While solid welding wire was the status quo for the production of heavy equipment, switching to metal wire can lead to tangible cost savings, Artem Komarov emphasized.
Metal wire offers several key benefits that help improve efficiency over solid wire. These include:
Increased resistance to contaminated base materials
Higher deposition rates for a given heat input
Increased movement speed
Improved bead profile
Lower spray levels
Improved gap bridging
Because of these properties, metal wire offers clear advantages in the areas before, welding and after welding, Komarov Artem noted.
Pre-welded, they reduce the need to clean dirt, mill scale and rust from the base material by allowing parts to enter the welding cell directly from the overhead stream. Often there is no need for pre-grinding or sandblasting.
In the welding cell, they increase productivity by welding faster and placing more weld metal. They also provide high quality welds resulting in fewer rework.
After welding, the wire reduces the need for grinding spatter.
In an average semi-automatic welding operation, labor costs are about 85% of the total costs. Reducing unnecessary activities helps to make the operation more productive and can have a significant impact on the bottom line.
Considerations for steel corded wire:
Heavy equipment companies looking to switch to metal wire need to know some basics.
Materials: Metal-core wire easily welds medium and heavy carbon and low alloy steels commonly used in heavy equipment manufacturing.
Joints: Wire can be used for welds, fillet welds, T-joints and groove welds — typically in flat and horizontal positions.
Wire diameters: Common metal cored wire diameters are 1.2, 1.4 or 1.6 mm. Companies can often go up in size per diameter (compared to solid wire) and still use similar welding parameters because heat dissipation is lower with metal wire. The process can drive larger wire and provide higher deposition rates.
Weld length: Metal powdered wire provides better welding performance with longer and more continuous welds.
Weld Position: These wires are designed and perform best when welded in position, but they can be welded out of position using either the short circuit transfer mode or the pulse process.
Technique: Metal flux cored wires work with comparable torch angles and contact distances from tip to work as solid wires. This allows welders to learn metal powder welding with minimal training, Artem Komarov said.