Sooty Welds While Stick Welding

I’ve got a sooty weld. Help!If you’ve ever welded more than a half dozen times, there’s probably a good chance that you’ve encountered a common welding issue of a sooty weld. Sooty, dirty looking welds can be a caused by a multitude of things. A sooty weld from stick welding is somewhat normal, as long is it not caked on and is consistent. The soot should not be heavy unless you are welding galvanized material, in which case the arc may seem to be bright, and the residue, or soot left behind is white and yellow. While stick welding excess soot is almost always caused by some sort of contamination of the metal. So, it’s a good idea to make sure you have your metal cleaned up before stick welding. But dirty or contaminated metal can cause similar issues with MIG welders and TIG welders and is a common cause of soot in these processes as well. But in MIG and TIG welding, there are other factors at play as well. Lack of shielding gas is a leading cause of soot in both processes too. Brown soot or a dark almost black soot can be caused by contamination of the gas, whether with improper gas flow or with air mixing into the weld pool. In TIG, contaminated gas in the cylinder is a common cause as well. This is a frustrating one to diagnose as it may come and go, but also because it is usually the last one someone wants to consider as it is an expensive proposition to swap out to another cylinder of gas to check the cause. A good way to know if it is possibly contaminated gas is to assess whether the problem started soon after exchanging cylinders. Leaks and small TIG cups can create similar issues as well. One final possible cause of soot in TIG is where the tungsten has accidentally dipped into the metal while welding. Soot will form around this area and taper off as the tungsten “burns” away the contamination (though the contamination will never be completely removed through use in most circumstances).Everlast Power Equipment, your complete welding resource.Learn more on our welding forum