Choosing the Right Welding System: Air vs. Water
Welding finds its place in almost everything that surrounds us. Of the different varieties of welding, companies need to choose the right welding system depending on their usage and requirements. If a mobile fabrication and Repair Company which does sheet metal welding for short durations would not consider a water cooled system for managing heat generated with welding. On the other hand, a welding shop using the welding equipment continuously at high amperage will fail to find a suitable air cooled system that can handle the huge amount of heat generated in the process.
One cannot think of ignoring the necessity to protect the power cable, gun and consumables for damage due to excessive heat radiated from the arc. At the same time, the operator also needs to be protected from heat injuries and should have comfortable working conditions for better productivity.
If we choose water cooled MIG welder, although little more expensive with slightly higher operational and maintenance cost, yet it is very compact and light weight which adds to productivity. Even then, it is impractical where portability is required. An air-cooled system depends on ambient air and shielding gas for diffusing the heat that is generated in the process. Hence it requires much thicker copper cabling as compared to water-cooled systems.
Plasma torch consumables usually create a lot of metal scale and thus create a relatively dirtier environment. Hence it is important to have regular inspection and maintenance of the equipment. Though nozzle and electrode are the main components, yet diffuser and outer nozzle cover could also need replacement.