You are in the first weapons and want to buy a welding machine, for example at electrode.
Start to inform you via friends, internet, supermarket salesman (yes, now the welding machines are also found on the shelves, among the peeled and olives) and, inevitably, you run into the subtle concept of "power".
The intensity of the electric current is expressed in Ampere (A) and the adjustment range of a welding machine is, for example, 5a - 180a. But in the end all the neophytes, between bored committed and confused information, end up calling her "power" and therefore the content of the discussion is about this: "I saw one who makes 150 a ..." "No, I recommend at least 200 to" etc. . etc.
I don't think you are interested in making a race, I think you want to do a small welding job how to weld a gate or repair a railing, right? If so, know that with an electrode welding machine in 90% of the cases you will use 2-2.5 mm electrodes using a value of 55/90 Ampere.
One of the features that interests you more than the welding machine is the duty cycle or utilization factor.
"How do you read the Duty Cycle?"
The Duty Cycle is the percentage of use of the welding machine considering 10 minutes of use.
Take for example the following welding machine Esab Buddy Arc 180:
He says that the Duty Cycle in the case of electrode welding (orange box) at 60% is 125a. This means that I can weld 125a for 6 minutes and then the welding machine will go into thermal protection for 4 minutes, or I can weld 100% to 100a without the welding machine stopped.
For completeness of information, in the case of TIG welding mode (this welding machine offers both the electrode function and TIG mode), with a 60% use I will be able to weld at 130a, stopped after 6 minutes and having to wait 4. I will be able to weld to 100a without stopping my work.
"But then the important value is 100% value?"
No! A tireless welder fails to exceed 50/60% of productivity. The rest of the time is used for changing the electrode, the welding cord grinding, positioning of the piece to be welded ... or a simple pause.
"But then the important value is 60% value?"
It's a good indicator, but you have to be noticed to not be fooled!
According to the regulation, the Duty Cycle must be measured at 40 ° ambient temperature. However, it often happens to come across welders that cost as a pizzeria evening but with exceptional duty cycle values. How come? Simply by writing values that do not respect the standards.
Let's take an example:
A duty cycle at 50% of 80A measured at 20 ° temperature corresponds to 7% to 80a measured according to norm. Practically Weld for less than a minute!
Please note, especially at too low costs and / or at the origin of the welding machine, and you will avoid unpleasant problems.