by Jason Becker
Today we are running some 1/16" diameter Seismic Wire. It's a T-6 wire which means its used in seismic applications. This wire is used a lot out on the west coast as well as other areas prone to Seismic conditions (think earthquakes or areas with extreme vibrations).
We're running at 185ipm and 19V and pushing about 200 amps. We have some 3/4" plate and we are in the vertical position. A couple other things you want to pay attention to is ensuring you are on DC- (Straight Polarity) and that you are maintaining a 3/4"-1" Contact Tip to Work Distance.
This can be a very tricky wire to run, while running in the vertical position, we want to maintain about a 5° drag angle going up. You also want to stay in the center of the puddle. If you get ahead of your puddle, you can blow a hole right through the plate. It is a very aggressive wire. When I first used this wire, I was in the ironworkers Union and was running Hobart's XLR8 wire which is a T-8 wire and very similar to the Select 78 we are using in this video. I was welding up a 1" test plate and was putting on the 3rd pass of my cap and was about 3/4 of the way up the plate and got ahead of the puddle and the wire burned right through the entire plate and came out the back side of the backing strip. Make sure to stay in the puddle.
As you work up the joint, do a slow side to side movement, not a weave but a decent stringer. The weld should be 5-6 times the diameter of the wire, so in this instance we will be 5/16"-3/8" wide. Once you get the hang of it, the slag will just peel right off without much effort. Make sure you have good fume extraction or you are in a well ventilated area, better yet, run this stuff outside. The fumes generated from these types of wire are not fun to breath in. I highly recommend a respirator, PAPR system or heavy fume extraction when running this wire.
As you can see in the video, the weld has a different appearance than most other types of welding processes. There are no ripples in the weld, it looks like a shiny solid mass of metal and thats what it should look like. I hope this video was able to satisfy the curious viewers who requested it. Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog, as well as watching the video. And until next time, Make Every Weld Better Than Your Last!