Welding FAQ's

General Welding FAQ's

Why IP23 Vs IP23S is important when choosing a MIG welder?
The ‘S’ means ‘Device standing still during water test’. IP23 is considered more stringent than IP23S, since it covers this and IP23M which means ‘Device moving during water test’.

What welding gas should I use?
Read our list of our recommended welding gases dependant on your welding process and the material/thickness you're welding.


MIG Welding FAQ's

Does the type of shielding gas affect the quality of the weld?   
For most mild steel applications, CO2 will provide adequate shielding, but when you must have a flatter bead profile, less spatter or better wetting action, you may want to consider adding 80 to 95% argon to your CO2 shielding gas mix. Argon is essentially inert to the molten weld metal and therefore will not react with the molten weld metal. When CO2 is mixed with Argon, the reactivity of the gas is reduced and the arc becomes more stable. But, Argon is more expensive. In production welding, selecting the perfect shielding gas can be a science of its own. Attributes such as material thickness, welding position, electrode diameter, surface condition, welding procedures and others can affect results.

What drive rollers should I be using and what tension should they be?   

  • Mild steel requires a V shaped roller

  • Stainless steel requires a Knurled roller (to grip the wire better)

  • Aluminium requires a U shaped roller so as to not crush the wire.

  • The tension should be set just firm enough to grip the wire without being able to pull it back on to the reel.


TIG Welding FAQ's

What benefits are there of using a higher frequency on AC TIG?   
Combined with adjusting the balance control to increase the electrode negative polarity—resulting in deeper penetration and tungsten that doesn't ball up—high AC frequency provides the ability to weld very tight joints with good penetration and without the risk of laying down too much filler metal.

See a range of AC/DC TIG welders.

Are there any benefits of 3 phase over single phase?  
Comparing single-phase vs. three-phase power, three-phase power supplies are more efficient. A three-phase power supply can transmit three times as much power as a single-phase power supply, while only needing one additional wire (that is, three wires instead of two). This allows for more amperage on a machine, meaning thicker materials can be welded or allows for a higher duty cycle meaning longer weld times.

When should you use a gas lens setup?  
Gas lenses reduce shielding gas turbulence and provide longer, undisturbed laminar flow of the gas to the weld pool. The gas lens also allows the welder to move the nozzle further away from the joint and extend the tungsten electrode past the nozzle by one inch or more (ideal for hard to reach inside corners)

What is Pulse welding?   
Pulse welding is welding that alternates between a high and low current. This reduces the overall heat input and spatter while ensuring greater resistance to a lack of fusion. The benefit of this is that you can weld both thicker and thinner metals without burning through them.

When should a gas valve torch be used?
Torches with valves are generally used with scratch-start DC welding machines that are NOT equipped with built-in gas solenoids to control the gas flow. The most common application for this style torch is field construction. (Operator controls gas flow manually with the valve.)

Should I use an air-cooled (inert gas) or water-cooled (coolant-cooled) torch?
In general, if you are welding below 200 amps @ 60%duty, an air-cooled torch could be used. If you are welding above this am range, you should be using a water-cooled torch. 

See all Air-Cooled and Water-Cooled TIG welding torches

What is the difference between PVC and braided rubber hoses and cables?
For power cables, and water and gas hoses, PVC is considered an economy-grade hose. Braided rubber is the professional grade. For water-cooled torches, braided rubber is recommended. 

See Gas hoses & Hose heels 

Why use a flex torch?
Flex torches are the most popular style of air-cooled torches. They allow the welder to flex the torch head to improve the work angle, like around tubing. They also can reduce operator fatigue by flexing the torch head for a better work angle, which produces better welds. 

See the complete range of TIG welding torches

Is there any special way to flex a TIG torch?
Yes, before you flex your torch you should first weld with it for a few minutes, which preheats the flex elements. Once the torch head has warmed up, you can then flex it to the desired position. 

In air-cooled torches, why do you offer both one-piece and two-piece power cables?
Welders may prefer one cable over the other, but the one-piece is neatly assembled with the conductor inside the hose. The two-piece cable has an external gas hose along with the power cable which can easily be extended to accommodate longer distances from your power source. 

Should I tape my power cable and hoses together to keep them neat and organised?
We do NOT recommend taping torch leads together as this will concentrate heat at these points and eventually cause your cables to leak. We recommend the use of a zippered cable cover to protect and organise your leads. 

Can a water-cooled torch be set up to turn on the water circulator when striking an arc?
The water (coolant) flow MUST be turned on PRIOR to welding. The water circulator must be on when the machine is turned on. This will ensure that the torch and hoses are filled with coolant prior to striking an ARC. If it is not turned on and fully flowing, damage could occur to the cable and torch within seconds. 

What is the difference between a scratch start and a high-frequency start?
A scratch start for DC welding is when the tungsten makes contact with the base metal to start an arc. High-frequency start uses high-frequency current to start the arc without the tungsten having to make contact with the base metal. 

What work angle position should the TIG torch be during the welding process?
The best case scenario is for the torch angle to be 10-15 degrees or less. Torch angle of more than 15 degrees could cause heat deflection and ultimately melt the rod before you get it into the weld puddle. 

How far should the tungsten extend beyond the end of the cup?
In general, the tungsten should not stick out any more than 2 1⁄2 times the diameter of the electrode. Example: ⅛” electrode x 2.5 = 5/16” beyond the cup for standard consumables. 

However, if you use a gas lens, your electrode may stick out up to 1¼”  beyond the cup. 

How do I know what diameter and type of tungsten electrode to use?
The tungsten electrode type and size depends on the welding application, thickness, type of joint and material type being welded. 

Why use a gas lens collet body instead of a standard collet body?
The gas lens allows for a very concentric stream of shielding gas that better shields the weld puddle from the surrounding atmosphere. It also allows the tungsten electrode to be extended beyond the end of the nozzle, in some cases up to 1¼”. Gas lenses also help scrub away excess heat from the torch head. 

Why are there different lengths of back caps available?
Smaller back caps are mostly used for weld joint accessibility. Longer back caps are preferable so that longer tungsten can be used which means you don’t have to cut your tungsten. Longer tungsten and longer back caps also help to dissipate heat from the torch head. 

What type of shielding gas is most common in TIG welding?
Argon is the most common gas used in TIG welding. Argon/helium mix can also be used. 

Use the gas selector tool or download the gas selector guide to help you choose the right gas for your welding application.

If you have any TIG welding question or query that we have not covered then please contact us and speak to one of our experts. 


MMA Welding FAQ's

What is the difference in bead profile when using an electrode in dc+ or dc-? 
For stick welding in general, DC+ polarity is most commonly used. It produces a good bead profile with a higher level of penetration. DC- polarity results in less penetration and a higher electrode melt-off rate. It is sometimes used, for example, on thin sheet metal in an attempt to prevent burn-through. (DC+ equals narrower bead profile with more penetration against DC- which equals wider bead profile with less penetration).

What is a Stick Welder?    
MMA Manual Metal Arc. Heating the coated stick electrode and the base metal with an electric arc creates a fusion of metals. An AC or DC electrical currents which is required to produce the heat input needed. An electrode holder handles is required to hold the stick electrodes in place and a Earth clamp to the bench or workpiece to complete the electrical circuit for when you strike the workpiece with the electrode.


Plasma Cutting FAQ's

Can I Use a Plasma Cuter To Cut Aluminum and Stainless Steel?   
You can use a plasma cutter to cut any ferrous and non-ferrous metal. Any standard plasma cutter will do the job correctly, whilst a high-performance unit will do a superior job.


Gas Welding & Cutting FAQ's

Why cant you use propane equipment & acetylene with the same regs, hose & nozzles?    
Basically 2 different gases if you interchange them they can cause a reaction & Flashbacks, fire & explosion, the lining in the propane hose is generally thicker with the extra lining , propane is a liquid hence a plugged regulator is only required . Propane nozzles are 2 piece while Acet are one piece , the cutting gun can be used for both gases as long as the rest of the fuel gas equipment are different. The advantages of 2 stage regs over 1 stage regs. Although more expensive , they give a better readings & not prone to regulator creep & fluctuations, giving better & more precise output readings , working from 3000psi down to 300psi in the 2nd chamber. Making them more safer, accurate, saving gas, making it less expensive.

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