Duty cycles,although they seem like an inconvenience at first glance,are actually quite useful to you as a welder.Of course,they perform an extremely valuable function as it is, keeping your welding machine from overheating and fusing into a useless hunk of metal that cost you several hundred or perhaps several thousand dollars.But you can put duty cycles to good use in other ways as well, including –
- Raising your visor and seeing if there are any fires.Some professional welders report that it is difficult, if not impossible, to carry out a weld without setting fire to something nearby. Since ordinary fire is far too dim to see through a welding helmet’s visor, you can take a look around to make certain the building isn’t about to burn down around you.
- Put in a fresh welding rod if you are using a stick welder. A typical “stick” lasts for around a minute in any case, so stick replacement will fit naturally into some duty cycles.
- Check your work and change your position for the next weld. You may need to approach the item for a different angle, and finding the appropriate angle during the off period of the duty cycle will get you ready for when your machine is “online” again.
- Remove slag from the weld if the type of filler metal you are using necessitates this, which will lessen your cleanup time later.
- Examine the weld bead for shape and quality so that you can correct as necessary. Of course, this requires a working knowledge of weld beads, but you should develop this if you are planning to weld anyway.
Do not shut off a welder during its duty cycle!
Although it might seem like turning off your welder might help it to cool down faster, the machine will actually stay hot longer if it is switched off in the midst of its “cooling period”. If you are done with the machine for the day, or for an hour or two at least, then by all means, shut it down. However, for cooling purposes during the duty cycle, the machine must remain on.
This is because a small fan,or several small fans,move cooling air through the vitally important areas of the machine when it is on.Shutting off the power turns these fans off as well, and lets the heat sit in the middle of the case until it gradually radiates out.
The results of welding with a duty cycle shutoff
Exceeding the duty cycle of your welding machine will not actually damage the machine, since it will shut down regardless of whether you are trying to weld or not.The power does not cut off instantly,either instead,it tapers down,so you will notice the welding pool cooling and the arc losing its power.Timing to stay within the duty cycle is the most prudent course of action,since this means you will never get “caught” in the middle of a weld.