Miller Electric

Welding Discussion Forums

Home » Resources » Communities » Welding Discussion Forums

  • If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

AC SMAW on an inverter power source question

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • AC SMAW on an inverter power source question

    To quote Monty Python "And now for something completely different..."

    The AC frequency on an inverter power source can be varied considerably. For example a Dynasty 200 DX can be adjusted from 20 - 250 Hz. This allows considerable flexibility in tweaking the arc shape and performance when using the GTAW process.

    A simple transformer power supply will simply output the same frequency as the input line typically 60 Hz (or 50 Hz in some countries). I would guess that AC welding rods were developed for use with 60 Hz long before inverter machines were available. So the question is...

    Would there be any advantage to running a SMAW rod at a higher frequency? Or perhaps with high frequency stabilization? Or advanced square wave vs. a sine wave?

    TIA,

    Ken

  • #2
    I have always hated AC stick welding. Most people do. The one single advantage of AC is better control of arc blow. Every other aspect is inferior to DC so why would you even want to? If you had a Dynasty 200DX you could do some lovely DC stick welding with it. Inverters have smoother arc control than rectifiers.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Matrix,

      I almost had a Dynasty 200 DX. I just got back from a not very local LWS. I was at a closer branch of the same LWS company Wednesday and asked them what sort of deal they could make me on a Dynasty. They called another branch which had one in stock, a "new, floor display" model and offered a REALLY good price if I would pick it up at the other branch. For a floor display it had more scuffs and scrapes than my 3 year old Diversion, it appeared to have been hooked up and the parts, plugs etc. which were supposed to be in the box were nowhere to be found. Something told me to pass on the deal and I did. End of rant...

      As to AC stick, I am after a Dynasty strictly for TIG. But as the stinger lead plugs into the same port as a TIG torch I figured that the same AC would come out and was just curious what a stick rod would do at 250 Hz.

      Ken

      Comment


      • #4
        It would sure be interesting to play around with. Still just AC though.

        Comment


        • #5
          This is an interesting read ... AC does have some other advantages.

          https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/...pdf?sequence=4

          Comment


          • #6
            I've seen that old Le Tourneau article from the 30's before. It's basically a lot of paragraphs to really only say two things:
            -Reduced arc blow.
            -Better deposition rate. (due mostly to reduced arc blow)

            A few things they conveniently forgot to mention are:
            -They switched to AC welding machines because they were cheaper than DC machines and as a result they discovered an additional deposition rate benefit in the process.
            -They build heavy equipment so there is little need to weld thin steel which can be problematic with AC.
            -There's a much greater possibility that you can electrocute yourself while stick welding with AC.
            -It's easier to stick weld with DC.

            I didn't notice it the first time I read that article years back but this time I picked up on a claim they made of better mechanical properties in the weld deposit. I will research that a little but I doubt that there is any merit to it as I have yet to see a critical weld procedure specifically call for the use of AC current only. If it really does produce better welds you would think you would see that requirement every day for all kinds of purposes.

            Comment


            • #7
              Guess you never heard of AC/DC subarc, very high deposition rates. AS for electrocuting yourself with an AC welder, its quite doultfull unless you have a weak heart and were welding in a pool of water. You would have an equal chance of dying from a DC welder with the same senario

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Matrix View Post
                ... they discovered an additional deposition rate benefit in the process.
                As compared to, say, a 100 A DC arc doesn't a 100 A AC arc have higher current peaks of +/- 141 A? If so, one can imagine a possible benefit over DC.


                Originally posted by Matrix View Post
                -There's a much greater possibility that you can electrocute yourself while stick welding with AC.
                Do you have a reference for that statement?

                Comment


                • #9
                  An interesting article from 1940. Thanks! Perhaps it will catch on some day. Just give it a little time

                  Ken

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cruizer View Post
                    Guess you never heard of AC/DC subarc, very high deposition rates. AS for electrocuting yourself with an AC welder, its quite doultfull unless you have a weak heart and were welding in a pool of water. You would have an equal chance of dying from a DC welder with the same senario
                    I beg your pardon? I ran a 3 wire subarc for the better part of a year in a large vessel shop. One head was DCSP, one head was DCRP and one head was AC and all running 5/32 or 3/16, so yah, don't worry, I've heard of it. I can see that you are kind of the king pin around here but I'm no newbie to welding. Maybe a newbie to this board but that's it. As far as the dangers of AC welding welding goes, just ask the older Czech, Serbian and Polish welders that come over here from the old country about it. They will tell you stories. Either way, that's all beside the point with regard to this discussion and the OP's question.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, the fellas running a weld from a basic Transformer from other countries is just that, they are not using an actual welder, instead they are using a stepdown non regulated and non grounded transformer pulled out of a scrap heap, which generally is directly tied into another unregulated power off a supply line. No breakers or saftey to speak of.

                      I on the other hand was talking about an actual regulated brand of AC welding machine which it would be tough to kill yourself with.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "kingpin"

                        Originally posted by Matrix View Post
                        I beg your pardon? I ran a 3 wire subarc for the better part of a year in a large vessel shop. One head was DCSP, one head was DCRP and one head was AC and all running 5/32 or 3/16, so yah, don't worry, I've heard of it. I can see that you are kind of the king pin around here but I'm no newbie to welding. Maybe a newbie to this board but that's it. As far as the dangers of AC welding welding goes, just ask the older Czech, Serbian and Polish welders that come over here from the old country about it. They will tell you stories. Either way, that's all beside the point with regard to this discussion and the OP's question.
                        yea, he's pretty much a kingpin around here. he's earned the respect he gets by freely offering knowledgable info, aid, and insight to anyone who requests it. (even subarc experts with a whole year of working in a pressure vessel shop). if you lurk here a while you will observe that there is a core group of real experts of which cruizir is one, that make this forum the info source that it is.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Excuse me? Did I say "kill"? No, I said "electrocute". You know there's a difference, right? People are electrocuted every day without dying. Lots of people. Shoot, people get struck by lightning and live to tell the story.

                          And why are we arguing about this, exactly? How is this relevant to the original question?

                          This is now the second time in a week that someone has taken my comment out of context and then also tried to put words in my mouth just to create some kind of an argument. You have a funny way of welcoming new members around here. So, I'm new. So what. Does that mean you have to try to keep me on the defensive every second? Over a non-issue like AC stick welding that you hardly ever see anymore and that somehow morphs into an argument about submerged arc welding? What's that all about?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            AC SMAW on an inverter power source question

                            WOW!! One thing I do know, my Miller Bobcat has a caution symbol next to the A/C welding process selection. When Tesla invented A/C power he was criticized and told his A/C power was far more dangerous than the DC power being used at the time.
                            Just my .02 on this ****
                            Kevin
                            Last edited by go2building; 10-13-2012, 06:17 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by go2building View Post
                              WOW!! One thing I do know, my Miller Bobcat has a caution symbol next to the A/C welding process selection. When Tesla invented A/C power he was criticized and told his A/C power was far more dangerous than the DC power being used at the time.
                              Just my .02 on this ****
                              Kevin
                              Exactly. Out of curiosity I decided to take a peek in the owners manual on my Dynasty 200DX, which just happens to be the exact topic of discussion in this thread if anyone cares to remember.

                              On the very first pag
                              e in section 1-2 under the heading "Arc Welding Hazards" are warnings on of the dangers of selecting AC output welding current.

                              And I quote:

                              - Wear dry, hole free insulating gloves and body protection
                              - Insulate yourself from work and ground using dry insulating mats big enough to prevent physical contact with the work or ground.
                              - Do not use AC output in damp areas, if movement is confined or if there is a danger of falling.
                              - Use AC output ONLY if required by the process.

                              (In large bold letters)
                              ELECTRIC SHOCK can kill.
                              With symbols depicting a weldor touching the end of the electrode and electric current running through the man's body.

                              Sure sounds to me like Miller thinks maybe there are a few safety concerns with AC welding. They tell you to take measures to prevent contact with the work or the ground and they show you a picture of a man touching the electrode and being electrocuted but never mind any of that, Cruiser knows best and it doesn't matter anyway because we take a crap all over the new people here whether they are right or wrong.
                              Last edited by Matrix; 10-13-2012, 06:59 PM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X
                              Special Offers: See the latest Miller deals and promotions.