Welding Terminology

Posted: May 23, 2014 By: Louis Beaudreau

If you have a welding machine and weld metals often, it is important to know what you are talking about when it comes to technical vocabulary. The more you understand welding terminology and concepts, the better you will be able to properly perform welding tasks with your machine. Below, we have comprised 11 welding terms, dealing primarily with AC/DC MIG and TIG welders, to help you better understand your machine and get the most use out of it. The following terms are organized as follows:

  • Power Switch – This powers on an AC/DC welder and also doubles as the overload circuit breaker.
  • Amperage (Front Panel) – On the front panel of a welding machine, the output amperage knob adjusts how many amps are used while welding. The thicker the metal, the higher the amperage.
  • Amperage (Foot Pedal) – There is also a foot pedal on many welders that has an amperage knob, so that you can control the amperage output with your foot as you’re welding.
  • Clearance Effect – The clearance effect knob controls how much cleaning occurs versus how much penetration occurs during welding. When the effect value is more negative, the result will be greater penetration and less cleaning, and when the value is more positive, the result will be greater cleaning and less penetration.
  • Pre Flow – The pre flow knob controls the time (in seconds) that the shielding gas begins to flow after the welding trigger is pressed before the arc starts.
  • Post Flow – The post flow knob controls the time (in seconds) that the shielding gas continues to flow after the welding trigger is released.
  • Gas Flow – There is a gas flow indicator gauge that displays how much the shielding gas is flowing from the bottle and how much gas is left in the bottle.
  • AC/DC – The DC setting is primarily used for welding steel, including stainless steel, and the AC setting is commonly used for welding aluminum.
  • Foot Pedal/Panel Control – This switch simply lets you choose whether or not you want to use a foot pedal or the knob panel to control the amperage output. If it is set to panel control, the torch trigger is activated.
  • Torch Switch – The torch switch controls the starting and stopping of the welding arc. When you use the torch switch, the amperage is adjusted on the front panel.
  • Foot Pedal – The foot pedal controls the starting and stopping of the welding arc along with the amperage output, which is adjusted by the knob on the side of the foot pedal.

Know these terms and apply the knowledge here to your welding projects. Again, the more you understand about the technicalities of AC/DC welding machines, the better you will be at using them.

To learn more about welding and for more automotive FAQs, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.

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