Are you perplexed as to why those huge, ugly burn through holes appear on every metal you try to weld? I guess you are which is why I am here to address the matter. I know it can be very frustrating how you try so hard to be good at your job and still somehow manage to screw it up. But believe me, it is a problem faced by many and everybody is looking for some secret ways to prevent a burn through when welding.
But before you proceed, you have to understand why this happens before you can rectify the situation. Every metal is different and behaves in a different way to the high voltage electricity and high amperage heat produced. Some are more resistant and some are not. So I have prepared a list of reasons and remedies that can help you prevent having a burn through when welding. Let us move to the details without wasting any more time.
How To Prevent Burn Through When Welding
1. Clean The Metal Thoroughly
Before getting started on the welding part, you need to clean the metal surfaces thoroughly. The presence of impurities affects the melting point of the metals and also the neatness of the end result. For this purpose, you can use a metal grinder or any other tool available to scratch away all the dirt. These impurities can be in the form of grease, paint, or any other gunk stuck on the surface. Cleaning it up will enable you to better gauge the thickness of the metal and the amperage that will be required to weld it.
2. Tidy Up The Workplace Before Getting Started
Welding is a specialized process that creates high voltage sparks that efficiently combust volatile compounds in the environment. So make sure that you clean up your workplace before you start welding. There should be no combustible compounds in the surroundings. For example, if you are welding an exhaust pipe of your vehicle, make sure that you take the pipe out and far away from the car because there is a chance that the flammable chemicals in the car, such as petrol, may catch fire.
3. Avoiding Long Arc And Short Arc
Another thing that you need to take care of is the distance between the electrode and the base metal. If you hold the electrode too close to the metal, a long arc will occur, and the heat intensity on the metal will increase. It will make it very difficult for you to control the direction of the weld and the intensity of the heat. Thus, leading to a large, ugly burn through in the metal piece.
However, if you hold the electrode too close to the metal piece, then short arcing occurs. When this happens, you run at the risk of the electrode sticking to the base metal. Besides, the very intense focus of heat on a single spot leads to a gaping hole in the metal. Thus, you must maintain an ideal distance between the electrode and the metal to achieve the desired results.
4. Adjust The Pace With Which You Move
Adjusting the pace is an integral part of welding. You can be doing everything right and still get a burn-through in the metal piece you are working on. This happens because you have not adjusted to an optimum speed. The speed adjustments depend upon the thermal conductivity of the metal. The lower the conductivity, the slower you need to move along the metal surface whereas, the higher the conductivity, the faster you need to move the electrode.
5. Double-check The Equipment
You need to be extra careful with the welding equipment as well because they should be clean and ready to go before you start welding. The welding machine creates an intense voltage of electricity, and if the machine malfunctions, you are in big trouble. Besides, the stick holder and the electrodes must be clean and well kept when not in use. You can also clean the stick holder with a wired brush.
6. Adjusting The Amperage
One of the biggest reasons why a burn-through appears on the metal piece is because you are unable to adjust the amperage correctly. As I have already told you, that different metals have different thermal conductivity and varying thicknesses. It is just a simple formula; the thinner the metal piece, the lower the amperage, and the thicker the metal piece, the higher the amperage.
The extremely high amperage heat and sparks created while welding is very damaging to the human body. Just imagine what the same heat that causes metals to melt can do to your body. Cringy right? So, you must always follow full precautionary measures before getting started on the welding process. I have prepared a list of some of the essential measures that everybody must follow at all times.
- Wear a face shield to cover the delicate skin of your face and eyes from burning out.
- You must wear eye goggles under the shield to add extra protection to the retina.
- Wear thick gloves and overalls.
- Better wear earmuffs to prevent sparks from entering your ears.
- Flame-resistant boots will go a long way in protecting your feet from getting viciously burned.
- Clear away all the combustible materials from the surrounding before you begin welding.
- Clean the metal surface thoroughly.