10 MIG Welding Mistakes
Even after scrupulously monitoring the factors like weld processes, equipment, consumables, and filler materials, it is highly likely that in welding operations, mistakes will occur. Human error is a very common phenomenon in welding. You can unconsciously set wrong parameters of the power source and wire feeder. You may trim or install a MIG gun liner imperfectly. However, every welding mistake has its significant price in terms of distorting the quality, curbing the productivity and affecting the profitability. There are ten most common types of mistakes occur in welding, and we offer some pragmatic solutions that we believe you will love to follow.
1. Improper Filler Metal Storage and Handling:
If you store the filler material near to moisture attracting place that can expose to contaminants like oil, dirt, or grease, you can experience a poorly performing welding. For preventing potential damage, you must store the filler materials in a clean and dry area that has a relatively constant temperature Wire coil or the spools used in the wire feeder should get securely covered with plastic bags. If not in use, you should remove them from the feeder and keep them in the original casing.
2. Repurposing Old Equipment:
Not to mention that you will face the unnecessary downtime and sudden rise in cost for troubleshooting the problems if you use the old and dilapidated welder/generator, power sources, or wire feeders. Rather if you use new equipment and technology, you can demonstrate an improved, productive and quality welding. Newer technologies ensure your early return of investment, and they can serve you with a long life. Furthermore, you will get better deposition rates, improved power efficiency, lower preparation time for weld, and faster training all of that lead to higher productivity.
3. Using the Wrong Size MIG Gun:
If the amperage of your MIG gun is either too high or too low, you have to purchase and replace this gun frequently, that leads to an unnecessary rise in cost. A 300-ampere MIG gun will give you enough comfort in terms of greater movement, lower investment, and reduced downtime for fatigue. It performs better for lighter applications. But for heavy use, if you apply this gun, the result will be devastating that will lead to overheating, premature failure and high long-term costs. You should consult with a trustworthy welding distributor of MIG gun to know their suggestion on which gun to apply for what purpose.
4. Improper Preheat or Inter-pass Temperature Control:
You may sometimes unknowingly skip this very crucial step. Preheat slows down the cooling rate after the welding is over. How much preheat an inter-pass temperature you have to employ will depend on the thickness and type of the metal that you are working. You will get the complete guide on the requirements in the welding procedure of your method, welding codes or other fabrication documents. If you want to get the desired best result, you must preheat the material completely and let the heat extend up to 3 inches of either side of the weld joints. In case you allow your weld work to cool down below the required inter-pass temperature, it is highly likely to see cracking at the end of the work.
5. Ignoring Preventive Maintenance:
Unscheduled maintenance and repair costs are some of the critical problems that may damage your entire effort and investment. To curb these unwanted issues down, you need to undertake preventive maintenance (PM) frequently. It will increase productivity, extend the life of the equipment, and preserve the integrity of the welding materials & equipment. During the scheduled downtime of production, you should have a regular timetable to check and inspect the power sources, MIG gun or TIG torches, and wire feeders.
6. Shielding Gas Inconsistencies:
If you don’t use the right mixing and type of shielding gas, you will suffer in the long run with extreme level of weld defects. Right shielding gas curtails the requirement of excessive spatter and reduces the rework or post-weld clean up cost. It also ensures the weld penetration and determines arc characteristics. High argon mixtures bring the best outcome. For the MIG welding operations, you should purchase shielding gas from a reputed distributor who can supply appropriate mixture of argon and helium and gas free of all types of contaminants.
7. Purchasing Filler Metals Based on Cost Only:
The purchase of less expensive filler materials for short-term cost savings will lead to a long-term headache for you. It will lead to lower productivity as well. If there are poor wire feeding, excessive spatter, high downtime, and weld defects; you can take these as the result of selecting poor filler metals. So, you need to focus on and consider the total cost rather than per unit cost while purchasing the filler materials. High-quality materials will reduce the labor cost and provide better weld quality with higher productivity.
8. Improper Weld Preparation:
If the welds you are doing don’t have proper penetration, you may face various defects, including cracking, rework or scrapped portion. So you need to ensure the clean base material so that the contaminants like oil, grease or dirt don’t affect your work. You must assess weld joints very carefully to make sure that there are no excessive gaps that can lead to burn-through or distortion of the metal.
9. Disregarding MIG Gun Consumables:
You should not overlook the significance of MIG gun consumables that can lead to problems like unscheduled downtime for changeover. So, you should purchase those consumables that have tapered design with locks for keeping the conductive parts together.
10. Overlooking Training Opportunities:
Since purchasing weld equipment is your long-term investment, you should not escape the opportunity of training for further development of your skill. Training creates the scope of innovation and networking for future expansion. If you overlook the opportunity of training on MIG welding, you will be out of the updates of the industry, and thus the quality of your weld work would decrease over time.
Although a human being is prone to making mistakes, you can avoid those by careful consideration of our recommended measures for the desired outcome in MIG welding.