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How To Recognize a Solid Arc-Weld Bead


Seen from above and in cross section, the seven beads in this photograph show the effects of the three major components of arc-welding technique: current setting, arc length, and electrode speed. The smooth, even ripples in the first example at the left indicate a good bead. You can see equal amounts of weld metal above and below the surface of the work.

The next two beads show the effects of incorrect amperage. First, because the current was too low, the bead failed to penetrate. Then, too much current made the weld crater too large and spattered.

In the fourth and fifth beads, the welder misjudged the electrode’s distance from the work. Too short an arc left a superficial bead. Too long an arc made a shallow, spattered bead.

The last two beads illustrate the importance of the rate at which you move the electrode along the workpiece. Too slow a movement left excessive waste metal, and too much speed created a shallow, elongated bead.