Inductance in Welding: Don’t Let It Ruin Your Welds

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

There are many terms that you should know in welding. One of these terms is inductance.

Then, what does inductance in welding mean?

Here will be discussed everything related to inductance. The discussion includes. 

What is Inductance in Welding?

An electric circuit’s inductance is a characteristic that slows the rate at which current increases.

The electricity flowing through the inductor coil creates a magnetic field.

In the welding circuit, this magnetic field generates an opposing current to the welding current.

The longer the inductance, the shorter the arc time and the lower the short circuit frequency.

Inductance in MIG Welding

The electrode touching the weld pool during the Dip Transfer mode of MIG welding will result in a short circuit.

The arc voltage decreases to almost zero during this short circuit, and depending on the MIG power source’s welding properties, this voltage decrease may increase the welding current.

The electrodes will momentarily melt under a sudden rise in current, and there may even be a big enough spark to make a lot of spatters.

Read Also : What is Welding Spatter: Causes and Tips to Avoid It

Inductance and its function of inductance are necessary in this welding circuit to slow the current growth rate.

If the power supply responded right away, the circuit’s current would increase to a very high value.

The short-circuited welding wire would melt quickly as a result of the abrupt increase in current, creating a lot of molten weld spatter.

This will reduce the rate of current rise by introducing inductance to the weld circuit.

It slows the rate of increase by generating a magnetic field that resists the welding current in the short circuit.

Increasing the inductance will extend the arc and reduce the dip frequency, which will reduce scatter.

The ideal inductance setting for the optimal welding circumstances will depend on the welding parameters.

Spatter will be too much if the inductance is too low.

The wire will stab the weld pool with inadequate heat if the inductance is too high because it will prevent the current from rising to a sufficient level.

The power sources used for welding in modern technologies can frequently deliver the ideal inductance to produce outstanding weld properties.

To provide fine control, many have a variable inductance control.

Inductance’s Function in The Short Circuit Cycle of GMAW Welding

Between the moment the electrode makes contact with the native metal and when it pinches off, inductance regulates the increase in amperage (current).

The length of the bending period increases with the setting of the inductance.

It becomes more difficult for the amperage to rise as the inductance rises, extending the electrode wire’s contact with the native metal while reducing the duration of the open arc increases the fluidity of the puddle.

The puddle will be fluid with minimum spatter if the inductance is set right, the voltage is set correctly, and the amperage is set accordingly.

The two main factors in configuring are voltage and amperage (wire feeding rate). You might think of inductance as the last step in perfecting the arc.

An electrode will have poor arc starting stability, and the growth of amperage will be hampered If the inductance setting is excessive.

The welding gun will push back, and the electrode wire will stutter, which will be felt by the operator.

When the inductance setting is too low, the rise in amperage is unavoidable, and the short-circuit cycle is swift and severe, producing a lot of splatters.

The electrode wire may snap back and melt the contact tip if the short circuit is more severe.

Modern power sources now offer a usable range of inductance due to eliminating the problematic areas at the very high and very low ends.

Carbon steels only require 30% inductance for appropriate wetting at the weld edges while minimizing spatter.

Inductance values for stainless steels are set significantly higher to reduce spatter, and a 50% setting is ideal.

Higher inductances tend to ball the electrode tip, which needs to be trimmed to restart the arc. 

Read Also : What is Peening in Welding? A Comprehensive Guide

How does Inductance Work? 

Inductance functions by producing a magnetic field that is the opposite of the welding current to prevent short-circuiting by reducing the pace at which the current increases.

The amount of inductance employed can vary depending on the desired welding result and the welding material.

Low inductance, or inductance that is too tiny, will cause extensive spatter and spatter with a more rounded weld. Working with thick weld materials is suitable for this low inductance setting.

Less spatter and a wider, flatter weld will result from high inductance. To work with thin welding materials, use this high inductance.

It’s also bad practice to set an inductance that is too high since it will slow the current’s ascent and prevent the electrode’s arc from heating up sufficiently for the electrode to adhere to the base welding material.

Inductance Setting

Low inductance produces a louder and sharper sound than the typical MIG welding bacon crackle. High inductance, on the other hand, has a more pleasant sound.

The majority of regular welds and ordinary fabrication will function properly on whichever machine they are installed on (30%-50% inductance typically).

If your machine doesn’t have an inductance option, it is presumably also intended to have an inductance of 30% to 50%.

The machine’s actual settings may differ; some dials are marked with the numbers 1 through 10, while others are marked with the words soft to hard.

You can get a high (100%) inductance by setting your machine to soft. Low inductance (0%) results from tuning your engine too loudly.

Final Words

The welding machine’s inductance is one of the many parameters that can be changed to suit your arc’s characteristics.

The defaults on most machines will work well on the majority of your welds because this has little impact on the total weld.

But experiment with your machine’s adjustable inductance to see what impact the inductance in welding.

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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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