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  • TIG Arc Flares-Up

    Using a Miller Diversion 180 TIG unit, I am filet welding (inside corner) 3/16 mild steel plate to a piece of 16gauge mild steel tubing. I am plugged into a 220V 20amp circuit and have my amperage set to 150Amps, "Steel" is selected on the machine. I have over 1,000LBS of Argon in my tank set at 13-15cfm and I can hear the valve open and close when I activate the peddle. I am using a 2% Thoriated 3/32 electrode with a freshly ground tip and a 3/8 cup orifice.

    Once I have established the arc and begin moving forward, with or without a filler rod, the arc will suddenly flare-up very brightly for a second or two and then go back to the original arc shape. The flare-up is so bright that I have to stop and let my eyes adjust before I can continue. This happens intermittently every 5-10 seconds.

    I never had this problem on the high-end Miller equipment I learned on at the local Tech College. I have welded with this machine with no issues in the past but this is my first attempt at welding 3/16 to 16gauge.

    I am well aware most issues are "user error" but I can't figure out what is causing these flare-ups.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Frustrated in Cincinnati

  • #2
    I have the same machine with no problems as you have described, it sounds like you may have some type of contamination in the metal itself once you get it to that liquid state at that point you start having a problem. Just my 2cents maybe someone else will chime in.

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    • #3
      Good thought! Thanks for the feedback. I'll try some fresh steel and see what happens.

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      • #4
        If it gets bright enough for you to have to let your eyes adjust are you using an autodarkening hood?
        Sounds like you possibly have a shielding lens problem to me.

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        • #5
          Yea im thinking its your hood too. How do the welds look where it flairs up
          MM140 AS
          375 Xstream
          Diversion 180
          Dynasty 200DX

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          • #6
            I can't use an autodark on my ThermalArc tig welding steel because it won't stay dark. Try a better hood or go fixed shade. Works fine on AC though.
            Nothing welded, Nothing gained

            Miller Dynasty700DX
            3 ea. Miller Dynasty350DX
            Miller Dynasty200DX
            ThermalArc 400 GTSW
            MillerMatic350P
            MillerMatic200 with spoolgun
            MKCobraMig260
            Lincoln SP-170T
            Linde UCC305 (sold 2011)
            Hypertherm 1250
            Hypertherm 800
            PlasmaCam CNC cutter
            Fadal Toolroom CNC Mill
            SiberHegner CNC Mill
            2 ea. Bridgeport
            LeBlond 15" Lathe
            Haberle 18" Cold Saw
            Doringer 14" Cold Saw
            6 foot x 12 foot Mojave granite

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            • #7
              tig arc flares up

              Originally posted by shovelon View Post
              I can't use an autodark on my ThermalArc tig welding steel because it won't stay dark. Try a better hood or go fixed shade. Works fine on AC though.
              If using auto dark with sensitivity control, adjust that to stop the flaring.

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              • #8
                It's not galvanized right?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dave powelson View Post
                  If using auto dark with sensitivity control, adjust that to stop the flaring.
                  Not necessarily ... my Jackson NexGen works fine with my Dynasty on DC, but an Executive does not ... regardless of lens settings. If I use the Dynasty's pulse function ... peak current time - 95%, background current - 95%, frequency - 100 ... then the lens functions as expected and the weld is not affected in any noticeable way.

                  When I bought my Dynasty, Jackson did not have a lens that worked and that pulse setup was the work-around I used for a couple years.
                  Dynasty 300DX
                  MM350P
                  Hobart Handler 120
                  Smith LW7, MW1, AW1
                  Smith AR/He Mixer

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                  • #10
                    I believe it is the hood. I have had a tungsten contamination look like this as well, but when this happens, stop, and look at the material and you will always see what caused it. Usually it is caused by putting aluminum particles on the tungsten then welding steel, that is why to always use a diamond wheel for tungsten sharpening.

                    The only way for an auto dark helmet to work here I would say is to induce light into the helmet on a switch that you can trigger with your foot to keep it dark.

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