anti-weld spatter products that can protect tooling and the workpiece surfaces, there are some issues with the welding settings that can also contribute to spatter.
To help reduce spatter to a minimal level, there are a few things that welders can do. In many cases, the issue is an incorrect setting in either the voltage or the amperage for the wire and gas in use. Typically, the issue is a voltage that is lower than recommended or the amperage is higher than recommended.
Gas issues can also be a problem. Increasing carbon dioxide in the gas mixture will increase spatter, as will lowering the other gasses, particularly argon, used in the combination. In outdoor welding or even in some indoor locations, wind or loss of the shielding gas due to environmental conditions will also increase spatter.
Spatter is not just an annoyance; it can reduce the visual quality of the weld, part or component. Using anti-weld spatter products is highly recommended to reduce the ability of the spatter to stick to the surrounding surfaces.
It is possible to find anti-weld spatter coatings that can be applied to welding nozzles. This is a specialized and permanent coating that doesn’t have to be reapplied and prevents spatter from building up in the nozzles, dramatically reducing any cleaning or maintenance of the nozzles while also limiting downtime for the welder.
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