What Is MIG Pulse Welding?

What Is MIG Pulse Welding?

There's some confusion in the industry about the term MIG "pulse" welding - so let's take a closer look at it.

The correct term is pulse spray-arc transfer. This term is describing what happens to the welding wire inside the weld arc and how the melted wire is then transferred to the weld puddle. Pulse welding should not be confused with the process where a weld is stitched (sometimes called manual pulse). If a weld is made by pulling the trigger for a second or two, then letting the puddle cool, followed by striking an arc again - it is NOT pulse welding.

During pulse spray-arc transfer, the welder varies the electrical output of the welder (over 50 times a second) in order to form one droplet of the melted wire per pulse. Once the droplet is formed, the welder increases the electrical output to "push" the droplet into the weld puddle. The electrical output raising and lowering allows the welding process to be done at cooler temperatures making a quality weld without spatter or loss of penetration into the material.

Welders that have "pulse" capabilities can be set to weld in pulse spray-arc transfer method and typically will also be capable of welding in the short-circuit transfer method (traditional welding transfer method used for GMA (MIG) welding on steel for decades). Also, note that the pulse spray-arc transfer method is typically required by the vehicle makers when aluminum welding and MIG brazing.

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