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How to Reduce Spatter When MIG Welding

MIG welding is well known for causing spatter, even for the most experienced of welders! It can be extremely frustrating when the excess molten wire created during the weld spatters, as too much spatter obviously leads to downtime for clean-up, along with a whole host of wasted materials.

Whilst we’d love to give you a fool-proof guide to avoiding spatter completely, this just isn’t achievable unfortunately. That’s why we’re giving you our checklist on reducing spatter when MIG welding, whilst also highlighting some of the main reasons that welding spatter occurs.

What Is MIG Welding Spatter?

Simply put, MIG welding spatter, often referred to as splatter, is comprised of molten droplets of welding material. It is usually generated around the welding arc, and once these molten droplets land and cool, they create spatter around the worksurface and sometimes on the product you are actually welding.

Spatter is the norm when MIG welding, it’s inevitable that you’ll get it no matter what you do, it’s honestly just a case of how much spatter you’ll get around your worksurface in most cases.

MIG Welding

Main Reasons For Welding Spatter              

There are a number of reasons that welding spatter occurs, and in the following section we highlight just a few of the most common explanations for why you are experiencing so much MIG welding spatter during your projects:

  • User Error – Welding technique can have a huge impact on the amount of spatter you have from your weld. Whether you use the dragging or pushing technique whilst MIG welding, there will always be some spatter if you don’t hold the MIG gun optimally and you’ll always find that your weld will spatter.
  • Using Incorrect Machine Parameters – Check your machine parameters and be sure they’re running at the right settings for the work you are carrying out. Check the amperage and voltage, polarity and stick-out as your first port of call.
  • Low-Quality Consumables – Using low-quality consumables during your weld is a sure way to increase the spatter from your weld, so always take the time to try a few products at various price points to see which works best for you. For example, low-quality wire can cause issues as it may feed through the gun too quickly, causing the weld to spatter.
  • Dirty Welding Tools or Work Surfaces – Any rust, paint or grease that is present on your work surface or tools will cause the arc to spit, causing splashes of spatter to come out of the weld. If you are going to be doing any welding, it’s essential that you have a well-prepared surface, and if your tools are a little worse for wear, it may be time to invest in some new ones.

Now that you’re aware of some of the main reasons that you’re experiencing so much spatter, it’s essential that you take the time to create a checklist of ways to reduce the amount of spatter you experience.

Checklist For Reducing Spatter When MIG Welding

This is by no means a definitive list, and not all of these tips will reduce spatter for everyone, but if you do heed our advice and try all of the steps on our checklist, you should see an improvement. Here’s our checklist for reducing the amount of MIG welding spatter you experience:

  • Hold Your MIG Gun Correctly – Before starting the weld, always hold the MIG gun at no more than 15 degrees from vertical, as any deviation from this angle can cause the shielding gas to cover the weld unevenly, whilst also causing some spattering.
  • Check For Contaminated Materials Before Starting – Ensure that your worksurface is properly cleaned before starting any welding, and be sure to clean or replace any dirty or rusted wires that you may be using. All of this will go a long way to ensuring that you vastly reduce the chances of spatter on your next weld.
  • Don’t Compromise on Quality Consumables – If you find consumables that work best for you, then we would suggest you stick with them, even if there are more expensive alternatives on the market. It’s essential that you always remember that just because a consumable is the most expensive, it doesn’t always mean it’s the best. Be sure to get high-quality MIG welding gas, wire and nozzels to guarantee that you’re doing all you can to reduce the amount of spatter your weld makes.
  • Check for Faulty Equipment – Tried all of the above steps and still having issues with spatter? You may well have some faulty welding equipment, so it’s well worth having a thorough check to see if there are any obvious defects. If your equipment is relatively old, it may well be time to consider purchasing some new welding equipment to help save you time cleaning up all of the spatter in the future!

Welding

We hope that you find this checklist useful as the team at Adams Gas fully understand just how frustrating MIG welding spatter can be for all welding professionals. If you’re keen on learning more on MIG welding in general, be sure to check out our blog, where we have many other articles dedicated to the subject.