Welding splatter

I watched someone use a MIG welder with a flux-core wire. There was a lot of spatter.
1) Is this usual? How can it be minimized?
2) Is there significantly less spatter when using the same welder with shielding gas? 3) If so, what is the place of flux-core wire welding? Is it just something to get weekend users to buy MIG welders? 4) Do you get the same amount of spatter with stick welding?
Thanks,
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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Welding "splatter" may be indicative of several things. One, too high a heat. Secondly, long arc. Thirdly, dirty metal. Fourthly, contaminants.
Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), or MIG (Metal Inert Gas) usually produces little spatter. Or splatter as you call it. FCAW (flux core) will produce more spatter because it is run at higher heats and melts more metal. It is also different polarity than most MIG welding. Spatter can be controlled by adjusting settings, or using spray so that it does not stick. Spatter can be tenacious, but buffing, or knocking loose with a chisel works. If it is fused on there, it is an indication of running it too hot. Generally, a molten blob will not fuse to a much colder metal, and there will be a cold lap layer there.
I have used .072" FCAW wire WITH argon shielding gas, so you might want to try it WITH a shielding gas. A mix would be better than CO2, as CO2 is cold and may affect fusion and penetration.
HTH
Steve, welding since 1974.
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Explain. CO2 will freeze skin coming out of a bottle. Mix might be cold, but not that cold.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

It's chemistry, not thermodynamics. Something along the lines of the CO2 being decomposed by the arc into C & O2, then the O2 reacting in the weld zone to create more heat. Or maybe the C & O2 recombining. But definitely chemistry. Note: no claim for more energy - the decomposition & recomposition balance. It's how the energy is used.
Bob
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On Sun, 3 Jul 2011 18:17:54 -0700, "Steve B"

Thanks.
Do I?
> FCAW (flux core) will produce

His machine is an old Millermatic 90. As far as I could see it had two controls: One labeled with different material thicknesses which had four positions. The other was a continuously variable control of the wire speed. He had never used it with anything else but a flux-core wire. I have to assume that the polarity switch is internal and set correctly.

I was interested in the process. I do not weld myself, I braze/solder/silver solder everything. I was impressed that although the speed of the actual welding was much faster, the clean up afterwards took much longer. The prep was about the same.

His wire was 0.035" AFAIK. I wonder what the economics of the whole process is once the gas is included.
Have there been any developments in small welders over the last 20 years? Would one be able to buy a "better" welding machine today than 20 years ago?
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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On Mon, 04 Jul 2011 17:49:58 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
[...]

[...]
Blast the checker! Changed everything but the title.
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wrote:

Spatter is when you get just a little. Splatter is when you get a lot. Both are listed words in spelchekr.
Steve
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    Normally, the checkers only look at the body.
    In my system, where the checker is called from the editor of my choice, and it includes the headers, I get some hits from there too.
    But at least some spelling checkers (including mine) will accept the spelling in the "Subject: " header, too. Searching on only that word gives about 17,500,000 hits in Google.
    And spelling checkers don't care whether it is the *right* word, just that it is in their dictionary. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
--
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On Sun, 03 Jul 2011 17:52:52 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

1- Yes. You can get a spray that if used before welding prevents a lot of the splatter sticking, also helps prevent crud buildup in the nozzle.
2- Yes, hardly any with shielding gas.
3- Flux core works better outside where breezes tend to interfer with the shield gas doing it's job
4- Yup.
H. (Call me "Booger")
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wrote:

You can buy the spray in welding supply houses, or you can buy PAM or similar vegetable oil sprays at the grocery store.
Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yes, if the heat settings are off you get a lot more splatter though.
How can it be minimized?
proper adjustment and/or spray on spatter shield

Maybe, depends on what you're welding, how you have things set up and what gas you are running.

Locations where you cannot run a shield gas very well. Such as outside one a breezy day or when you need to weld with a very long piece of wire running out (like inside a hole or between two panels)
Is it just

Nope, I have seen it used in a lot of shops as well. It is great for welding heavier metals with fewer passes.

Depends on the electrode and what you're welding. In general you get much more with stick.

--
Steve W.

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On Sun, 03 Jul 2011 17:52:52 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you get alot of spatter when using flux cored MIG wire, you have something wrong. Flux core welds as smooth as "buttah". It should produce the smoothest arc you have ever seen. Dave
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snipped-for-privacy@is.invalid wrote:

The very first time in my life that I had a torch in my hand it was fluxcore (FCAW), and I can vouch for this. It took me about ten minutes to learn puddle control and get decent penetration; spatter didn't even come up as a topic of conversation.
But my trainer set the heat, and I dragged the cup against the work (yeah - fluxcore with a cup!) so I really can't claim to have any talent. ;-)
Cheers! Rich
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On Sun, 03 Jul 2011 17:52:52 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote as underneath my scribble :
I wonder if you were watching somone using a gas mig unit with flux core wire and no gas, - that would make the polarity wrong way round and gives heavy spatter.

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You've gotten this answer from a couple of others, but one more time: It's much more resistant to breezes. Commercially, it's used out-of-doors where MIG (GMAW) would be difficult because the breeze is blowing the shielding gas away.
It also works with somewhat dirtier metal -- it's somewhere between MIG and stick in that regard. You'll see it used outdoors in structural welding.
And, yes, it's also used by a lot of weekend welders for other reasons.
--
Ed Huntress



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In addition to the other methods/practices, using shielding material can dramatically reduce the amount of clean-up. I've often used pieces of thin aluminum roof flashing near the weld zone, loosely clamped in place or held with magnets.
Clearing away the spatter is quickly accomplished with a thick square-edged scraper.. meaning not a thin-edged scraping tool. The square edge will knock the little balls off, not try to get under them to lift them off. For small areas, the end of a wide file will work, or a section of square HSS brazed to a backup plate (to prevent breakage) with a suitable handle can sweep a wider path.
Grinding generally isn't cost effective on most projects unless fast, high volume productivity is the goal.
--
WB
.........


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