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Electric Arc Welding

Definition

Electric arc welding: A group of fusion welding processes that


use an electric arc to produce the heat
required for melting the metal.

Common Electric Arc Welding Processes


1. SMAW
2. GMAW
3. FCAW
4. GTAW
What do these acronyms stand for?

Additional Arc Welding Processes


1. SAW

Submerged Arc Welding

2. ESW

Electroslag Welding

3. EGW

Electrogas Welding

4. PAW

Plasma Arc Welding

5. ASW

Arc Stud Welding

Requirements
What are the three requirements of fusion welding?

Arc Welding Requirements

Heat

Shielding

Filler
Material

SMAW
GMAW
GTAW

How does each of these processes meet the three requirements?

Heat

Arc Welding Electrical Terms


To understand how an electric arc welder produces the heat used for
welding, you must understand the following thirteen (14) electrical
terms.
1. Electrical Circuit

8.

Constant potential

2. Direct current (DC)

9.

Constant current

3. Alternating current (AC)

10.

Voltage drop

4. Ampere

11.

Open circuit voltage

5. Volt

12.

Arc voltage

6. Resistance

13.

Polarity

7. Ohms Law

14.

Watt
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Terms
1 - Electrical Circuit

An electrical circuit is a complete path


for electricity.
Establishing an arc completes an
electric circuit .

Terms
2 - Direct Current
Direct current: The type of
current where the flow of
electrons (polarity) is in one
direction.

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Terms
3 - Alternating Current

Alternating current: The type


of current where the flow of
electrons reverses direction
(polarity) at regular intervals.

Recommended current for


SMAW general purpose
electrodes and flat position.

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Terms
4 - Ampere

Amperes: the unit of measure for current flow.


One ampere is equal to 6.241509481018
electrons passing by a point per second.
Electricity passing through a resistance causes
heat.
An air gap is a high resistance

Knowing these facts, how do you change the amount of heat at the
weld?
What are the characteristics of an electrode that was used with
excessive current density?
What is the effect when the electrode has low current?
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Terms
5 - Voltage

Voltage is the measure of electromotive


force (Emf).

Emf is measured in units of volts

The voltage at the electrode for SMAW


determines the ease of starting and the
harshness of the arc.

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Terms
6 - Resistance

Def: that characteristic of a material that impedes the flow of an


electrical current.

Measured in units of Ohms ( )


When an electrical current passes through a resistance heat
(BTU) is produced.
The amount of heat produced is a function of the amount of
resistance (Ohms) and the amount of current (amps).

Is the resistance adjustable in the SMAW process?

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Terms
7 - Ohms Law

Ohm's law states that, in an electrical


circuit, the current passing through a
material is directly proportional to the
potential difference.
Commonly expressed as:

Ohms law also be used to teach a


principle of electrical safety.

Amperage is the harmful portion of


electrical current.
Rearranging Ohms Law for amperage
shows that amperage (current flow) is
determined by the voltage divided by
the resistance.
The higher the resistance, the less
current that will flow for a given voltage.

What does this principle


mean for SMAW?

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Terms
8 - Constant Potential
The constant potential power supply is modified to produce a
relatively constant voltage as the amperage changes.
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0

50

100

150

200

250

Characteristic of GMAW power supplies.


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Terms
9 - Constant Current
In the normal operation of a transformer, as amperage is increased,
the voltage decreases, and vies versa.
Electrical arc welding power supplies are modified so that either the
voltage or the amperage is relatively constant as the other factor
changes.
In a constant current power supply, the current (amperage)
stays relatively constant when the voltage is changed.
GMAW

In a constant potential power supply, the voltage stays


relatively constant when the amperage is changed.
SMAW

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Terms
9 - Constant Current-cont.
Increasing the voltage from 20 to
25 volts (25 %) causes the
amperage to change from 123 to
132 Amp (4.8%).
What does the mean for the person
operating the welder?
The voltage is not adjustable for
many power supplies.
Is it possible to make the voltage
change while welding?

Yes. How?

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Terms
10 - Voltage Drop

Voltage drop is the reduction in voltage in an electrical circuit


between the source and the load.

Primary cause is resistance.

Excessive voltage drop reduces the heat of the arc.

Are there any circumstances where excessive voltage drop can


be a problem when stick welding?

Yes. Explain!

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Terms
11 - Open Circuit Voltage

Open circuit voltage is the potential voltage between the


electrode and the work when the arc is not present.
The higher the OCV the easier the arc is to start.
The higher the OCV the steeper the volt amp curve.

Is the OCV on a welding power supply adjustable?

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Terms
12 - Arc Voltage
Arc voltage is the electrical potential between the electrode and the
metal after the arc has started.

Which will have the higher value, OCV or arc voltage?


Is the arc voltage constant once the arc has started?

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Terms
13 - Polarity
Polarity (positive & negative) is present in all electrical circuits.
Electricity flows from negative to positive
Controlling the polarity allows the welder to influence the location of
the heat.
When the electrode is positive (+) it will be slightly hotter than the
base metal.
When the base metal is positive (+) the base metal will be slightly
hotter than the electrode.
What abbreviations are used to indicate the polarity of the
electrode?

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Terms
14 - Watt
Watts are a measure of the amount of electrical energy being
consumed.
Watts = Volts x Amps
The greater the Watts of energy flowing across an air gap the
greater the heat produced.

Is the heat for a weld controlled by adjusting the Volts or the amps?

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Arc Welding Power Supplies--cont.


The type of current and the polarity of the welding current are one
of the differences between arc welding processes.
SMAW

Constant current (CC), AC, DC+ or DC-

GMAW

Constant voltage (CV) DC+ or DC-

GTAW

Constant Current (CC) ), AC, DC+ or DC-

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Safe Practices

Welders need protection from:


Arcs rays
Welding fumes
Sparks
Contact with hot metal

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Twelve (12) Considerations When Selecting


An Arc Welding Power Supply
1. Maximum Amperage
2. Duty cycle

8. Future needs for a power


supply

3. Amperage range

9. Available skills

4. Amperage adjustment

10. Safety

mechanism
5. Input power requirements
6. Initial cost and operating cost

11. Manufacturer's support


12. Open circuit voltage

7. Size and portability

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1: Amperage Output

The maximum output of the power


supply determines the thickness of metal
that can be welded before joint beveling
is required.
185 to 225 amps is a common size.

What determines the best amperage for a


weld?

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2: Duty cycle

The amount of continuous welding time


a power supply can be used is
determined by the duty cycle of the
power supply.
Duty cycle is based on a 10 minute
interval.
Many power supplies have a sloping
duty cycle.
Note in the picture there is a circle
around the 75 amp setting. Why is it
there?

What is the most likely outcome of


exceeding a power supply duty cycle?

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Joints, Welds & Positions


Electric arc welding uses the same five (5) types of joints and five
(5) types of welds and five (5) positions.
Name the five (5) types of joints.
Name the five (5) types of welds.
Name the five (5) welding positions.

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Weld Defects

A weld defect is any physical characteristic in the completed


weld that reduces the strength and/or affects the appearance of
the weld.
The mark of a good welder is the ability to identify weld defects
and adjust the welding parameters to eliminate them.
Defects that are not visible must be detect by using destructive
or nondestructive testing.
If the defects in a weld exceed the specifications, the weld must
be removed and redone.
Welds are removed by grinding, gouging and cutting.
Eliminating a weld defect is time consuming and expensive -you must be able to complete the weld correctly the first time.

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Common Defects and Causes


Description

Cause(s)

The depth of the weld


is less than
specifications.

Excessive heat
Excessive speed.

The weld metal is not


completely fused to
base metal or passes
are not completely
fused.

Incorrect angle
Incorrect
manipulation
Insufficient heat

Weld material flows


over, but is not fused
with the base metal.

Slow speed

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Common Defects and Causes--cont.


Description
Weld bead does not
extend to the
desired depth.

Small indentions in
the surface of the
weld
Small voids
throughout the weld
material.

Cause(s)
Low heat
Long arc
Incorrect joint design

Excessive gas in the


weld zone.
Moisture
Rust
Dirt

Accelerated cooling

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Common Defects and Causes--cont.


Description

Cause(s)

Usually visible cracks


on the surface or
through the weld

Accelerated cooling
Constrained joint
Small weld volume

Cracks in the
transition zone
between the weld and
base metal

Induced hydrogen
Incompatible electrode
or wire
Accelerated cooling

Misshapen
and/or uneven
ripples

Inconstant speed
Incorrect manipulation
Incorrect welder settings
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