The term “duty cycle” refers to the amount of welding that can be achieved within a given amount of time. You will see this term in regards to certain welding machines, such as MIG and TIG welders, in order to inform the user of how long the machine can work at its optimum level, since welders do not perform continuously like some other automotive tools.
For instance, the Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC welder has a duty cycle of 45% at 150 amps. This means that the power signal of the TIG200 should remain on for 45% of the time and off 55% of the time at 150 amps of power. If you look at your welding time in increments of 10 minutes, the duty cycle is a percentage of that 10 minute increment. In other words, with a 45% duty cycle at 150 amps, you can weld for 4-1/2 minutes and cool off for 5-1/2 minutes. You can increase the duty cycle percentage by turning down the amperage output, but going above the amp output (in this case, 150 amps) will yield a lower duty cycle. Duty cycles are there to protect you and your welder from any damage or long-lasting wear and tear.
To learn more about welding and for more automotive FAQs, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.