If you are a welder, you know the importance of a welding machine, and welding machines are not cheap. Hence, it is essential to let your welder cool down after a certain operation time.
One such must know term of a welder is duty cycle and how to increase duty cycle of a welder. Before we go and understand the process to increase the duty cycle, you must know what the duty cycle is.
Welding machines’ duty cycles define how long they can operate safely at a particular amperage. When the operational time limit has been reached, most welding equipment will begin the cooling process by shutting down entirely.
At different amperages, the duty cycle will alter. The machine will heat up faster and reduce the duty cycle with greater amperage output. The duty cycle will rise as the amperage drops.
Duty cycles for examples of welding tasks
There are different analyses of the duty cycle based on the type of welding tasks you will be doing.
Effect of duty cycle on MIG welding
In MIG welding, the duty cycle is far more critical than in other welding types. As a result, a MIG operator may weld for extended periods of time rather than pausing for off or downtime between welds to feed in filler metal or do other operations.
Now, to choose the correct welder, choosing one with much more capacity rather than just enough capacity is a sensible selection.
Effect of duty cycle on TIG welding
The relevance of the duty cycle in TIG might vary greatly. TIG welding is frequently utilized for fine detail work on thinner materials or smaller items. In this situation, the machine will seldom come near to hitting its duty cycle limit, and in fact, a lot of welding is done at low amperage, with the machine having a duty cycle of 100%.
However, there are some TIG applications, such as pipe joint TIG welding, where a high duty cycle is critical.
Related: Lead Welding: The Ultimate Process [Explained]
Effect of duty cycle on MMA welding
Since MMA welding is a manual operation that involves changing electrodes, chipping slag, and so on, the percentage of time spent actually welding by the operator is often much lower than MIG welding. As a result, the duty cycle is usually not as crucial as it is for MIG.
A duty cycle of 30% might be deemed excessive from this perspective. Few MMA applications that need a high duty cycle, such as hard-facing, where each electrode is operated in rapid succession with little time out, are exceptions to this rule.
Is a higher or lower duty cycle better
Lowering the amperage will increase the duty cycle for most welders. The logic is straightforward: operating at a lower amperage produces less heat, allowing the machine to work for more extended periods of time. Hence, we can say that a higher duty cycle is better in general terms.
However, the welding process, the welder, and the machine’s unique parameters will determine a’ better’ duty cycle. Before deciding on a fair duty cycle for your new machine, figure out what sort of procedure you’ll employ and how thick of material you’ll be welding on a frequent basis.
Because thicker materials require more volts and amps, it’s a good idea to obtain a machine with higher specs if you’re purchasing a 150 amp welding machine and you’ll be using it close to maximum settings most of the time.
The importance of duty cycle
There are many importance of duty cycle for welding machines. Below we will look into the matter of the duty cycle.
Increase of peak current
The duty cycle is critical because even a slight increase in it can result in a considerable rise in the operational peak current.
Organizing your welds by priority
After you’ve figured out your machine’s duty cycle, you’ll be able to prioritize your welding schedule, such as knowing when to cease welding and hit all of your goals.
Save yourself from fire.
The thermal overload protection will automatically activate if the machine reaches the maximum temperature of its duty cycle. The machine will promptly turn off if the protection is activated.
Your welding will be more efficient and productive as a result of these efforts. The final result is high-quality welds and a maximal return on investment.
How to increase duty cycle?
After reading all this, you might be wondering whether you can increase the duty cycle of your welder. The answer is you can read below to understand how you can do it.
When the ambient temperature drops, the duty cycle rises. For example, when welding at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you can get close to a 100% duty cycle. However, specifics may vary depending on the machine and actual conditions, but welding at reduced temperatures increases the duty cycle significantly.
Furthermore, you can add fans, but do not remove the covers of your welders as the duty cycle increases when the welder is cooler.
With the coverings in place, air pulled in by the fan is forced to escape by passing through objects like the transformer. If the covers are removed, the air will run in the quickest path possible, most likely not over the transformer, and will not provide any cooling.
Also, do keep in mind that welding output and duty cycle are inversely proportional. So, as a result, the duty cycle will increase while welding at lower outputs.
As a welder, you need to know the importance of the duty cycle of your welding machine. Additionally, you might also want to know how to increase the duty cycle of a welder.
This is what we focused today on in our discussion. After reading this article, by now, you should have an accurate idea about the duty cycle of a welder and how to increase it for the perfect weld. Happy Welding!!!
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