American Welding Society Forum
Kinda new to forum and relative noob at welding. About a year and a half ago I purchased my first welder; a Hobart Ironman 230. I will need to be able to weld 1/4" mild steel to 1/2" mild steel, from time to time, in tee joints. Since purchasing the welder I have been practicing MIG welding as well as doing research on the subject. Also, I have read many an instructional document and forum threads about the need for spray transfer for 1/2" or thicker mild steel welds.
While the Ironman 230 is rated up to 1/2", I do not believe it is capable of spray transfer, at least not with .035 wire and up. That said, if the Ironman 230 is rated for 1/2" but can only use the short circuit process for this weld then should I infer from the rating that a multi pass weld will be needed to safely weld 1/4" mild steel to 1/2" mild steel?
The reason I ask is because I may have the ability to purchase a Millermatic 252, which I believe is capable of spray transfer, at least at the thicknesses I mentioned, at a competitive price. I would then sell the Ironman. My next question is would you feel the need to purchase the Millermatic in order to properly weld steel of these thicknesses or would the Ironman suffice? Maybe the Ironman would be just as well suited if I used flux core?
It seems you have done lots of research, I admire that in comparison to many others that just look for quick answers with no effort on their part. Is there some particular reason you wish to perform these welds in one pass? While manufactures rate machines in brochures as far as metal thickness range to infer capability, it really comes down to basics current capability, feed rate and duty cycle. Both machines are for all intents equal in that regard. For 1/2 material I would just step up to an .045 wire if I had a lot of it to do (whether innershield, dual shield or bare). The boost in potential deposition rate you will get from the larger wire will allow for larger fillets (better quality and easier to lay down) in one pass. That Ironman is a good machine and reliable, the Miller has some cool features. I think the machine swap is unnecessary and comes more down to a preference/value decision. I am sure someone will chime in with a more technical analysis of the issue but there is my $.02
Thanks for your reply. The main reason I was considering the switch is because in most of my research I see where it is not recommended to use short circuit for greater than, say , 3/8" plate. But the more I talk, at least virtually, with welders the more it seems that short circuit will work at least for the given parameters and multiple passes. I think where I may be confused is that the ratings found on welders may not be for single pass, necessarily?
It sounds as though most people responding feel comfortable that using the Ironman would be sufficient. Thanks Again, I truly appreciate the input.
The ironman should have enough voltage for spray transfer with .035 wire if you use 90 argon 8 CO2 2oxy gas blend but you will probably still be pushing the duty cycle. If you have a lot of 1/2" steel to weld you may want to step up to bigger machine but the Miller 252 is not going to be the big of step . If you are going to be welding 1/2" or heavier day in and day out you want a machine that can can put out at least 29 volts at 100 percent duty cycle. If you are just welding heavy steel once in awhile and for short arc on time the ironman should be fine. You can weld 1/2" with short circuit process it just take a little more skill. Gas sheilded fluxcore should work fine but you still going to be pushing the duty cycle on the Ironman
I will likely only perform that size weld only a few times, neglecting practice welds, a year, if that. Thanks for your thoughts.
When welding Short Circuit ~ Stay with the 0.035 in wire instead of 0.045 ~ your arc will have a greater current density greater possibility for deeper penetration. Use 100% CO2 and your arc will need about 3 volts more than the AR/CO2 blend. This extra voltage for the amperage will put more energy into the arc. If you want spray transfer you will want a 400 amp gun for heat generated. A versatile gas will be 80-5% Argon remainder CO2 this gas will permit welding with short circuit and spray transfer.
Another solution is switching to flux core arc welding with or without shielding gas.
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