Spatter is made up of many thousands of droplets of molten filler metal that escape from the weld pool and are scattered around the work area during welding. These small, round balls of molten metal can fall on the welder, workpiece, the floor and surrounds. Sometimes they stick and are difficult to remove, sometimes they cool and form tiny balls of metal. It is not possible to completely eliminate spatter from a MIG/MAG welding process. However, the objective should be to reduce as much as possible. The following article briefly explains how spatter occurs, how to remove or prevent it, and explores the hidden costs that spatter creates
Spatter can be removed either using hand tools (such as a grinder or chisel) or via a chemical process. In some instances, anti-spatter wipes can be applied to the workpiece, prior to welding, to ease the removal of spatter. However, any method to remove spatter will require some manual input.
From a visual perspective, it is well understood why it is undesirable to have spatter on the workpiece, as it negatively impacts the finish of the product. Due to the uneven surface and poor adhesion of the spatter, paint finishes will have imperfections and offer poor protection. This, in turn, can shorten the life cycle of the final product.
However, there are several other key reasons to eliminate spatter that are sometimes overlooked. These are all cost-related.
There is a compelling case to minimise spatter. Air Products can work with you to achieve this goal. All our Maxx® weld process gases have been designed to minimise spatter, saving you time and money. Our welding application specialists can work with you to choose the correct gas for your process and optimise your welding set-up.
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