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Shielded arc welding is done by both

AC& DC welding machines.

The welding technique is same for both.
The temperature created by the arc
is approximately 6500to 7000◦F Ie., 3593 to 3871◦C.

Arc welding machines or welding powersources

are either AC or DC or combination of A/C &DC.
They are constructed to produce either
constant current measured in amperes or
constant voltage (potential) measured in volts.
DC Arc welding machines are of the following
• Motor or engine driven generator
• Motor or engine driven A/C alternator with
DC rectifier.
• AC transformer with DC Rectifiers
AC Arc welding machines are of the following
• Transformer
• Motor driven or engine driven alternator
Combination of AC& DC arc welding machines
are of the following
• Transformer with a DC Rectifiers
• Alternator with a DC rectifier
To describe an arc welding machine the
following minimum information should be given

• Type of power source

• Whether constant current or constant
• Whether AC or DC or AC/DC
• Duty cycle
• Welding current rating
• Power requirement
Arc welding machines also may be classified
According to a graph of the electrical output
of the particular machine.Such visual representation
is called as the static volt – amperes curve
the volt ampere curve plots the electrical current
output measured in amperes against
the voltage output


The general slope of the volt –amp curve
is called the output slope of the power source,
some out slopes at very flat while others are
very steep
The almost horizontal volt-amp curves or output
Slopes are produced by constant voltage machines.
An Arc welding machines that produces a steep
output slope is called a constant current machine.

The out put slope or volt ampere curve

shows the changes in the welding current (heat )
as the voltage (arc length )is changed.
Constant current arc welding machines :
Arc welding machines are designated to produce
an out put which has nearly constant current are
or a nearly constant voltage machines , the fig below
shows a typical volt –ampere curve for a constant
current welding machine .

Notice the relatively steep slope or droop of

this curve.
These machines are called as droop
curve machines or droppers.
The arc voltage varies with the size or length
of the arc gap, in the figure you see a steeply
sloping volt ampere curve “A”in the left view.
The open circuit voltage or the voltage
when not welding has been selected to be 80 volts.
The closed ciruit or welding voltage is 20 volts.
An increase in arc length causes an increase in the
closed circuit voltage.
The open circuit voltage for a setting of 50 volts
on the machine is shown as curve “B” in the
right view of fig 9.2 the same 20 volts to
25 volts (25%) change in the welding voltage will
result in a drop in current from 143 to 124 amps.
This slower slopping voltage curve output causes
a large change in ampere with small change in voltage

A welder may wish to have this slower

slopping (flatter) volt ampere out put curve.
With a flatter output slope the welder can control
the molten pool and electrode melt rate by making
small changes in the arc length. Control of the
molten pool and electrode melt rate are most
important when welding in the horizontal vertical
and over head position.
Alternating current AC arc welders are of either
the transformers or alternator type. An alternator
creates an AC electrical current from a mechanical
source. A rotor wrapped in multiple turns of wore is
rotated inside a number of magnets. The rotor
may be turned by an electric motor or a gasoline or
diesel engine. The magnet used in the alternator
are made of wire wrapped around a metal core and
are known as electromagnets.
The electro magnets create a strong
magnetic field with in the alternator,
as the rotor turns with in the magnetic field
an alternate current is created In the rotor winding
this created (generated) current is welding current.

The amount of welding current produced is in

direct relation to the following.

•The diameter of the wire on the rotor and magnet

•The amount of current carried in the rotor and magnet
•The number of windings in the rotor and the magnet
•The speed of the rotation of the rotor .
The current out put may be adjusted
by controlling the amount of current going
through the magnet windings (field winding )
a bucking (reverse current ) field winding
may also be used to control the machines out put .
Transformers are constructed of
three principle electrical components:
They are,
I. primary windings
II. secondary windings
III. and an iron core.
The primary winding uses thinner wire than
the secondary winding. There are many more
windings in the primary coils ,since there are
more turns on the primary than the secondary ,
welding transformers are step down transformers.
They decrease the voltage and increase
amperage from primary to the secondary circuit.

When the current flows in the wire,

a magnetic field build up around the wire.
When the current stops flowing in the wire,
the magnetic field collapses.
If this current carrying wire is wrapped
into a coil with many turns, the coil may be
called as primary winding. When a second coil
usually of larger wire with fewer turns is placed
next to primary coil is called secondary coil.

To cause a current to flow in the secondary ,

an alternating current is made to flow in
the primary windings. As it flows ,
a magnetic field builts up. The current
momentarily stops when the alternating current
changes direction in the primary circuit.
When the current stops, the magnetic field collapses.
And panes across the secondary windings.
This collapse of the fiels induces (creates) a current
in the secondary winding in one direction.
Current in the primary begin to flow in opposite
direction. It builts a magnetic field and collapses.
When the current stops to change direction again.
The secondary windings are again cut by the
magnetic field and a current is induced in the
opposite direction. The process of inducing a current
in the secondary continues at the rate of 120 times
per second and creates an alternating current.
A laminated iron core is placed inside the primary
and secondary windings. Its purpose is to keep
the magnetic field from wandering too far from its
If the primary and secondary windings are
moved away from one another, the amount
of current induced into the secondary decreases.
The movable coil is one means of adjusting
the output of a welding transformer.

Direct current D.C arc welders are of either

the transformer- rectifier or generator type.
In the transformer section of the transformer-
rectifier welder, AC is changed from line voltage
and current to AC welding voltage and current line
voltage supplied to the transformer is generally 2
20 or 440 volts at 60Hz (cycles). The transformer
changes the high voltage to an open circuit (no
load) welding voltage 60-80 volts . The current
(amperage) provided may be as high as 1500 Amps.
Depending on the construction of machine.
After leaving the transformer section the welding
current enters the rectifier. The rectifier changes
the AC to DC. The DC constant current transformer
rectifier may be either a single phase or
three phase machines.
Alternating current leaving the transformer
can only flow through the diode in one direction.
The AC flowing into the rectifier is changing
direction 120 times per sec.. The current flows
from the rectifier in one direction only and
has therefore been converted to direct current.(DC).
DC may also be produced through the use of
DC generator or AC alternator with a rectifier.
The DC generator is similar in construction
to the AC alternator. The generator uses a
rotating armature, similar to the stator.
The armature is wound with many separately
wound cells. Each end of the armature
coil winding is soldered to a copper terminal
called a commutator. At least two carbon or copper
contacts called brushes touch the commutator.
One brush is +ve, and one brush is –ve terminal.
Two or more stationary, wire wound magnets
are used, they are called field windings.
The armature windings are rotated by some
mechanical means such as a motor on engine.
As the armature winding rotates , they pass through
the magnetic field created by field winding. This
cutting of magnetic field by the armature winding
Causes a current to be created (induced) in the
armature coil. The armature wire is horizontal
and not cutting through the magnetic field ,
so no current is created. This position occurs twice
in each resolution.
The armature is vertical it cuts through the
magnetic field as it moves up from horizontal
to a maximum current position at the top and
bottom vertical position. The induced current
is picked up from commutator by the brushes.
A DC is produced because the induced current
is always picked up in one direction. The more
armature windings, the more evenly the DC will
flow.welding generators are specially constructed
to produce high current flow at low voltage.
The current produced by the generator should be
steady, and the voltage must not fluctuate during
the welding procedure.
A steady current is maintained by special device
incorporate in the desing of generator.

Some machines use exciter to maintain good voltage

and current flow characteristic . an exciter is a small
generator electrically connected to the field winding
of large generator. The exciter keeps a constant
voltage on the main fields and also prevents them
from reversing the polarity.
 The alternator produces alternating current.
Silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) are used in
solid state rectifier units.

 These solid state units are compact

and have high efficiency.
Direct current may flow in one of the two directions.
1) It may flow from the welding machine
to the electrode holder, across the arc,
and return to the machine through the work lead.

Current flowing in this direction is called

Direct Current electrode negative.(DCEN)
The electrode is negative in this case.
Direct current electrode negative
is also known as
Direct Current Straight Polarity (DCSP).
By reversing the position of the electrode
and work lead at the machine,
the DC will first flow to the work,
from the work the current crosses
the arc to the electrode holder then
returns to the machine through
the electrode lead. Current flowing
in this direction is called
Direct Current Electrode Positive (DCEP)
Direct Current Reverse Polarity.
Arc welding Machine specifications:

An arc welding machine is described and

specified by the following:-

1) Rated output current rating

2) power requirement

3) Duty cycle
Rated output current rating:
It is a term used to describe the
amount of the current (amperage).
A welder is rated to supply at a given voltage.
These ratings are described in the
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
Rated output current in amperes
Class 1 Class 11 Class 111
200 150 180-230
250 175 235-295
300 200
400 225
500 250
600 300
800 350
The rated load (welding) voltage for
class1 and class11 arc welding machines
under a 500 rating is calculated as follows.

Voltage(E) = 20+0.04 rated

Eg:- voltage = 20+0.04*300= 20 + 12 = 32V.

Therefore the welding rated

output current rating for this machine
is 300 Amps at 32vV. For machines with
output current above 600 amps.,
the rated load voltage used is 44V.
power requirement
Electrical power input requirement for NEMA class1 and
class11 transformer arc welders are as follows:-

For, 50 Hz cycles – 220, 380 and 440 volts.

60 Hz cycles- 200, 230, 460 and 575V.

The electrical power requirement for NEMA class111

Ransformer is at 60 Hz is 230v.
Duty cycle:
Duty cycle is the length of time that a welding
machine can be used continuously at its rated output in
any 10 min period. Most welding machines are not
required to operate 100% of the time. If they are required
to weld 100% of the time a machine with a 100% duty
cycle would be required. Work must be loaded and
unloaded and electrodes must be changed, metal must be
chipped clean and inspected. The duty cycle normally
recommended for manual welding is 60%. Automatic and
semi automatic welding operations usually require 1005
duty cycle.
Shielding Metal Arc welding:
The most frequently used welding process
is shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)

Both alternating (AC) and Direct current (DC)

Arc welding are done.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The welding technique is similar for both AC and DC.

Electricity , as it arcs across its gap between the metal
electrode and the work creates a tempetature of
approximately 6500F – 7000F. with the correct size electrode
this temperature is sufficient to melt any weldable metal.
Direct current Arc welding fundamentals:
Electric arc welding is defined by the American
welding society as “A group welding process which
produces coalescence of metals by heating them with an
arc with or without application of pressure, and with or
without fitter metal”.

Shielded Metal Arc welding (SMAW) is done by

producing an arc between the base metal and a
consumable flux covered , metal electrode. The electrode
acts as electrical conductor as well as fitter metal. The
electrical circuit of shielded metal arc welding is given
Electrical circuit of Shielded Metal Arc Welding
DC Arc welding machines are of the following type,

1) Motor or Engine driven generator.

2) Motor or Engine AC alternator with DC rectifier
3) AC transformer with DC rectifier.

It is important to understand the Voltage-Current

(amperes) characteristics of DC Arc welding Machine
under a No load (open circuit) condition, when not
welding, the voltage of the machine is about 60 – 80
Volts. When the Arc is struck, the current measured in
(amperes) will go up and the voltage will come down to
about 15-40 volts.
Ohms law:-
The law states that voltage in a closed loop circuit has a
constant relationship to the current and the resistance of the
circuit , the ohms law formula is

V=I x R,
V=voltage , I= current, R=resistance.

On a constant current arc welding M/C the only

adjustment on the welding M/C is for Amperage.
If the electrode gap or resistance in the circuit is held
constant, when the voltage is increased, the Amperage
increases. This may be sum in the formula V=I x R.

The Amperages output is determined by the

voltage from the main source. Amperage is also limited
by the wiring of the Arc welding machine circuit.

In a constant current machine . If the Arc gap

distance is increased, the resistance will increase in the
circuit. Therefore to maintain a constant Amperage, the
voltage output of the M/C must increase. Using Ohm’s
law, if the Arc distance decreases the voltage must
decrease to maintain a constant Amperage.
Therefore , with a constant current Arc
welding Machines, the most important
control of the heat generated in the electric
arc is the length of the arc gap. The arc gap
must be held constant once the amperage is
set on the machine. If the arc gap changes,
the amperage across the gap will vary and so
will the welding heat developed.
To make a good weld, the operator must
consider the following.
1) The current output of the welding machine

2) The diameter , polarity and type of electrode.

3) The arc and its manipulation.

4) The preparation of base metal.

5) The type of base metal.

The arc when viewed through the helmet lens, is
seen to be divided into two separate parts, the stream and
flame. The arc flame consisting of neutral gases which
appears to be pale Red, the vaporized metal in the stream
appears yellow. Liquid metal in the stream appears green.

If the arc is longer than normal, the flame gases

can no longer protect the Arc stream from oxidation.
With the long Arc the weld will form oxides, and
nitrides, resulting in a very weak and brittle weld.

If the current flow and arc length are maintained,

a good weld should result with direct current.
Direct current electrode negative and
electrode positive Fundamentals:
The welding circuit shown is known as Direct Current
Electrode Negative (DCEN) circuit. This circuit is defined
by AWS as direct current straight polarity (DCSP)
In this circuit the electrons are flowing from the
negative pole of the machine to the electrode. The
electrons continue to travel across the arc into the base
metal and to the positive terminal or pole of the
machine. It is possible , and sometimes desirable to
reverse the direction of electron flow or polarity in arc
welding circuit. This may be done by disconnecting the
electrode and work leads and reversing their position.
Some machines have a switch which will
change the circuit polarity. When the electron flow
from the negative terminal or pole of the arc
welder to the base metal, the circuit is known as
Direct Current Electrode Positive ( DCEP). It is also
known as a Directr Current Reverse polarity
(DCRP). In this circuit, the electrons flow from the
negative pole of welding machine to the work.
Electron travel across the Arc to the Electrode and
then return to the Positive terminal of the
machine from the electrode side of the Arc
The choice of when to use Direct current Electrode
negative (DCEN) or Direct Current Electrode Positive (DCEP)
is primarily determined by the electrode being used.

Some SMAW electrodes are designed to use only

DCEN or only DCEP, other electrodes can be used with either

The electrode which must be used for a given job is

generally determined by the welding procedure
specification (WPS)

When the electrode to be used is known, the polarity

must be determined by referring to the manufacturer’s
recommendation refer figure,
The decision to use DCEN (DCSP) or
DCEP (DCRP) often depends on such variables as,

1) The depth of penetration desired

2) The rate at which filler material is deposited.
3) The position of the joint
4) The thickness of the base metal
5) The type of the base metal
The DCEP (DCRP) produces better
penetration then DCEN (DCSP). The SMAW
electrodes that have the least penetration
abilities are E6010, E6011, E7010. These
electrodes use DCEP. There is a theory that with
DECP covered electrode there is a jet action and
or expansion of a gases in the arc at the
electrode tip. This expansion causes the metal
to be propelled with a great speed across the
The molten metal impacts the base
metal with great force. This heavy impact on
the base metal help to produce deep
penetrating welds. When a high rate of filler
metal deposit is required and EXX2X
electrode is recommended. DCEN (DCSP) is
usually recommended for the EXX2X

Ex: E6020, E6027, E7027, E7028.