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stick-out VS penetration

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  • stick-out VS penetration

    Had a question that has come up out of another thread that I started concerning some less than high quality wire. The wire I have bought is requiring me to use more stick-out than I am used to when I am welding at higher voltages. Porosity in the welds is the reason( I am coming to the conclusion that moisture might be present in the wire or the flux is not consistent inside the wire). The wire is flux core .035, here is the question. Other than for critical x-rayed types of welding, how much of a difference in penetration is there if you need to back your stick-out, out to 1" to 1.25"? I am talking realistic working penetration. In other words, should I be that concerned about this? I have always been told increasing the stick-out will decrease penetration, but how much?The welds look good, however I have not ground them down or done any destructive testing yet. My welding is mostly just hobby, or farm kinds of things. Thanks for any opinions that come out of this.

  • #2
    I'll attempt to give you an answer. First and formost, polarity is the first thing that needs to be checked on a welder that is having these sorts of problems. If the welder has been running mig, then chances are the polarity is wrong, if it was not changed when the wire was changed.

    If the polarity is right, then I suspicion the technique of the person doing the welding. Stickout is crucial in flux-cored welding. If you are in the neighborhood of 1"-1.5" you are too far out, unless you are on thick plate and are running very high amperage/voltage, possibly a dual shielded wire. I only run that much stick out on thick applications with my 220-240 volt welder, and my setting would require 24-28 welding volts, (or 200+ amps) from the welder itself. If you have a HH135, or Lincoln whatever, 110-120 volt common house current welder, and you are in the 1"-1.5" stickout range, on 1/8" material, you are doing it wrong. If you are closer, to the range of less than 3/8", you could get porosity as well, these will have a wormhole look, to them. This is bad as well. Perfect stickout for a 110-120 volt welder, using self shielded wire, should be between 3/8"-5/8". If you are correct in this respect and are still having problems, then it can be investigated further by examining your technique. Are you using a circular pattern? DON'T!! This will drag slag into your puddle and can cause unfavourable results. I use a half moon pattern, with a tight weave, paying VERY CLOSE attention to my weldment puddle and the slag puddle, if you look you can vaguely differentiate between the two. Do this to make sure you aren't draging slag into your weld. The 2 puddles are visible as to the different shades of "orange". As to traveling direction, I push the puddle, don't pull. If none of this works, suspect your wire. If moisture is suspect, recondition it in an oven by following the manufacturers specs. .

    Most of all guys, do yourself a favor and go buy QUALITY wire from your local welding supplier. You could save yourself a big headache, and the price difference is fairly minimal and the results can be that of night and day between good products such as Hobart, Tri-Mark, Lincoln... compared to inferior "no-name" imported brands sold by your local multi-tool supplier.