How to Minimize Wire Flip in Auto Bore Welding

How to Minimize Wire Flip in Auto Bore Welding

Wire-flip is a common frustration that can happen to even the most seasoned welders. It can cause project delays, result in poor quality, and create an enormous headache for whoever encounters this unfortunate situation. Tom Boucher, a veteran CLIMAX application engineer and welder, provides the rundown of what you need to know about wire-flip and how to address it.

What is wire-flip?

When using BORTECH auto bore welders, the torch rotates in circles around a non-rotating wire. Sometimes, as the torch rotates, there is enough friction to cause twisting of the wire. The more the torch rotates, the more the torsion load builds. Unfortunately, as that torsion load builds, it overcomes the friction in the system and releases as it exits the torch; this causes the wire to loop (better known as flip) and creates a void (often 0.25 inches/6.35 mm) in your weld.

What causes it?

There are two major causes of wire-flip:

  1. The cast of the wire: The smaller the cast, the more potential for wire-flip.
  2. The shape of the wire feed: The more twists and turns (and length), the more potential for wire-flip.

How can you prevent it?

The cast of the wire can be controlled in a couple of ways:

  • By purchasing specialized cast-controlled wire (a cast of at least 40 inches/1016.0 mm is preferred).
  • By using a wire straightener, thus eliminating the cast issue.

CLIMAX recommends finding a wire manufacturer that produces consistent wire spool after spool to eliminate the wire issue upfront and maintain a smooth transition in your conduit from the wire feeder to the bore welder.

Conduit shape can be tricky to define when trying to minimize wire-flip. Sometimes, a singular 90-degree large radius bend is best. Other times, a singular 180-degree bend works better. And in some cases, a complete loop into the weld head is the optimal solution. However, one thing is certain: if the conduit has an “S” shape, it will ALWAYS contribute to wire-flip.

For more information, contact a CLIMAX expert to learn more about BORTECH automated bore welding systems. Discover how these high-quality, affordable welders are designed to improve welding performance for bore, flange, and valve repairs.

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