How to choose a welding inverter: professional advice

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Welding machines have become compact faithful assistants to many craftsmen, for those who are just thinking of learning the welding craft and buying their own inverter, this article will help. In it we will talk about the varieties and applications of different types of electric welding..

What types of welding are used in everyday life

Electric welding, due to its versatility, can be used for processing both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The development of semiconductor devices made it possible to make devices compact and lightweight, and the characteristics of the output current are stable. In everyday life, the use of arc welding with stick electrodes, wire and non-consumable electrode is popular.

How to choose a welding inverter. Professional advice

To connect the parts to be welded in all types of welding, an electric arc is used, which melts the edges of the metal. The melts of the two elements mix with each other and solidify, turning into a monolithic mass. However, there are a number of features, without which the seam will not receive proper strength. Oxygen must be displaced from the arc action so that the molten iron does not burn or evaporate, but only be fluid. The arc temperature must be stable and strictly normalized, otherwise early degradation of the weld is possible. These and other requirements are implemented in different ways in different devices..

MMA welding is a simple and reliable option

The MMA (Manual Metal Arc) welding type is the most popular among the common people. The arc is created by a steel electrode with an external coating, which, when ignited, burns out, displacing oxygen from the combustion site, and the resulting gases limit the heating temperature. Such welding is used mainly for joining steel parts. Most common non-ferrous metals and alloys or stainless steels can be welded using special electrodes. Many people use this type of welding to connect the cores of copper cables..

How to choose a welding inverter. Professional advice

Unfortunately, this type of apparatus cannot be called universal, special electrodes are quite expensive and their use cannot be permanent. But MMA welding has a number of advantages, including high compactness and mobility, extremely simple operating principle and good quality of the weld. Most household appliances can weld seams up to 2–3 centimeters deep due to the high arc power. Therefore, with the help of MMA, it is customary to weld elements of critical and supporting structures..

How to choose a welding inverter. Professional advice

One of the disadvantages of welding with electrodes is the abundant formation of splashes of molten metal and scale, which clogs the weld pool and complicates the filling of the seam. Due to partial oxidation, the weld is more susceptible to corrosion, so it is cleaned of welding slag and covered with Movil.

MIG-MAG welding machines and their use

MIG-MAG (Metal Inert / Active Gas) welding machines are very popular among designers. The arc is ignited in them when the wire contacts the workpiece to be welded. In this case, both contacting parts are melted and mixed, the continuously supplied wire serves as a joint filler. Carbon dioxide is used to protect the weld pool from the weather. It is dosed through the torch nozzle during welding, the feed is automatically stopped with interruption of the arc.

How to choose a welding inverter. Professional advice

MIG-MAG machines and related equipment are more complex than electrode welding devices. In addition to the current-carrying conductor, a wire feed tube and a shielding gas hose are also extended to the torch-holder. In most modern models, all communications are collected in one bus.

The wire is fed from a reel installed in the body of the welding machine through a pinch roller. The feed rate determines the thickness of the seam and can be adjusted according to the characteristics of the welding current. This feature, called synergetic programming, allows you to set preset operating modes in the device settings..

How to choose a welding inverter. Professional advice

The main advantages of MIG-MAG welding are high accuracy, absence of strong spatter and dross, excellent weld quality. Welding of non-ferrous metals is possible with the use of special wire and replacement of carbon dioxide with argon. Reverse polarity is also used for argon welding. Among the disadvantages, one can note the low mobility of the installation and low efficiency of work in the wind..

Features of TIG machines

TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding has a lot in common with MIG-MAG technology, but instead of a wire, a non-consumable tungsten electrode is installed in the torch. This type of electric welding is almost a complete technical analog of acetylene, but much more economical. The devices have electronic control and are able to flexibly adjust the temperature of the electrode.

How to choose a welding inverter. Professional advice

The weld pool is also shielded with an inert or active gas by default, however, it is possible to weld carbon and stainless steel without gas shielding if the connection is not very demanding. Spatter and dross are completely absent in this type of welding, in most cases the seam is absolutely smooth and does not require processing.

Welding of steel is performed with direct current, and non-ferrous metals are welded with alternating current. The device supports work with synergistic programs, today TIG welding is the most advanced and convenient method for universal use.

How to choose a welding inverter. Professional advice

Selection tips and price range

Most of the units have a guarantee, and if no breakdowns occur during its operation, the unit will function properly for a long time. The weak points of semi-professional devices include earth clamps, cables, electrode holders, torches and quick disconnects. For most inexpensive devices, it is better to immediately replace them with more solid ones, the price of an upgrade costs 10-15% of the cost of the device.

Inverters from manufacturers such as ADA, Elitech or Volta are worthy technical counterparts of Western brands, usually their related equipment does not cause any complaints. Regarding the shields included in the kit, it is better not to use them at all.

How to choose a welding inverter. Professional advice

For use on a small scale and training, one should not buy expensive professional equipment, and one should not be tempted by the frankly cheap and too compact Chinese devices. Samples of the middle price category from the “Svarog” or “RESANTA” series are capable of coping with rather difficult tasks, but they are not designed for long-term operation. On average, a normal MMA inverter will cost from 8 to 15 thousand rubles, a device such as MIG-MAG – 18-22 thousand rubles, or 20-25 thousand rubles in combination with MMA. The price of TIG semiautomatic devices directly depends on the power and starts from 20 thousand rubles. Devices costing over 30 thousand rubles, such as Tesla MIG / MAG / TIG / MMA 303, support all types of welding, and devices like Aurora Inter TIG AC / DC Pulse have an intelligent system for setting current parameters, non-contact starting functions, crater filling and gas purging … In general, the more expensive the apparatus, the cleaner and more durable the seam can be obtained, but in most applications this is not required..

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