When people weld, lots of tiny molten particles of metal are blown away from the welding arc, often settling on the surface of the parent metal and the worktop of the welding table. It stands to reason, therefore, that having a welding table with a top that is resistant to spatter will save time on clean up.
Welding and Spatter
While some spatter is inevitable during most forms of metal arc welding if there is a lot of spatter this is usually due to poor welding conditions or the use of incorrect techniques. It is essential to keep spatter to a minimum because it reduces the efficiency of the electrodes used as a filler material while welding. It can also burn the person welding and his or her clothing. Additionally, weld spatter can cause imperfections on a work piece (or parent metal) and it will inevitably affect the appearance of the finished weld. It can also make a mess on any worktop. While spatter can be removed with relative ease, it can be a time-consuming exercise that adversely affects production time and increases the costs of welding.
Electrodes vary in type and form depending on the type of welding process used and metal being welded. Some types of welding processes (for instance those used for ordinary shielded metal arc welding [SMAW], which is also known as manual metal arc [MMA] welding) form a slag cover that protects the hot, molten weld metal from the air during the welding process. SMAW welding is also known as stick welding because the electrode is basically a solid round wire stick that is coated with flux and other components. The metal inert gas [MIG] welding process uses a continuous bare electrode on a roll that fits into the welding machine (welder). The electrode combines with a shielding gas that protects the weld from the air and does not produce slag.
Gas metal arc welding [GMAW] doesn’t generally produce spatter. When it does it is usually caused by incorrect welding parameters, using the wrong shielding gas, and bad technique.
Spatter Resistant Welding Tables
Forster America specializes in top quality welding tables that incorporate tops that are resistant to spatter. This negates the need for extensive cleaning after welding, saving time and money.
There are two primary products to choose from. The:
- Special grey cast iron welding table
- Welding table with an aluminum-copper (Al/Cu) alloy or carbon steel surface
Grey cast iron welding tables are highly resistant to spatter, especially once the surface has aged a while. As the metal ages, the carbon (graphite) moves to the surface, which becomes increasingly darker in color. Until this process is complete, a penetrating anti-stick coating may be applied to the tabletop to prevent any spatter from sticking.
Another advantage of grey cast iron includes the fact that it doesn’t expand much when exposed to heat.
The welding tables with Al/Cu alloy and carbon steel tops follow the same design that features T-slots. This accommodates a clamping system that avoids contact with ferritic material, avoiding unnecessary scratches, which is particularly beneficial when working with high quality stainless steel.
The T-slot system is particularly useful when welding casings and containers because it allows the work piece to be positioned freely through the slots from every angle. Positioning through the T-slots also protects the table and work piece from spatter.
To discuss our spatter resistant welding tables and ascertain just how much you will save on clean up time, call Forster America now.