MIG wire diameter between manufacturers

  1. Munkul

    Munkul Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    Cumbria, UK
    Had Esab and Bohler 1.0mm wire, plenty reels in the past, no problems. Put a new 18kg roll of Esab wire onto the Miller a couple of weeks ago after finishing a reel of Bohler, and instantly started feeding badly. The wire seemed to snatch in the tip like it was overheating.
    Out of interest, measured a bit of Bohler wire, and a bit of the new Esab... the Esab is 0.988mm and the bohler was 0.972mm (estimating the last digit and averaging the readings)
    The esab wire is perfectly round, too.
    Anyway, we were just making do, but it really feeds badly, tried a few new tips but no difference, it seems to work ok-ish at 200amps+ but in short-arc any lower amps, it makes a mess.

    Ordered a new reel of Bohler, came today, and it measured the same as the previous. I haven't fitted or tried it yet but I'm confident it will solve the problem.

    I'm using Binzel silver tips in an MB36, btw.

    The strange thing is, we had a suspected issue with wire at work about a month ago, now I order Lincoln/Esab/Bohler there, and we compared diameters of Esab and Lincoln, both came out very close, they use 1.0mm wire also with Binzel silver tips but in 501D watercooled torches, and it feeds fine.

    Anyone else had this sort of problem? Not sure why previous Esab reels have been fine on my setup...

    I refuse to go up a tip size because I shouldn't have to :dontknow: and I've never had to before.
     
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  2. gordon stephenson

    gordon stephenson Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    6,806
    Location:
    Skelton in Cleveland U.K.
    I presume that you will have checked or changed the liner. Would any sort of dry lubricant help? I know you shouldn't have to, but might be worth a try.
     
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  3. hotponyshoes Member

    Messages:
    2,487
    Location:
    Somerset. Uk
    Sounds like you have confirmed the wire size is correct yourself.
    So I would think it's more likely the tips are slightly undersized causing the binding.
    Perhaps the silver plating has been put on over a normal sized tip although binzel are normally pretty good? Got any pin gauges to check one?

    A water cooled torch can make a load of difference but you would not expect it to bind until a standard torch had heated up.
     
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  4. Munkul

    Munkul Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    Cumbria, UK
    Same batch of tips I've had for a long time... they clearly work well for one brand, why not another?
    I've had experience with aluminium wires binding in tips, that's kinda why i know why it feels like a snagging tip. But it snags instantly, rather than warming up first.
    Yeah i regularly blow the liner out.
    That's why I'm off all the usual suspects and looking specifically at wire size. Not something i ever thought would be a problem though...
    To be specific, it still welds ok... just not as smoothly as usual.
     
  5. Hitch

    Hitch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,217
    Somerset
    Check the liner/feed tube... ive known changing reels to push a bit of dirt into the feed tube at the euro connector in the past, making just enough difference to make it slightly tight...
    Or a badly cut end to chew up a plastic guide tube if that's what you have...
     
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  6. hotponyshoes Member

    Messages:
    2,487
    Location:
    Somerset. Uk
    Only spec I can find here is ISO544 which says maximum tolerances of +0.01 to -0.04 so both of yours are within that.

    Feed rollers would be the other thing to check, a little speck of rust or something might be pressing a oval into the wire causing it it pick up when it hits the tip.
     
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  7. TechnicAl

    TechnicAl Member

    Messages:
    7,477
    Location:
    Rotherham
    Im trying to remember the standard tolerance.. I seem to remember it being 0.96 to 1.01. At Lincoln we bought dies at min diameter and they failed at about 0.98 / 0.99 so theres a natural tolerance within the standard limits...0.96 to 0.98 really. To be honest I dont think the diameter is your problem.
    If its PLW the diameter affects the layering, in that different diameters will fill a layer with a different number of waps of wire. Most use 2 or 3 different sized reels to accomodate the diameter differences. The crunch comes when the wire is progressively getting bigger (because its wearing the die) and its close to needing the next size spool. Off round wire can have a similar effect..You dont really get bad batches but you can get the odd less than perfect spool.
    I also worked at the Bohler factory in Germany and its one of the best but your wire may not come from there. Esab also have good wire..up there with Lincoln really. So to be honest you wont get better wire but you may have hit one of the odd spools thats not as good as normal,,,,,it happens.
    I dont know what youre used to but 18Kg spools dont suit every machine and the adaptorless basket is easily damaged.
     
  8. Welderpaul

    Welderpaul Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,215
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I never knew spools are different widths. How much do they vary by?
     
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  9. TechnicAl

    TechnicAl Member

    Messages:
    7,477
    Location:
    Rotherham
    I cant remember but its only small....just enough to stop a turn of wire getting trapped against the wall........when winding the first few layers are critical....get those right and the rest follows...
     
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  10. gordon stephenson

    gordon stephenson Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    6,806
    Location:
    Skelton in Cleveland U.K.
    Some of the plastic 5Kg reels are wider than others, That is why I had to always fit Lincoln wire in my Kemppi 180, otherwise the side door couldn't close, On the Kemppi Mig 200 they have made he casing a bit wider, probably so that it will take all makes.
     
  11. TechnicAl

    TechnicAl Member

    Messages:
    7,477
    Location:
    Rotherham
    Its the design and the grade of plastic......some grades are stronger than others so the walls / ribs have to be thinner/thicker......once upon a time I could tell you exactly but after 4/5 years of no involvement my memories are fading.
     
  12. gordon stephenson

    gordon stephenson Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    6,806
    Location:
    Skelton in Cleveland U.K.
    Hi, Al, I'm quite sure that there was about 1/4" difference between some reel widths, Don't have the machine any more but will measure some empty reels that I still have, Hope that it confirms my failing memory cells,

    P.S. Couldn't wait for the morning, Just been to the garage , And TechnicAL (The wire wizard) is correct!!, All 5Kg reels measure 55mm wide at the hub, but some have spread the outer diameter width to 60mm, As Al says the weaker reels spread due to the wire winding pressure,
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  13. Munkul

    Munkul Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    Cumbria, UK
    I was hoping you'd reply.

    The wire seems to unwind off the spool ok by hand and inching, and the Miller 4 roll feeder is a beast, it shouldn't struggle at all...

    BUT

    funny you should say about the basket, because when it came, it had obviously been dropped at one point and had actually cracked one of the spokes and bust the centre... took a bit of finessing with hammer and anvil to make the centre fit the hub.

    Possibly it's basket/winding damage after all.

    I'll have time tonight to fire the Bohler reel on and see if it makes the difference I suspect.
    I've had an 18kg spool on in the past, no problems... So next time I buy one I'll check for damage first!
     
  14. Have you checked the cast of the wire, this can have an effect on feed quality, although it is a reputable make of wire so you would think all aspects would be within tolerance
     
  15. Munkul

    Munkul Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    Cumbria, UK
    How do you mean? roundness etc? It's pretty much spot on when mic'ed.

    I forgot, I have one more possible issue :ashamed: the wire feeder intake brass guide tube is pretty worn, I think I'll have to make a new one out of an old liner because getting another might be expensive, it's an obsolete feeder.
     
  16. TechnicAl

    TechnicAl Member

    Messages:
    7,477
    Location:
    Rotherham
    Whether thats it or not....it wont have helped.....Esab went to all metal spools some years ago.......As a result we started being asked for more......I wanted to follow suit as the effect on inventory was massive, but we started getting more and more damaged reels. Much of the factory handling is robotic so they are usually OK when they leave and when they are kept on the pallet....its when they are sold in small numbers that the problems start.....like yours they often break or bend or both and its difficult to prevent.......thats the compromise for eco friendliness.....in truth the plastic is probably easier to recycle but theres no infrastructure to do it....we used to specify a percentage content of recycled plastic as it improved the spool strength...our suppliers used to struggle to get it....once upon a time TVs were the same grade so they loved old TVs...
     
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  17. TechnicAl

    TechnicAl Member

    Messages:
    7,477
    Location:
    Rotherham
    Cast is the natural wap size of the wire on the spool.....unspool some wire and let it fall on the ground....it should form a circle....that circle should be bigger than the spool.....maybe 600-1000mm in diameter.......its the size of this circle that impels the wire to propel itself off the spool......you can image if it was smaller than the spool it would want to stay on the spool............its so difficult to explain

    There is also helix.......again take a circle (wap) of wire and you may see that one end flicks up....the measurement between that wire and the flat surface its sat on is the helix........over 25mm is bad for feeding but more importantly it spins as it feeds through the tip...giving a sort of weave to the weld.......somewhere on the Lincoln website there are some pictures showing this and the effect......I commissioned them
     
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  18. Cast is sort of how tightly the wire is wound, to test it you run several metres of wire through the torch, cut it off and chuck it on the floor, it is not supposed to form a circle of less than 1 metre diameter (not sure if that’s the exact dimension, I’m sure Al will know)
    If the cast is too tight it can cause excess resistance as the wire passes through the contact tip
     
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  19. Far better explanation than mine, thanks Al
     
  20. TechnicAl

    TechnicAl Member

    Messages:
    7,477
    Location:
    Rotherham
    Try it before and after it passes through the MIG set.....the feed rollers can change it......if they do you may have got your problem

    Ive seen feed rollers squeezed so tightly the wire comes out pigtailed
     
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