Wire-flip is a common frustration that happens to even the most seasoned of welders. It can cause delays to a project, result in poor quality, and cause an enormous headache to whoever encounters this unfortunate situation. Tom Boucher, veteran CLIMAX application engineer and welder gives us 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 it creates a void (often 0.25 inch/6.35 mm) in your weld.

What causes it?

There are two major causes of wire-flip:

    • The cast of the wire – The smaller the cast, the more potential for wire-flip
    • 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; either by purchasing specialized cast-controlled wire (a cast of at least 40 inches/1016.0 mm is preferred) or 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 up front and maintain a smooth transition in your conduit from the wire feeder to the bore welder.

Conduit shape is slightly more difficult to define when trying to minimize wire-flip. Sometimes a singular 90-degree large radius bend is best. Sometimes a singular 180-degree bend works better. And other times a complete loop into the weldhead is the best solution. One thing is for certain, if the conduit has an “S” shape to it, it will ALWAYS contribute to wire-flip.

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