WELDING WIRE: FAQ
- WHAT IS WELDING WIRE?
A welding wire is a slim metallic rod that is ignited to generate a heated arc for the purpose of fusing metal pieces together (welding) by rendering the wire soft via hammering or compressing under an applied heat source. Or to put it simply, the wire is the medium that is used to fuse two metal objects during the MIG welding process. With the application of extreme heat (in this case, an electrical arc), the wire is melted and fused to the objects to be joined.
- Wait, what is MIG welding?
MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas, which is the type of welding we do here at Clifton. Argon gas is run through the weld lead and introduced into the arc during the welding process. This stabilizes the weld until it sets, which only takes 1 second or so. Without the argon gas, the weld would collapse in that 1 second span causing porosity. Porosity is a weld that is puckered with holes; it has no structural integrity and will not hold under any significant force.
- Why is the wire important?
Without the wire, there would be nothing to create the bond (or fusion) between the two objects. Its more than just gluing them together- when actual fusion is achieved the wire takes on some of the properties of the joined materials, essentially making them become one.
- What is it made of?
Welding wires are developed to be compatible with the materials being welded, therefore they have different chemistries. It's important to know the chemistry of the materials being welded. You can view our different welding wire products here to see the chemistries.
- Can wire go bad?
If stored properly (in the original packaging, in a dry place, at room temperature, away from moisture, etc) wire will last a very long time, even years. Once the wire is exposed to the elements or excessive moisture, it is probable that it will begin to rust or pick up dust and debris from the air. These factors will eventually compromise the integrity of the wire.
- How do you choose the best wire for your project?
The chemistry of the wire must be compatible with the materials you are joining. For example- our Workmate wire will create a satisfactory weld on most abrasion-resistant steel, carbon steel, overlay, and most other carbon-based mild steels. It’s important to note the tensile strength of the materials to be joined. The weld joint will precipitate some of the strength and physical properties from the materials being welded. For higher-strength welds Tensaweld Nickle-90 provides more robust physical properties.
For materials (such as welding manganese to stainless steel, manganese to manganese, or stainless to stainless) a variable blend stainless steel wire must be used; The Tensaweld Mang-312 has a chemistry developed to be compatible with our Tensamang materials which will ensure sound welds.
If you have more questions about welding wire or want help figuring out which wire is best for your project, give us a call and talk to one of our sales representatives.