Duty Cycle Welding: Important for Work Productivity

Marcus Colson Last updated on September 4, 2023
Reading Time: 4 Minute

When looking at welding machines, we must have seen the words “duty cycle” in the machine specifications.

As a welder, we must know the meaning of this duty cycle welding.

Understanding it is not only to know in detail about duty cycling welding power, but it can also be a guide that makes it easier to buy a new machine that suits our needs.

To understand the information about this duty cycling welding formula, I have prepared a comprehensive explanation to help you.

Check out the description below!

What is Duty Cycle?

The question of what is duty cycling welding must have crossed your mind when you read this article, especially if you are a beginner in the welding field.

Therefore, I will explain this first.

The duty cycle on a welding machine describes the size or duration a welder can use the machine until the machine becomes very hot and finally dies.

The duty cycling welding process aims to protect against excessive thermal loads.

This is because machines that often bear high temperatures and are not considered have the potential to experience damage quickly.

With the information about the duty cycle, we can prevent damage to various essential components because the machine will stop working automatically.

Then, when the temperature is cooler and safe for you to use again, the engine will restart automatically.

Read Also : AC vs DC Welding: Which is the Best Fit for Your Needs?

How to Read Duty Cycle Welding Information?

Based on the previous explanation, you may immediately understand and feel you can handle it directly.

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that understanding the definition is not enough.

The best duty cycling welding machine manufacturer uniquely writes the value. If we read it directly, it won’t be easy to understand.

If the description is in several minutes or hours, we will understand it more easily. Unfortunately, there are several divisions regarding this value.

Well, in the description of this duty cycle, there are three aspects, namely:

  • Amp (Ampere)
  • % (Percentage)
  • Temperature

These three things must be considered so that the engine can work optimally.

If you ignore it and continue to force the machine to work, it can have negative consequences, such as engine damage or total death.

Well, to understand it, you can look at the example I wrote below:

So, you will find the description of 200amps @30% @40 degrees Celsius in the engine specifications section.

Then, the meaning is:

  • 200 amps: the highest amperage value the machine can output while operating is 200 amps. So you will only be able to weld within this specification.
  • 30%: this is the percentage of working time the machine produces continuously before it finally heats up and shuts down. A commonly used working period is 10 minutes. So the calculation is 30% of 10 minutes is 3 minutes.
  • 40 degrees Celsius: the machine can be used in a room with a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Celsius.

If everything is combined, you can do this three-minute welding process using the maximum capacity (200 amps) in a room below 40 degrees Celsius.

Types of Duty Cycle

There are three types of duty cycles that you need to know, including:

  1. S1 Duty (Continuous Duty). It is the easiest type because the engine motor can work long before reaching thermal equilibrium. In S1, the significant impact when determining temperature depends on when the engine is turned on.
  2. S2 Duty (Short-Time Duty). The operation is similar to S1, but the engine is usually turned off before reaching equilibrium. As for engine cooling, the time required is quite long.
  3. S3-S8 (Periodic Duty). This type includes all duty cycles in the S3-S8 range, regardless of whether there are brakes. The focus is on starting, load swapping at rest, and electric damping. The engine must not reach thermal equilibrium.

Read Also : Get to Know Tack Welding: Helping Welder for Effective Work

Advantages and Disadvantages of Duty Cycle on Welding

Each technology has advantages and disadvantages and must be appropriately considered because it can prevent undesirable events or maintain maximum performance.

  1. Duty Cycle Advantages

Some of the advantages we will get when using a machine with this specification are:

  • Quality welding. If you understand this process and follow the procedures according to the specifications, you can make the best quality products without errors.
  • Prevent work accidents. Thermal overload protection will automatically be turned on when the machine reaches the maximum temperature. If it is turned on, the machine will automatically shut down. With this process, productivity and work efficiency are higher. Of course, the danger of fire due to too high engine temperature is also avoided.
  • Easier to organize welding. After understanding this work cycle, you can prioritize the schedule for welding. Thus, all work targets are met.
  1. Disadvantages of Duty Cycle

Some of the disadvantages that will be faced include the following:

  • Interruptions while welding. Although the goal is good, disconnections within a certain period could be more annoying. Especially if we are doing necessary welding with a tight deadline.
  • Poor weld quality. Some genius machines that reach the duty cycle limit, when used quickly, have the potential to experience a decrease in weld quality.
  • Costly. Sometimes when the duty cycle exceeds the limit, some machines fail to trigger thermal overload protection. As a result, the machine overheats and eventually catches fire. This results in several losses, such as cost and safety.

Factors Affecting Duty Cycle

Several factors affect the duty cycle, including:

  • Ventilation
  • Voltage
  • Electric current
  • Temperature

When we lean the machine against a wall, poor ventilation can result in restricted airflow. If the airflow is incorrect, the engine may heat up quickly and cool down more slowly.

These things can affect the work cycle due to temperature shifts.

Therefore, make sure your work area is in a welcoming condition, with good ventilation.

If you implement this, the air can circulate well and escape heat easily.

I’m sure every welder wants a welding machine that can increase their work productivity and can last a long time.

Therefore, duty cycle welding must be considered when choosing suitable duty cycling welding for a welder.

But in addition to relying on machine specifications, also make sure that machine maintenance runs well so as not to cause problems in the future.

Also, make sure to improve your skills!

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Marcus Colson
Marcus Colson

Welding is more than a hobby for me - it's a passion. The art of fusing metal together to create something new and functional never gets old. From intricate sculptures to sturdy structures, I love the endless possibilities that welding offers.

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