Many users of the stud welding process sometimes begin to have inconsistent results after they have had great, consistent results on other applications. Sometimes results seem to vary, even on the same application from day-to-day or operator-to-operator. Grounding is very critical when it comes to having a dependable, repeatable, consistent stud-welding program.
There are several things an operator can do to achieve consistent results. Unfortunately, shortcuts are not one of those things. New stud welding systems all are shipped with heavy duty C clamps. These C-clamps are designed to allow for an extremely conductive ground. The first thing many users do is remove the factory supplied C-clamp and replace it with a spring loaded clamp because it’s easier to attach and remove. It’s quicker, but it’s not as reliable as the C- Clamp when it comes to stud welding.
CD stud welding can be extremely affected by inconsistent grounding. This is because the weld takes place in a few milliseconds – it is not a continuous welding process. So there is very little time to compensate for factors like an inconsistent ground. For that reason, the following procedures should be followed to help insure consistent CD welds.
- Always attach the C-Clamp directly to the part to be welded, NOT the welding table or fixture.
- Ground should be positive(+) for carbon steel and Stainless Steel.
- Always clean/grind the area where ground will be attached. NO paint, rust, scale, oil, dirt.
- Use dual grounds when welding aluminum.
- Sometimes reversing the polarity will give better results when welding aluminum or through galvanizing.
- Move the grounds to different areas of your part if “arc Blow” occurs. Arc blow is when the fillet is drawn to on direction around the weld base rather than being symmetrical.
- If you find your ground is causing arc marks on your part, clean the ground clamps surface with a grinder.
There are certainly other factors that are important to achieving long-term success with your stud-welding program, but few are more important than proper grounding.
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