In welding, sometimes you have to weld under different weather conditions so you have to know how to weld in a windy environment or in a rainy environment. I don’t think you won’t have a lot of problems when it comes to a sunny environment, expect maybe that you will feel really hot while wearing your welding clothes. Keeping yourself hydrated is a great way to replenish lost water and electrolytes.
Compared to working in a closed environment or at a welding shop, it can be a bit harder to weld when the wind is extra strong for the day especially if the process you are doing requires you to use shielding gas. Why is shielding gas important? Why do we have to shield the shielding gas from environmental air? Fellow welders, the purpose of a shielding gas is very important when it comes to productivity, and the quality of your weld. The shielding gas is the one responsible for protecting the solidifying molten weld from oxygenation and as well as other impurities and moisture that can be found the in the air. I believe it is common knowledge for most welders that oxygen doesn’t have a good effect on metal. I learned about this when I was 15 during chemistry class. Oxygen is the element in nature that is responsible for corroding metal and thus, forming rust on the surface. It is also the shielding gas who is responsible for cooling down the welding gun.
There are many types of shielding gas that a welder can choose from to suit his welding process or to help him achieve the goals that he wants to achieve. However, the most comment shielding gases are the following:
- Carbon Dioxide
You might be confused why the oxygen is there, right? Keep in mind that when using oxygen, it isn’t used alone. You will have to use carbon dioxide and oxygen to help you stabilize the arc and also to ensure smooth transmission of material in MAG welding. How do you determine which one is more or less than the other? You will be able to determine the proportion by the type of steel that you are welding. These two are active gases and are used as a oxygenating component.
Argon and Helium are inert gases. How do you use them both? Argon is a great gas because it does not have any reaction with a work piece. You can be sure that this gas will not cause any oxygenation or somehow affect the chemical composition of your weld. It causes no reaction to the molten weld. It is because of the reasons stated that Argon become the most use gas when it comes to TIG welding. Helium is an inert gas as well. Sometimes, welders mix helium with argon or sometimes helium is used alone. It is used in TIG and MIG welding. The great thing to note about Helium is that it is better at side penetration and also has a greater welding speed compared to argon.
Of course if there is a strong breeze outside, your shielding gas will not be able to stay in place and actually shield the metal that you are on the process of welding. This can cause different reactions to your material. Many welders have reported that the saw porosity, and the welding gun also began producing different weird sounds.
So, how do we combat the wind? Now that we know the problem, we will be able to think of a solution to it. What you want to happen here is for the wind to stop going your way and blowing your shielding gas away. We can make a windshield or most call it as a wind break. Hopefully, somehow this will be able to keep most of the breeze away from your material and shielding gas.
Many welders also say that if the wind is a little too strong on certain days, you may want to consider increasing the gas flow rate for just a little bit. Let’s say it is currently at 10, you may want to increase it to 15. Not too much though! And yes, even if you have a wind shield already, you may have to increase the gas flow rate even just a little bit. Remember, with a wind shield, you have only kept majority of the wind out, but not everything. There will still be some little breezes that can interrupt your welding process, but with a smart angling of your wind shield, I believe you will be just fine.
Here are some advises from welders on a online forum:
“Any wind most certainly will affect the welding process, assuming you are using shielding gas. If it is ‘very’ windy and you are working outside I think that must be your problem. I even notice the effect with a draft from the open workshop door sometimes. On days when it is just a little windy you could try upping the gas flow rate a bit, and / or improvise some form of windshield. If it is very windy it’s probably best left to another day. Is there any work to do from inside the van – maybe you could crack on with that?
Graham.” – GrahamGKD
“Yep, sounds like your gas is being blown away. Is it possible to set up a makeshift windbreak? You may be able to get away with it if you can stop the majority of the wind and also up the gas flow slightly to compensate for what’s being lost.” – Wozzaaah
Hopefully that will be able to solve your welding problems!
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