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  1. #1
    Grits's Avatar
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    Default Short Circuit vs Spray Transfer

    Good Morning Everyone

    The applications and setup for spray transfer is a little confusing to me. As I have mentioned before, I am a beginner.

    Is spray transfer something that happens when voltage and current reache a certain level? Does you machine have to set up differently for spray transfer in terns of wire type and shielding gas?

    Is spray transfer something I need to be concerned with?

    The more I learn the more confused I get.

    Grits

  2. #2
    anchorman's Avatar
    anchorman is offline Titanium
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    yes and no.

    spray transfer happens when you have the voltage and wire feed settings such that you have a stream of fine droplets of filler metal being transferred across the arc to to the metal being welded. voltage requirements will depend on the shielding gas and the wire size and the wire feed rate.

    You should be concerned with spray transfer welding if you want to get sound welds with the mig process on heavy work pieces. it also leaves very little if any spatter (waste filler), which can be very handy in some situations, and very economical in large operations. One disadvantage of spray transfer, is that as far as I know, it doesn't work so good out of position, i.e. overhead and on horizontal surfaces, since the puddle is so fluid, but that I think depends on the application (workpiece thickness, etc.) I tend to weld most of the things I am working on in a flat or near flat position, and am not often in the business of using spray arc transfer. You should be able to get sound welds using short arc on mild steel plate up to at least 3/8 inch thick, depending on the amperage your welder can put out.

    I highly recommend the training packet from Miller Electric that I posted a link to in a previous thread of yours. I only sort of half understood the whole concept of mig welding until I read the book they have about it. Very clear, concise, and easy to comprehend information, unlike most of the other sources out there that I have read. now I understand about 90% of what is going on, or at leas I think I do. Regardless, I have much better understanding of what I am doing which gives me better control and of course better welds.

    hope this helps,

    jon

  3. #3
    Grits's Avatar
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    Default Download

    Anchorman

    I have downloaded all the publications plus ordered a couple of more books.

    Sorry I missed it when you posted the site. Please do not think I do not appreciate you help and advice because I do.

    Grits

  4. #4
    neilho is offline Hot Rolled
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    It's been twenty years since I did this, but here's what I remember...

    Spray transfer is horizontal position only. Try vertical and the weld metal will just fall off onto the floor.

    The wire feed needs to be constant and the power supply needs to have plenty of oomph to deliver a steady amount of power to the wire. If the power or wire speed varies, the point at which the wire melts is either in the weld (then it's just a short circuit weld) or in the tip, which immediately brings things to a screaming halt. Steady spray transfer requires a steady, reliable power supply.

    The shielding gas we used was argon with 2% oxygen (!) in it. Spray is possible with CO2 but the spray droplets are larger than with Argon and doesn't differ as much from short circuit as Argon.

    To get to spray transfer, start with short circuit and keep turning the amperage up. You'll know when it's starting to spray by the sound (crackling turns steadier, quieter) and you'll see the wire melt farther away from the puddle.

    It makes a very smooth bead, compared to dip transfer. It's also faster and way hotter than short circuit so wear lots of leather (don't even think of bare arming it!) and keep the gun, tips, etc in really good condition.

    Have fun!

    Neil
    Last edited by neilho; 09-28-2008 at 10:40 AM. Reason: clarity

  5. #5
    dirk is offline Aluminum
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    Spray is normally used for thicker sections of material, gas in normally 90 Ar-10CO2 or 98Ar-2 O2. Position for welding must be flat for reasons stated above, but out of position welding can be done with pulsed spray. The pulses freeze the puddle faster allowing out of position welding.
    Plate being welded with spray transfer usually must be clean of mill scale, rust, etc. or undercut will occur.
    Lincoln will mail you a GMAW guide, go to their website and look for the catalogs page, the book covers everything related to gmaw.

  6. #6
    anchorman's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grits View Post
    Please do not think I do not appreciate you help and advice because I do.

    Grits
    Not at all. I was just repeating on the off chance that you had missed when I posted about that before. I hope I didn't come across exasperated or annoyed or anything, because I wasn't. I often miss some stuff that people say, and don't really expect anyone else not to either.

    -jon

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    anchorman's Avatar
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    one more thing about spray transfer, is that you need more wire sticking out of the tip in order to keep it from burning back. I think the miller book talks about this. the little bit of aluminum mig welding that I have done was all spray, and the wire needed to stickout about 1/2" -3/4" minimum as opposed to the 1/8-1/4" for short circuit transfer.

    Spray transfer is also identifiable by the sound produced by the arc. it is more of a hissing sound, than the so called "frying bacon" sound of short arc.

  8. #8
    MetaRinka is offline Cast Iron
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    good things have been said.
    I would say as a beginner I would say your focus should be on practicing your welding skills and getting good consistent beads

    spray transfer is actually the required mode of transfer in some code books mostly because in short ciruit your shorting to the piece and it has limited penetration ability (good thing for thin gauge bad for thick sections) as well as being prone to cold roll and lack of fusion. Globular transfer is the other mode of transfer and if you're using C20 C25 or 100% CO2 it's all you'll ever see.


    despite what has been said you can spray transfer in all positions including overhead, but not neccessarily at all parameter settings. It also does increase puddle viscosity making something like vertical up on 3/8" hard to near impossible without blowing through. In my time programming robots and working in a shop we did plenty of work in spray transfer mode all position. In fact just a few days ago I was out in the shop welding 3/16" carbon steel vertical down in spray transfer. 29 volts can't remember the Wire feed with C15. I don't reccommend O2 98-2 on carbon steels but that's just me, we use 98-2 CO2 on stainless steels.

    as anchorman said you want to recess the tip a bit more, this serves a dual purpose it prevents burnback and increases tip life (they stay cooler, less spatter) and it gives a chance for resistance heating to warm up the filler rod.

  9. #9
    anchorman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetaRinka View Post

    as anchorman said you want to recess the tip a bit more, this serves a dual purpose it prevents burnback and increases tip life (they stay cooler, less spatter) and it gives a chance for resistance heating to warm up the filler rod.
    From what I have experienced, you would ideally use a longer shielding nozzle/cup when doing spray transfer in order to accomplish recessing the tip. I am cheap and lazy, and don't have a whole lot of use for spray transfer in what I do, so when I do use it, I just hold the whole mig gun up higher to achieve the same thing. more consistent results (always desirable) are to be achieved with the longer gas nozzle/cup.

    some spool guns allow for easy recessing of the standard tips, which makes everything easier.

  10. #10
    metalmagpie is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits View Post
    Good Morning Everyone

    The applications and setup for spray transfer is a little confusing to me. As I have mentioned before, I am a beginner.

    Is spray transfer something that happens when voltage and current reache a certain level? Does you machine have to set up differently for spray transfer in terns of wire type and shielding gas?

    Is spray transfer something I need to be concerned with?

    The more I learn the more confused I get.

    Grits
    You don't need to be concerned with spray mode, no. I can just barely get my Millermatic 250 to do spray mode,
    have to turn it nearly all the way up on both voltage and wire speed. It gets there (C25 gas) but if I did it very
    long I'd melt the M25 gun. Spray mode is for heavy production.

    Grant

  11. #11
    anchorman's Avatar
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    Default

    if you use a lower co2 content gas, it gets into spray at lower voltages and amperages, and doesn't overheat everything so much. it is also dependent, of course, on wire size, thicker wire = more amps.

  12. #12
    Tom1 is offline Stainless
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    My friend that repairs and rebuilds construction equipment used spray for almost everything. Using .045 and .062 dual shield wire and a 450 amp miller delta weld machine. I think he using pure argon gas. It welds nice, good penetration, no pin holes, nice bead formation. He can run it flat, on the horizontal, etc. Hes welding things like excavator buckets, AR plate. Its nice to weld 1/2 plate or better single pass. Also, he also pushes the gun not pulls. He says it give better cleaning on old metal, allows the dirt to push out of the puddle. Runs about 24-26 volts and the .062 will almost max out the amps on the machine. He can run several spools a week when its busy.

  13. #13
    MetaRinka is offline Cast Iron
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    dual shield wire is flux core that's a whole different boat, and has different shielding gas and voltage requirements.

    I'm surprised to hear he pushes though, it's been a good year since I pulled a flux core gun but I remember pulling most of my beads to get good bead appearance

  14. #14
    Robo48 is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits View Post
    Good Morning Everyone

    The applications and setup for spray transfer is a little confusing to me. As I have mentioned before, I am a beginner.

    Is spray transfer something that happens when voltage and current reache a certain level? Does you machine have to set up differently for spray transfer in terns of wire type and shielding gas?

    Is spray transfer something I need to be concerned with?

    The more I learn the more confused I get.

    Grits
    Not to steer you away from this forum but the forum at Hobart Welders has some very good information on spray transfer. Search for posts by Dan and you will be impressed with the guy's welds and knowledge.

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    crawler is offline Plastic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robo48 View Post
    Not to steer you away from this forum but the forum at Hobart Welders has some very good information on spray transfer. Search for posts by Dan and you will be impressed with the guy's welds and knowledge.
    You will find many more knowledgeable people on the Hobart welders board since that is what many people do for a living.

  16. #16
    Grits's Avatar
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    Default Thanks Guys

    I went to Miller's website and ordered all their books plus downloaded everything I could. It is taking me a while to digest it.

    Is spray transfer used primarily for thicker material in excess of 3/8" to 1/2"?

    Thanks,

    Grits

  17. #17
    crawler is offline Plastic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits View Post
    I went to Miller's website and ordered all their books plus downloaded everything I could. It is taking me a while to digest it.

    Is spray transfer used primarily for thicker material in excess of 3/8" to 1/2"?

    Thanks,

    Grits
    I say you'd want to spray on 1/4" or thicker. Mostly horizontal position unless you have the capability of pulse spray.

  18. #18
    MetaRinka is offline Cast Iron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits View Post
    I went to Miller's website and ordered all their books plus downloaded everything I could. It is taking me a while to digest it.

    Is spray transfer used primarily for thicker material in excess of 3/8" to 1/2"?

    Thanks,

    Grits
    We spray everything thicker than 3/16" all position. save for some speciatly situations and surfacing, or build up.

    personally I use spray transfer for just about everything but sheet metal. Then again I had a nifty machine that had a pulser (not to be confused with gmaw pulse) That would pulse the gun on and off (while keeping shielding). But that was to get full penetration on thin guage material.

  19. #19
    BadBeta is offline Stainless
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    We pulse spray aluminium from 2mm to 20mm. I'd like to ask the question the other way around: is there any reason we shouldn't?

  20. #20
    Jim Shaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadBeta View Post
    We pulse spray aluminium from 2mm to 20mm. I'd like to ask the question the other way around: is there any reason we shouldn't?
    Are you getting too much done and need to slow down your deposition rate and want to increase your spatter clean up costs?

    Pulsed spray is touted by all the power source manufacturers as a great benefit on thin metals. You gain the same advantages as you do with pulsed tig, only you can get even less heat input into the work with the pulsed spray mig (no human can tig as fast as they can mig - getting into robotics you might have a different scenario).

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