American Welding Society Forum

I would like to know the difference in volts and amps and what do I need more of when I weld? Thank-you.

What welding process are you using? Some power supplies (SMAW and GTAW) do not allow voltage to be "set" per se.

In basic electricity terms though, it is like water flow where amps is the actual water flow and volts is the water pressure.

In welding slang, amps is the "heat". To get more penetration or weld thicker materials, you usually turn up the heat/amps.

However, to get more amps you need enough volts. In terms of physics, amps and volts together determine overall heat input.

(amps x volts x 60)/travel speed = heat input in joules.

In a constant voltage power supply like that used in GMAW (MIG) volts can make a difference. For example, there is a minimum "threshold"

voltage below which is is not possible to do spray arc welding and only short circuiting welding is possible.

In terms of process, in general, higher volts means a longer arc. Longer arcs can lead to wider weld puddles and flatter weld beads. But, that may

be just due to being in spray arc mode if MIG is the process.

In basic electricity terms though, it is like water flow where amps is the actual water flow and volts is the water pressure.

In welding slang, amps is the "heat". To get more penetration or weld thicker materials, you usually turn up the heat/amps.

However, to get more amps you need enough volts. In terms of physics, amps and volts together determine overall heat input.

(amps x volts x 60)/travel speed = heat input in joules.

In a constant voltage power supply like that used in GMAW (MIG) volts can make a difference. For example, there is a minimum "threshold"

voltage below which is is not possible to do spray arc welding and only short circuiting welding is possible.

In terms of process, in general, higher volts means a longer arc. Longer arcs can lead to wider weld puddles and flatter weld beads. But, that may

be just due to being in spray arc mode if MIG is the process.

volts is the pressure that moves electricity measured in amps. in welding amps controls penetration, more amps more penetration, volts controls height and width of weld deposit. more volts flatter welds. two welding machines one a constant amp or constant current - machine's controls or sets amperage volts controlled by arc length. second machine type is constant voltage - machine's controls or sets voltage and amperage is controlled by wire feed speed increase wire feed speed increases amps.

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