Welding is a process of joining two metals or alloys together through the use of intense heat. It plays a pivotal role in various industries, ranging from automotive to residential construction.
So, what is amperage in welding? Amperage is one of the most important factors to consider during the welding process, as it ultimately determines the weld’s strength and longevity. According to statistics, a welder’s success rate is directly proportional to their welding amperage; welders with higher amperage output typically produce higher-quality welds.
In order to understand how vital amperage is when it comes to welding, let’s dive right into what amperage in welding is and how it affects a weld’s integrity.
What Is Amperage In WeldingWelding takes heat and energy to create a bond between two pieces of metal. To do this, welders use a welding machine to generate enough energy needed in the welding process.
The amperage or current sets the level of heat required for the weld. The higher the current, the hotter the arc and more intense the weld.
Understanding AmperageAmperage measures the rate at which electrical current flows through a circuit over a set amount of time.
Amperage is measured in amperes, or amps for short. The unit of amperes is denoted by the symbol A.
For example, if a circuit contains 1 A of current flowing through it for a duration of 1 second, the amperage would be 1 A. Amps measure the number of electrons that move or “flow” past a certain point in a given amount of time.
How Amperage Affects WeldingThe amount of current or amperage used to weld affects the quality of the weld.
As mentioned, the higher the amperage, the hotter the arc, and the more intense the weld. However, the right current should be used for the right material and job.
For example, when welding a thin sheet of metal, lower amperage, or current, should be used to avoid over-powered welds. Too much current will result in a weld with a deeper penetration that can weaken the metal.
Selecting the Right Amps for A Particular MaterialWhen selecting the right amperage for a particular metal, you should understand the thickness, alloy, and type of metal.
Thicker alloys require more current, while lighter metals requires less, as too much current can damage them. When in doubt, you can consult a welding guide book or ask a professional welders for help.