Filler Metal, How Much to Fill When Welding. Part 2 of 2

Follow up from part 1 of this series. Filler Metal, How Much to Fill When Welding. 

 Through several friends and acquaintances  serving as my personal well-qualified welding tutors, I learned the proper way to weld and just how much to weld at a time, how little I could get away with and how much I could get away with when the situation called for it.  With further formal training I learned that, as a rule of thumb,  a weld bead’s thickness should not exceed the thickness of the electrode, and the width should not reach more than 3x’s the diameter of the width of the filler metal in the electrode.   Now keep in mind that the width does not include the flux of the electrode but really only the width of the metal part itself.   You can go wider, but you run the risk of trapping  cold slag in the middle of the weld as you weave back across.  Keeping your weld dimensions correct will keep you moving forward at a correct speed as well, provided your heat settings are right.  It’s far better to lay multiple quality welds than one thick gobbed-up pass.  Why is this?  While welding, the puddle should stay molten long enough to allow the slag created by the melting of the flux, any related contaminates and air pockets to harmlessly float free and bubble to the top of the weld .   If too much metal is laid down, the weld will begin to cool before the slag and contaminates have floated out.  This creates a weak weld and a defective one.  Another issue is that the sides of the weld often aren’t fused because the weld metal and slag can tend to run ahead of the welding arc and filling in ahead or to the side of the arc itself.  This means the arc doesn’t properly heat up the parent material since the hot metal is already floating itself over the colder parent material.  Using extra amps to create more heat to achieve more penetration to overcome this becomes self-defeating as the metal flows even more quickly.

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