Gas Metal Arc Welding, more commonly known as GMAW or MIG welding, is the process by which metals are welded by using an electric arc to heat and fuse the two pieces of metal together. MIG welders are very common and are used for industrial welding most of the time. Welding is an inherently risky job, and the welding workshops and companies in Australia have to follow strict safety regulations stipulated by Safe Work Australia. More…
TIG or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding is the preferred form of welding used by professionals today. TIG welding results have a good finish and high strength. While it does require some skill to operate, it is only because the filler metal is fed using the free hand. For welds that do not require a filler metal, TIG is as easy as any other form of high-temperature welding. More…
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), commonly known as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is the preferred choice of many professional welders and hobbyists. The process grants the operator greater control over the weld but also requires a high degree of hand-eye coordination compared to other welding methods. TIG welding provides the most precise and controllable form of welding, resulting in stronger and higher quality welds.
Manual Metal Arc (MMA) welding is the most flexible and one of the most widely used arc welding process. It involves striking an arc between a covered metal electrode and a workpiece. The heat of the arc melts the parent metal and electrode, mixing together on cooling to form a continuous solid mass. The central metal electrode or core wire acts as a consumable, providing the filler metal for the weld. MMA welding can be used to join most steels like stainless steel and cast iron and many non-ferrous materials. It is the preferred method to weld mild and high-strength carbon steels.
Need a welding shielding gas for your MIG or TIG welder?
The question plaguing welders across Australia is whether it’s better to hire a welding gas cylinder or buy a disposable welding gas cylinder.
Here we reveal three reasons why buying your own is the smart choice, especially for the hobbyist, and DIY welder who will not be welding on a daily basis. Gas suppliers have been holding welders ransom for years, tying them into a hire system that makes them pay hundreds of dollars a year for a welding gas bottle they don’t even own. Let’s face it, if you’re only using your welder every now and again, the gas bottle rental system is pretty tough on the wallet.
However, professionals and hobby welders alike are now realising that this is not their only option. In fact, there are some real benefits to be had if you buy your own welding gas cylinders – whether you choose a smaller disposable cylinder or a large refillable cylinder. Whether you’re looking to weld with a CO2-Argon blend, Pure argon shielding gas, or pure CO2, Disposable welding gas bottles are becoming the go-to option.
Renting argon gas and cylinders every time you need to weld will quickly add up. But buying your own cylinders gives you more bang for your buck. Plus there’s no need for deposits, ongoing rental charges and gas contracts. If you don’t need a large volume of gas, buying your own cylinder means you can simply pay for the welding gas you use, when you use it. To illustrate the point, a 2.2L disposable Gas bottle like this one by Bossgas will set you back $69.00+freight. You can also purchase the suited regulators for about $30, which a one-off purchase. Depending on your project there is enough gas in one of these bottles for several hours of welding. For some welders that’s could be enough for six months, or even one year’s worth of welding. Why would you hire a refillable bottle if this was the case?
HIRE OR BUY?
Welders now have the choice of purchasing Disposable Welding Gas Bottles like these from BossGas
With your own disposable welding gas bottles, you always have the tools ready to do the job. They are suitable for most home TIG and MIG welding machines, when you don’t need a large volume of gas handy all the time. Once you’re done, you simply put it away until the next time. Easy.
If you are only using your welder occasionally or are using it outdoors, smaller disposable welding gas bottles are small and lightweight. You can easily move them around and stow them away neatly when the job’s done.
HEAVY IN TWO WAYS: Reillable hired gas cylinders are not only heavy on the wallet, they can be heavy and inconvenient to move around
Before you go out and buy your own welding gas, you need to work out which gas is best for your job. For most shielding gas applications, argon is the principal gas used thanks to its high density and total inertness. This allows a welding arc to be easily formed without reacting with the metal components being welded. Depending on the application, argon may be mixed with other gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) in small amounts. This gives different qualities to the gas to suit the welding job at hand. We always recommend you speak to a professional and do your research to work out exactly which gas you need before you buy. at eWelders we sell Argon Disposable Welding Gas Bottles, Argon-CO2 Disposable Welding Gas BOttles, and CO2 Disposable Welding Gas bottles. We are here to talk to you should you require advice on which gas best suits your application. Owning your own welding gas cylinder makes sense – both in terms of dollars and time saved. What are you waiting for? For more information on welding gas and welding supplies, check out our learning centre at eWelders.com.au or call 1300 554 685
Word on the street is that MIG is one of the easiest processes to learn!
The buzz is right in our opinion. MIG welding is an easy process to master. Get you parameters such as amperage and wire speed right, select the correct consumables and all you really have to it control your torch to lay a nice bead.
Following these steps, most people can learn to run good beads with MIG in a few hours. But there’s more to great MIG welding than just running beads, isn’t there? Well, this blog series won’t focus on end goal, we’ll talk your through the process. It’s a bit like the cliche every sporting coach pulls out every week in their press conference – “We’re focussing on the process”.
In the first blog of our series, we’ll focus on how to get everything set up and ready to go with your MIG welder. Preparation is key people!
GET TO KNOW THE MACHINE
A MIG welder is made up of a few different parts and its important to at least know the basics of your machine. Otherwise, it’s a bit like getting in a car and having no idea what does what – Sadly, we’ve seen a few examples of this!-
The Welder: Contains a spool of wire and a series of rollers that push the wire out to the MIG Torch. From time to time, the wire feed might jam up. Don’t panic is this happens, but you do need to know how to fix the isse. Open up you machine and check inside to sort it out. The spool of wire should be held on with a tension nut, tight enough to keep the spool from unraveling, but not so tight the rollers can’t pull the wire from the spool.
The Gas Tank: If you are using a shielding gas with your MIG welder, there will be a gas tank behind the MIG. The gas will either be 100% Argon or a mix of Argon and CO2, which will shield the weld as it forms.
The MIG Torch: This is the business end of the welder. The torch comprises a trigger to control the wire feed and flow of electricity. At the end of the gun is a tip, which will vary in size to fit whatever diameter wire you are welding with. Tips are a consumable item and can cheaply be replaced.
The Ground Clamp: The ground clamp completes the circuit between the welder, the welding gun and the project. You only need one clamp from the welder attached to your piece to weld, or onto a metal welding table. Make sure it is making good contact.
KNOW YOUR TOOLS: This video about the Cigweld Weldskill MIG Series takes you through a typical set-up procedure for a MIG welder
MIG welding is a safe form of welding, so long as you follow these steps to protect yourself and your welder.
Wear a welding mask: Any form of arc welding produces an extremely bright light, so you need to protect your eyes. Make sure where a Australian Standard approved aut-darkening welding helmet. The auto-darkening feature will kick in as soon as your arc starts and will darken the visor on your helmet far quicker than you can blink, ensuring you will not suffer any damage to your eyes. Failure to properly protect your eyes can result in welder’s flash, which is not a good thing and can result in permanent eye damage. Ensure your helmet has a minimum shade rating of 11 when MIG welding. You may need to think about protecting others too. Ensure others in the room are wearing eye protection before you MIG weld, or consider purchasing welding curtains to contain the light. As with helmets, ensure your curtains are Australian safety standard approved.
Wear gloves and leathers: You need to protect yourself from molten metal splattering off of your work. Wear whatever gloves you feel comfortable with, as well as leathers to protect your skin from the heat. If not leathers, wear clothing made from cotton as this won’t burn or melt.
Wear boots: Do not wear open toed shoes or synthetic shoes – boots are the way to go.
Well ventilated area: Welding produces fumes, which you shouldn’t breathe in if you can help it. Wear a mask if it’s going to be a long job. Professional welders should consider a fume extraction system
Fire safety: Keep a tidy area for welding so you don’t risk fire from the molten metal and grinding sparks. Always keep a CO2 fire extinguisher in the workshop just in case.
LAYING BEADS: It’s important to safely clothe yourself and set up your area before you begin MIG welding.
STEP 3: PREP YOUR WELD
Next, it’s time to set up your welder and the piece you’ll be working on.
The Welder: Make sure the valve to the shielding gas is open and flowing through the regulator at the correct level. Turn the welder on, with the grounding clamp attached to your welding table or directly to the piece of metal. Then make sure you have the proper wire speed and power setting.
The Metal: For the best results, take a couple of minutes to clean your metal and grind down any edges being joined.
With everything set up, safely, you’re ready to weld. Stay tuned for part 2 where we’ll take you through the welding process step by step. Inspired to buy a MIG welder? Check out our full range at eWelders.com.au.
So you’re thinking of buying a Plasma Cutter? Good choice. But it’s not one size fit all, so here are four essential things to think about before you buy.
Fabricators, contractors, artists and DIY weekend warriors who have experienced the benefits of plasma cutting can never go back. It cuts faster, without the need for a pre-heat cycle. It can cut any metal that conducts electricity. A plasma cutter can be portable around the job site. And it’s relatively simple to use.
The only challenge comes long before you begin cutting – you need to select the right plasma cutter for the job.
First, let’s look at how a plasma cutter works. The plasma cutter uses an inert gas blown out of a nozzle at high speeds and, at the same time, an electrical arc is applied to the gas, turning the gas into plasma. This super-hot torch is hot enough to cut through metal quickly and easily. It’s that simple.
So how do you choose the right plasma cutter for the job?
1. Duty Cycle
The first thing you need to think about is how many hours the plasma cutter will be used for. This is the duty cycle, and you’ll find it listed in the product or owner’s manual of the plasma cutter. If it’s going to get frequent but not continuous use, look at the maximum cutting ability of the machine. If it’s only going to be used now and again, choose according to the average thickness of the items you plan to cut. (You should find this listed in the specs).
As a rule of thumb, you’ll find the plasma cutter with a higher amperage output has a great duty cycle at lower amperages.
This feature is only important if you are planning on moving the cutter to the material that is to be cut. If the plasma cutter is going to have a permanent home on one place, you don’t need to worry about whether it’s easy to move and transport. The good news is today most plasma cutters can be carried by a handle and are relatively compact.
3. Electrical Outlets
Don’t underestimate the importance of electrical outlet when choosing your new plasma cutter. The majority of plasma cutters need a great deal of power to work at their best. The power outlet must be able to support the minimum number of amps required by the plasma cutter. As a guide most single-phase 40amp plasma cutters require a 15amp plug.
Also, if there are other tools plugged into the same circuit, they will draw on the plasma cutter’s power source. Ideally, it’s best to have a circuit dedicated only to operating the plasma cutter.
Some plasma cutters come with a built-in inverter. These are generally a bit more expensive, but on the upside, they provide additional portability you might be after. Inverter-based plasma cutters are housed in smaller designs, making them idea for mobile use.
One of the first things you’ll notice when browsing plasma cutters is that there’s a wide price range, from a few hundred dollars up into the thousands. Take the time to work out what you really want in your plasma cutter and you can never pay too much.
Worked out what you need in your plasma cutter? Browse our range of plasma cutters at www.eWelders.com.au.
Whether you’re a professional welder or DIY weekend warrior, it pays to choose the right supplier to get the best quality, most affordable welding supplies Brisbane has to offer.
Here are five things to look for in your Brisbane welding supplier:
Expert Advice: Any welding supplier worth its salt will be able to provide you with expert knowledge to help you choose the right equipment and consumables for your tasks. Whether it’s about welding rods, gas regulators, welding masks or gasless welders, your Brisbane welding supplier should help you get the best available solutions for your needs.
Customer Support: Plenty of welding suppliers will promise you support, but won’t actually be there when you need them. And when you have a job to finish, what use is that? When it comes to welding supplies Brisbane customers need to know they can get the support they need, when they need it.
Affordable Delivery: Whether you live in Brisbane city or in a remote Queensland town, you need a welding supplier that will deliver…without busting your budget. Competitive shipping prices are a must, as is a reliable freight company. Your chosen supplier should track your order to ensure it’s delivered safely and on time – speaking of which…
Quick Delivery: Whether it’s large or small welding supplies Brisbane welders are looking for a fast and convenient service. We’re not talking about a month’s wait for the equipment you need, we’re talking about fast delivery of between three to seven days. For maximum convenience, the best suppliers will send you an SMS message to let you know what day your delivery will arrive – which is ideal if you need to schedule welding jobs.
Great Choice in One Place: It goes without saying that Brisbane welders need a wide range of welding suppliers to choose from. But it’s even more important that all of this can be found in one place. There’s no need to run around Brisbane, searching supplier after supplier for the equipment you need. With welding tasks in Brisbane ranging from construction, energy and automobile right through to tinkering in a home workshop, customers need a supplier that provides equipment from Australian-based welding companies in one place.
When it comes to welding supplies Perth has the most diverse needs in the whole of Australia.
With it’s booming mining, agriculture and construction sectors, there is huge demand for specialised welding equipment in the Western Australia. But there are also plenty of weekend warriors, who require good quality bit affordable equipment.
That’s why, whether you’re a professional welder or weekend warrior, you need to know the right questions to ask to find the best welding supplies Perth has to offer.
Things have moved on since the days you had to call around to various suppliers and traipse from store to store to get the equipment you need. Today, Perth welders can get everything they need from one reliable, convenient welding supplier.
Here are five questions to ask when you’re looking for welding supplies Perth side:
What’s your experience?
Experience is a far underrated thing when it comes to finding a welding supplier. Sure, you may have been in the trade for years, but equipment is changing and evolving all the time. You need access to experts who know the types of jobs you’re doing, whether you’re in boiler making, mining or automobiles, and can advise you on the best welding supplies available.
Will you be there for me?
Nobody wants to think about their equipment breaking down. But it pays to expect the worse in order to make sure you get the best service. Look for a welding supplier that provides real customer support. When we say real, we mean that you can pick up the phone and talk to a real person about your problem, and you will get a prompt response.
Where do you deliver?
It sounds simple, but checking where the supplier delivers is an absolute must. Perth might not be a big city, but it is located in a massive state and you need to know that you can get your welding equipment to the exact location they are needed – however remote that might be. For example, eWelders will deliver to the most remote places in Australia without charging you excessive shipping fees.
How fast will you deliver?
Second only to ensuring you can get your equipment to the right place, is making sure you can get it at the right time. When your list of jobs is getting longer by the second, it’s worth getting your welding supplies from a Perth supplier that will move fast. How fast are we talking? eWelders will deliver somewhere between three to seven days, with ten business days allowed for the biggest equipment. But what makes eWelders different is that we will track your order and let you know when it’s coming so you can organise your jobs accordingly.
What do you stock?
With the massive range of welding jobs in Perth and beyond, you need to know you can get the high quality equipment and consumables you need from one place. More than that, you need to know they have the product availability that we can supply your company with the right product for the job, at the right time and the right price.
When it comes to welding supplies Perth tradies choose eWelders – find out why at eWelders.com.au.
Need to weld aluminium but not sure where to start? You’re not the first. That’s why we’ve put together a 2-part blog series to help you get started.
In part 1, we focused on how to weld aluminium using the MIG welding process. Here, we tackle how to weld aluminium using TIG welding and reveal all those little secrets only the most pro welders know.
TIG welding (tungsten inert gas) is known across the industry for producing the most beautiful welds. It is an extremely accurate process, capable of welding extremely thin metals together as well as very thick metals. How? Because TIG welding doesn’t heat up a large area of the work piece.
TIG welding works by using a torch with a solid tungsten electrode, Argon shielding gas, and a filler rod dipped into the weld puddle. A foot pedal controls the heat of the torch. Unlike many welding processes, TIG lets you weld steel, stainless steel, titanium, magnesium, cobalt alloys, copper alloys, and of course aluminum – the metal most often associated with TIG welding.
As with MIG welding, there are certain things to remember when TIG welding aluminium:
1. You need TIG with AC/DC capability
TIG welder capable of welding in AC (alternating Current) as well as DC (Dirtect Current) cost more than machine that only provide DC welding. Our AC/DC range starts at $995, extrmely cheap compared to our competitors, but still more than DC TIG welders which start at $289.
However, if you’re planning to weld aluminium and you want to save yourself money by buying a DC TIG welder, forget it.
Why? Aluminium forms an oxide layer when exposed to air and this layer has a far higher melting temperature than the base metal itself – 1982C, compared to 648C.
If not removed properly, this oxide layer will inhibit proper weld fusion and affect its quality.
A TIG welder with an AC basically erases this oxide layer from the surface, so that the integrity of the weld is not compromised when the base metal melts.
2. Filler Rod
To weld aluminium, you will need an aluminium filler rod. This will bond the two pieces of metal. Be sure not to use dirty or rusty filler rods that will result in weaker welds.
3. Argon Gas
For TIG welding, you’ll need Argon gas for shielding. The most cost-effective solution is pure Argon, though 3% helium can be added to increase the stability of the arc. Some will even say that 50/50 argon/helium is worthwhile.
4. Clean, clean clean!
The thing about aluminium is that it forms a thin aluminium oxide coating on its exterior, kind of like a skin. The problem is this melts at a far higher temperature than aluminium. So before you can even begin welding, you have to clean off the aluminium oxide – even if it’s a brand new piece of aluminium. One way to do this is to use acetone on the joints, rinse the piece in water and let it dry fully. Then scrub the metal with a stiff brush. You also need to clean the filler rod, as a dirty filler rod can contaminate the weld. As previously mentioned, a welder with alternating current (AC) can also performcleaning of the oxide layer on aluminium.
5. Preheat is your friend
You’ll find that aluminium is easier to weld if the work is already much hotter than room temperature. If you weld thick pieces without preheating, you’ll get a weak and shallow bond. Heating the aluminium is as simple as putting it in the oven, or using a gas torch to the heat sink with the work clamped on – aim for about 176°C.
6. Practice run
Before you start welding have a few practice runs. There’s no need to light the torch for this if you’re trying to save on metal.
The filler rod
7. A few final bits of preparation!
Fit your aluminium sheets together as tightly as possible
TIG welders don’t like it when the metals are not fitted together nice and tightly prior to welding. It can result in a weak weld. Fill your sheets before you clamp them to avoid this.
Set your welder to the appropriate settings
8. Lets weld!
If you remember these factors when you TIG weld aluminium, you’ll get a much cleaner and better looking weld. Did you miss our blog on MIG welding aluminium? Check it out here.