The short answer is “Yes!”
SpinArc has a variety of benefits that make it faster than alternative, conventional, welding torches. We’ve already covered many of these benefits, but there’s actually another reason that SpinArc is faster. There’s a unique, and less intuitive, reason that SpinArc technology is able to achieve faster travel speeds and better deposition rates than conventional welding torches.
The Long Answer
It’s helpful, in this discussion, to define a few terms:
Contact to Work Distance: The distance from the end of the contact tip to the work piece
Electrode Extension: The distance from the end of the contact tip to the end of the weld wire (electrode)
Arc Length: The distance from the end of the weld wire to the work piece (the length of the arc)
When voltage is decreased, via the setting on a welding machine, there is a decrease in arc length and a corresponding increase in electrode extension (see Figure 1). As the electrode extension increases, the resistance of the electrode also increases. This increase in resistance results in an increased heating of the electrode. The hotter the electrode gets the less arc energy is required to melt it. This is a very convoluted way of saying that it’s possible to attain higher melting rates, at a given amperage, by increasing the electrode extension.
What Does That Have to Do with SpinArc?
As the RPM of a SpinArc torch is increased, the welding wire is deflected out to the perimeter of the weld. We’ve talked in past articles about the benefits of this phenomenon in terms of side wall fusion, but it also has another important effect. As the welding wire is deflected out to the sides, the end begins to “pull” away from the work piece. This can be thought of as “mechanically” increasing our arc length. The important distinction here is that we have not actually decreased our electrode extension, only increased our arc length. The higher the RPM, the more the arc length is increased (see Figure 2).
This increased arc length, of course, also represents an increase in voltage. So in order to weld at the original voltage, we actually need to decrease the setting on our welding machine (see Figure 3).
So this is where things really get interesting. Let’s review what’s actually been accomplished here.
First, we mechanically increased our arc length (note: this did not decrease our electrode extension). Then we decreased the voltage via the setting on our welding machine. As we established earlier, decreasing voltage via the setting on a welding machine increases electrode extension. So now we are welding at the same voltage, with the same arc length, with a longer electrode extension. This increased electrode extension causes additional resistance, increases electrode heating, reduces the arc energy required to melt the weld wire, and therefore increases the melting rate. Figure 4 shows this effect at a constant amperage (~160 Amps).
So there you have it. That’s the long answer to the question, “Is SpinArc inherently faster?”
SpinArc technology allows you to increase the electrode extension while holding both voltage and amperage essentially constant. This means that, by simply increasing the RPM of a SpinArc torch, you are able to achieve better deposition rates and higher travel speeds than a conventional welding torch.
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(Credit for data in figures 2-4: Labsolda)