Whenever you are welding any project, you likely want to find a way to be more efficient with your welds and find a way to reduce the total amount of labor and tedious work involved. To do this, you often need to learn the ins and outs of welding and become familiar with specific best practices.
One of the more significant subjects that individual welders tend to struggle with is known as weld spatter or welding spatter. Specifically, a particular question comes up often concerning weld spatter, how do you minimize it? After some research, here is what I can tell you on this subject.
So, how do you minimize weld spatter? To minimize weld spatter adjust your settings on your MIG welder. MIG welders have charts on the inside panel displaying proper voltage and wire speeds. Use anti-spatter sprays or nozzle gels before you start welding. Adjust your welder to a closer distance from your actual weld you are trying to complete.
Outside of checking your MIG welder settings and using the anti-spatter spray technique, you have a few other options you can consider or try.
We will go over a few different tips and tricks that will be helpful especially for the beginner or if you are just starting out. This should help you minimize the total amount of weld spatter you have occurring during your projects.
More on Reducing Weld Spatter with Your MIG Welder
Like I stated before, you have several options that can help reduce your total amount of weld spatter taking place. When trying to eliminate weld spatter, you will want to try one technique at a time to see what provides the optimal results.
I recommend beginning by adjusting the settings on your MIG welder before trying any of the other tips and tricks we will discuss in this post. On the inside of your welder, you will have a chart that’s typically sitting inside of your door on the welder itself. This is where you can quickly locate your recommended wire speed and voltage.
The chart being displayed will provide the recommended settings based on what material and gauge (thickness) and even the gas you are working with. This is a great starting point for reducing welding spatter. Some individuals have the wire speed or voltage up to high for their specific job which can result in additional welding spatter.
It’s a very common mistake even amongst experienced welders to have their wire speed set to high for their project. Turning down your wire speed should always reduce the amount of welding spatter you encounter.
What If I Don’t Have A Chart to Check The Appropriate Wire Speeds?
If for whatever reason, your welder doesn’t have the chart inside of the door with the recommended wire speed settings, simply go online. Most manufacturers websites or other resources will have charts and proper wire speeds you can use.
This is an easy way and a quick reference guide you can check for your specific welder and project in case you are currently stuck without the appropriate information you need to complete your task.
Run an A/B Controlled Test to Experiment with Different Wire Speeds
A lot of individuals agree that the charts you see on your welder aren’t always perfect for wire speed or voltage. They are close but often slightly off. Something that many individuals do recommend doing, is running an A/B test on a few extra pieces of your material.
Simply complete the weld at a few lower wire speeds to see which speed creates less overall welding spatter. Whichever speed works best, you can then use on your actual project you are looking to create.
Sometimes learning the small precise skills that welding can require comes down to nothing but trial and error. Attempt a few different variations and have a control group to begin finding the sweet spot with wire speed and dramatically reduce your total welding spatter.
Other Methods Used to Reduce Welding Spatter
Outside of using this basic technique of adjusting your welders’ settings, you do have some other options that can reduce welding spatter significantly. I’ve compiled 5 additional methods or tricks you can begin implementing to help reduce the total amount of weld spatter taking place during your projects.
#1-Bad Gas, Not Enough Gas or Fittings That Are Too Tight
Another common issue that welders report causing weld spatter comes down to having potentially bad gas, low gas levels or fittings that may be too tight. If you are experiencing an abnormal amount of weld spatter, start by checking these items to make sure everything is at proper levels. If they are at proper levels, use one of our other methods listed below.
#2-Weld Spatter Spray or Anti Spatter Products
Weld spatter can also be kept from sticking to your weld area using anti-spatter sprays specifically designed to reduce weld spatter. Lincoln Electric and Hobart both make a great options to try out and see which one performs better.
In this YouTube video, this individual tested both the Hobart and Lincoln Electric anti-spatter spray and shows a side by side of the results. Lincoln does much better than the Hobart, but both seem to be highly recommended options amongst the welding communities and forums.
Using Nozzle Gels can also help reduce spatter and bb’s sticking to your tip and nearby work area. Don’t forget to run a couple of test beads first to warm up the tip first as these Nozzle Gels work on a hot tip and nozzle.
A side note that you need to keep in mind when using these anti-welding-spatter sprays is to be careful not to use too much. Using to much anti-spatter spray can cause other defects in your finished product. which clearly something you want to avoid.
On the cans, themselves will provide directions at how much anti-spatter spray that you can use based on the project you are working with.
#3-Welding from Top to Bottom Instead of Bottom to Top
Welding from top to bottom is another recommendation that I have seen discussed amongst welders that can reduce your total weld-spatter. This does cause another issue however, so it’s essential to consider if this is the best approach for you or not.
Welding from top to bottom is going to reduce weld spatter, but it’s also going to cause you to have to clean the joints as you go which is an added step of labor.
However, going to bottom to top on your project will increase weld spatter but won’t’ cause you to clean the joints as you go. This is more of a preference play on if you prefer to remove weld spatter after a completed project and potential grind down and remove the spatter or if you prefer to clean the joints as you go.
Nonetheless, it’s still a proven method for reducing the total amount of weld spatter you experience completing a weld.
#4-Move Closer to Your Project and Use C-Clamps or Vice Scripts to Hold in Place
Arc blow is something that won’t ever be avoided entirely. However, moving closer to your actual weld can help reduce welding spatter by up to 80%. If you are struggling to get closer to your welding clamp, try using something such as c clamps or vice scripts to hold your project in place.
The closer you get to your weld, the less spatter that’s going to occur due to arc blow.
#5- Remove Access Loose Spatter with A Wire Brush
Another common issue I saw being discussed in communities and forums was the simple process of not brushing off welding spatter when it occurs. Welding spatter can be brushed off with a wire brush reasonably quickly.
Since we know that welding spatter can’t always be avoided entirely, you can begin becoming more diligent at wiping away and brushing away access welding spatter once your piece is cool enough to handle.
Simply use either your welding gloves or a wire brush and attempt to remove all access spatter.
Realize Welding Spatter is Going to Happen. It’s All About Limiting Welding Spatter, Not Eliminating It.
As we have discussed this far into this post, welding spatter is very difficult to completely avoid. It’s going to happen one way or another, but the key is to reduce it as much as possible.
Final tips to help reduce Weld Spatter.
- Purchase good welding wire, time is money and good welding wire saves time.
- Keep your welding area protected to reduce final clean up.
- Make sure you are laying a consistent arc.
- Check that you are properly grounded, (you may have to replace your ground clamp.)
- Check your gun angle.
- Keep your metal clean, always clean before you weld.
Final Word, try 1 or A Blend of Several of These Tips and Methods to Reduce and Remove Welding Spatter
Anything we can do to reduce the total amount of welding spatter minimizes the time involved to complete a project and also has your finished project looking clean and professional.
With these tips, tricks and methods, plus some time spent experimenting on your own, you should be well on your way to less welding spatter occurring in the future.
What’re your best techniques for eliminating welding spatter. Do you have any additional tips to reduce welding spatter that we haven’t covered in this post? Be sure to drop a comment below.