Providing long-term spatter protection for welding equipment has always been a challenge for the welding industry. The typical 'anti-spatter' products on the market provide short-term protection and spatter is removed either manually or, for robotics, by a cleaning (or reaming) station. Working with Acheson and their technical welding engineers, TWI has produced some interesting results when performing tests with the Acheson Aerodag® CeramishieldTM (previously named Pulve BN D 60A), a ceramic protective dry film coating.
CeramishieldTM has been specifically designed to protect welding consumables, equipment and fixtures and fittings from spatter problems over long periods of time. The product is supplied in aerosol form and is simple to apply.
TWI has carried out robotic welding trials to establish the coating life when applied to torch components and fixtures. Using a mild steel wire with a dip transfer condition and a high 80% duty cycle, the tests showed that spatterbuild up in the torch was substantially reduced, whereas the uncoated nozzle showed significant spatter build-up. The figure shows a comparison after 75 minutes of welding. After more than four hours of welding, the coating continues to repel spatter without reapplication. Any spatter remaining in the nozzle coated with CeramishieldTM could be easily removed and the coating was found to be substantially intact. The coated nozzle lasted more than twice as long as an uncoated nozzle before weld quality was adversely affected by spatterbuild-up. These tests demonstrated that the routine use of a reaming station to clean the torch, would not be necessary, providing benefits in higher cycle times and costs savings on torch consumables.
The trials also showed the benefits of protecting jigs and fixtures with CeramishieldTM . Spatter did not adhere to a coated fixture and after two days welding, the remaining spatter could be swept away with a light brush. This should eradicate problems of spatter interfering with part location injigs and minimise the labour-intensive procedures of removing the spatter at the end of a shift.
As well as torch components, jigs and fixtures, CeramishieldTM can also be used to protect cables, sensors and the jaws in spot-welding. It is claimed that one coating application could last for up to a week.
The results of these tests show that CeramishieldTM is an excellent protective coating solution against spatter problems and the consequent loss of productivity faced in the welding industry.
For further information please see the Acheson website ( www.achesonindustries.com/) or please contact us.