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What Is Pulse Welding? And What Do You Use It For?

Welding is a process of joining two or more pieces of metal together by applying heat and pressure. There are many types of welding methods, each with its advantages and disadvantages. One of the most advanced and versatile welding methods is pulse welding. In this article, we will explain what pulse welding is, how it works, and what you can use it for.

I. What is pulse welding?

Pulse welding is a technique that uses a power source that alternates between high and low current levels. The high current level called the peak current, creates a spray of molten metal droplets that are transferred across the arc to the weld pool. The low current level called the background current, maintains the arc but does not produce any metal transfer. This way, the heat input is reduced and the weld pool is allowed to cool slightly between each pulse.

Pulse welding can be applied to two common welding processes: gas metal arc welding (GMAW) or MIG welding, and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) or TIG welding. In both cases, the power source controls the pulsing frequency and the peak and background currents. The welder can also adjust these parameters according to the material, thickness, position, and desired outcome of the weld.

II. How does pulse welding work?

Pulse welding works by modulating the current flowing through the welding circuit. The key components of a pulse welding system include the power source, welding gun, electrode, and controller. Here's a step-by-step explanation of how pulse welding operates:

  1. Initiation: To start the welding process, the operator sets the desired parameters on the welding machine's control panel. These parameters typically include peak current, background current, pulse duration, and pulse frequency.

  2. Arc Initiation: Once the parameters are configured, the welding electrode is brought into close proximity with the workpiece. As the electrode approaches, the welding power source initiates the welding arc by delivering a high peak current. This intense burst of energy generates the arc.

  3. Pulsing: After the arc is established, the power source switches to the lower background current. This phase allows the weld pool to cool slightly while maintaining the arc. The cycle then repeats, with the power source switching between peak and background currents.

  4. Welding: During the high peak current phase, the heat input is concentrated, resulting in deep penetration into the workpiece. When the background current is active, it allows for the controlled cooling of the weld pool, which can help prevent issues like burn-through or excessive distortion.

  5. Repeat: The pulsing cycle continues until the welding operator stops the process by retracting the electrode from the workpiece or turning off the power source.

Pulse welding provides precise control over the heat input and allows for better weld quality, especially when working with thin materials or challenging joint configurations.

III. Advantages of Pulse Welding.

Pulse welding has several advantages over conventional constant voltage (CV) or constant current (CC) welding methods. Some of these advantages are:

  • Reduced spatter and cleanup: Pulse welding produces less spatter than CV or CC welding because the metal transfer is more controlled and less turbulent. This reduces the need for post-weld grinding and cleaning, saving time and money.

  • Improved weld quality: Pulse welding allows for better penetration, fusion, and bead appearance than CV or CC welding because the heat input is more uniform and consistent. This reduces the risk of defects such as lack of fusion, porosity, undercutting, distortion, and burn-through.

  • Increased productivity: Pulse welding enables higher deposition rates and faster travel speeds than CV or CC welding because the weld pool is smaller and more manageable. This means that more welds can be completed in less time, increasing efficiency and output.

  • Better Gap Bridging: Pulse welding is known for its ability to bridge gaps between workpieces more effectively than some other welding methods. This is particularly valuable when working with joint configurations that may have slight gaps or variations.

  • Enhanced versatility: Pulse welding can be used for a wider range of materials, thicknesses, positions, and applications than CV or CC welding because it can adapt to different conditions and requirements. For example, pulse welding can weld thin or thick metals in all positions with less distortion and burn-through; it can weld dissimilar metals with less cracking and corrosion; it can weld sensitive metals with less oxidation and contamination.

Related article: Quick Pulse: A Welding Technology More Suitable for Manual Welding

IV. What do you use Pulse Welders for?

Welding machines that adopt pulse welding technology (pulse welders such as Megmeet Artsen Plus D/P/Q MIG/MAG Welders) can be used for many industrial applications that require high-quality, high-productivity, and high-versatility welding. Some examples are:

  • Automotive: Pulse welders can be used for manufacturing various parts of cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, etc., such as body panels, frames, chassis, exhaust systems, fuel tanks, etc. Pulse welding can improve the strength, durability, performance, safety, and appearance of these parts.

  • Aerospace: Pulse welders can be used for producing various components of aircraft, rockets, satellites, etc., such as wings, fuselages, engines, landing gears, etc. Pulse welding can enhance the reliability, weight reduction, efficiency, and resistance to extreme temperatures and pressures of these components.

  • Construction: Pulse welders can be used for building various structures such as bridges, buildings, pipelines, towers, etc. Pulse welding can increase the stability, load-bearing capacity, corrosion resistance, and aesthetics of these structures.

  • Medical: Pulse welders can be used for creating various devices such as implants, prosthetics, surgical instruments, etc. Pulse welding can ensure the biocompatibility, sterility, precision, and functionality of these devices.

Related article: Megmeet Pulse MIG Welders: Artsen II, Pro & Plus Series Welders

V. Conclusion

Pulse welding is a modern and sophisticated welding technique that offers many benefits over traditional welding methods. It uses a power source that alternates between high and low current levels to create a controlled and stable arc that delivers precise and consistent metal transfer. It can reduce spatter and cleanup, improve weld quality, increase productivity, and enhance versatility for various industrial applications. If you are looking for a precision welding process that can handle different materials and conditions with ease and efficiency, you might want to consider pulse welding as your choice.