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MIG Welding - Setting Inductance

Some MIG welders have an adjustable weld inductance setting. But many MIG welding machines
have this setting fixed; meaning the MIG welding inductance is preset to a level that works for
most everyday applications. The inductance setting on a MIG welder controls the rate of current
rise following the short circuit state. That is during the time when the wire is short circuiting into
the weld puddle. This setting affects the arc on time too. That is the amount of time the short
circuit cycle spends arcing and providing heat to the puddle.

That is why adjusting the inductance makes the arc sound entirely different. It has a similar effect
as setting frequency on a TIG welder while TIG welding on AC. A high inductance setting
increases the time of each individual arc cycle and therefore can improve wetting of the puddle. A
low inductance increases the frequency of each short circuit/arc cycle and can be useful for
pinpointing a narrow bead in some joints. What this means to most folks is high inductance is good
for thicker metals where good wetting at the toes of the weld is a priority and low inductance works
better on thin metal.

Another thing about being able to set MIG inductance is that straight CO2 can work nearly as well
as C25 (75/25 Ar/ CO2). Generally CO2 is cheaper than argon/CO2 mixes so for some businesses,
being able to use straight CO2 instead of C25 can translate into quite a savings over time.

wire type. in a notebook. and shielding gas have a big effect as well. Wire feed speed. and inductance on each until you get a near optimum arc then write it down either on the inside panel of your MIG welder. But once you have all those dialed in. wire speed. wire diameter. MIG inductance setting is one more tool to help you out. I recommend to get some metal of different thicknesses ranging from really thin to really thick and adjust voltage. . on your smart phone. The bottom line is that every welding machine requires a bit of trial and error in order to optimize the settings to the point where you get minimal spatter along with appropriate penetration for the weld being done. or any other way that will keep you from having to find new settings for every job that comes into the shop.But it is never quite as simple as just setting inductance to achieve a good arc.


During the short circuit. The rapid rise in current to a high value would melt the short-circuited electrode free with explosive force. very high current would immediately begin to flow through the welding circuit. This change in the arc voltage results in a corresponding change in the welding circuit current. 1. the arc voltage drops to nearly zero (short circuit voltage is zero and current in very high). the welding electrode touches the weld pool and causes a short circuit. If the constant voltage power supply responded instantly. the precise magnitude of which depends on the slope of the output characteristic (the resistance of the welding circuit). Fig. dispelling the weld metal and causing considerable spatter.What does Inductance Do When MIG welding in the dip transfer mode. .

Too little inductance results in excessive spatter. Fig. Modern electronic power sources automatically set the inductance to give a smooth arc and metal transfer. the current will not rise fast enough and the molten tip of the electrode is not heated sufficiently causing the electrode to stub into the base metal and sluggish starts. If too much inductance is used. Increasing the inductance will also increase the arc time and decrease the frequency of short circuiting. For each electrode feed rate. This magnetic field creates a current in the welding circuit that is in opposition to the welding current. 2.Inductance is the property in an electrical circuit that slows down the rate of current rise. The current travelling through an inductance coil creates a magnetic field. Inductance and its Role . there is an optimum value of inductance.

smoother weld bead. The opposite is true when the inductance is decreased. Figure 3-6 shows the influence of inductance on the appearance of short-arc welds made both with an argon-oxygen gas mixture and with a helium-argon-carbon dioxide mixture. Typically coils of wire are used as a coil increases the coupling of the magnetic field and increases the effect. resulting in a flatter. 2. Curve B shows the path which the current would have taken if there were no inductance in the circuit. Too much inductance will result in erratic starting. Like resistance and capacitance it is a basic electrical measurement that affects all circuits to some degree. Welding power sources do not respond instantly to load changes. Inductance in the circuit is responsible for this time lag. Inductance controls the rate of rise of short circuit current. generally the symbol "L" is used. the bead becomes flat and the cross-section on the bottom right shows penetration of the weld bead into the workpiece has increased. In spray arc welding. inductance of about 500 micro- henries was added. 1. The effect of inductance can be illustrated by analyzing the curve appearing in figure below. The inductance also stores energy. Weld No. When inductance is introduced midway through the sample. Weld No. an increase in inductance increases the arc on time. The rate can be slowed so that the short may clear with minimum spatter. The maximum amount of current attainable during a short is determined by the slope of the power source. Freeze lines are not as prominent. made with the He-Ar-Co2 mixture is also convex. As a general rule. The power source adjustments required for minimum spatter conditions vary with the electrode material and size. makes the puddle more fluid. spatter is minimal. It supplies this energy to the arc after the short has cleared and causes a longer arc. in turn. When indicating an inductor on a circuit diagram or within an equation. This. Midway along the sample. The current takes a finite time to attain a new level. is rolled or peaked as seen in the top cross-section. Inductance is caused by the magnetic field generated by electric currents flowing within an electrical circuit. and the bead remains convex. In short arc welding. Curve A shows a typical current-time curve with inductance present as the current rises from zero to a final value.Inductance is a key parameter in electrical and electronic circuits. the reduction in spatter is dramatic. The inductance of a circuit is one henry if the rate of change of current in a circuit is one ampere per second and an electromotive force of one volt. made with a mixture of 98% argon and 2% oxygen shielding gas and no added inductance. both the amount of short circuit current and the amount of inductance needed for ideal operation are increased as the electrode diameter is increased. . Spatter on the plate is considerable. When conditions of both correct shorting current and correct rate of current rise exist. the addition of some inductance to the power source will produce a better arc start.