When starting with MIG welding, there can be some issues that you come across.
One of the common ones could be problems with your MIG wire not feeding properly. It can cause a variety of frustrating issues, resulting in downtime, additional costs, and all of the related difficulties that come with having to stop what you’re doing and troubleshoot.
Your welding wire not feeding properly off the spool is likely due to the wire being deformed or incorrect tension on either the spool break, the drive rolls, or both. To get the wire to start feeding properly. You can make sure the spool is loaded properly, ensure the quality of the wire is good, and make sure your driver rolls are in a sufficient condition.
Continue reading for more information on wire feeding issues and solutions.
What Is MIG Welding?
Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding is an arc welding process that uses a continuous solid wire electrode heated and fed into the weld pool from a welding gun. The two base materials are melted together, forming a joint.
The gun feeds a shielding gas alongside the electrode helping protect the weld pool from airborne contaminants.
What Is MIG Welding Used For?
MIG welding technique is most usually used in the repair of automobiles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, and vans. MIG welding is the ideal technology for building and repairing any car’s body and/or interior due to its ability to generate a strong weld for even very thin metals. A hobby welder who works on weekend projects in a garage or garage can also utilize MIG welding.
MIG welding is well-known for its long-pass capabilities, cleanliness, and adaptability to alloys and metals such as stainless steel, mild steel, magnesium, and aluminum. For these reasons, it’s simple to see why this welding process has become a favorite among small and medium-sized businesses.
MIG Wire Feed Problems
Think of the wire feed system as a house of cards. Any problems with its stability will cause a domino effect, causing the entire system to crash. There can be multiple reasons causing an issue with the wire feed. Some of the common ones are :
Too Much Tension In Spool Wire
The spool hub is where your wire is fed. The hub-integrated spring system provides a stopping mechanism to avoid over-spooling.
Your welding wire not feeding properly off the spool is most likely due to incorrect spool break tension. Too much tension can cause wire wear, while too little can result in bird nesting.
Driver Rolls Not Matching The Wire
Drive rolls are designed to feed the wire smoothly from the wire spool into the gun cable. If the wire is not feeding, the drive rolls may be the wrong size. For example, slipping will very certainly occur if 1.3 mm drive rolls are used to move 0.9 mm wire.
The Size Of The Liner
Liner size affects the wire feeding too. A liner that is too tiny for the wire will not feed. If the liner is extensive, the wire may have too much freedom to twist inside it, resulting in erratic feeding.
The Contact Tip
If the wire is not feeding through your MIG welder, you should inspect the tip. It can become clogged with time. The correct contact tip size should be utilized. The wire will not feed if the tip is too small; if the tip is too large, wire feeding and electrical conductivity may suffer.
Tips To Get A Smooth Wire Feeding
A wire feeding issue might negatively impact the overall welding process, so check them all to ensure you’ve solved it permanently.
Ensure Good Wire Quality
For a smooth MIG weld, ensure the wire is of good quality. Moisture or long periods of inactivity can develop rust, which will clog your liner. If you discover rust, try unspooling until you find the clean wire. Start again with the clean wire.
Check The Spool And Driver Rolls Tension
Another thing you should do is make sure the spool and driver rolls are not too tight. Loosen the drive rolls, then increase the tension while feeding the wire into a block of wood or metal. Continue to increase the tension until you are one-half turn past wire slippage.
If you notice you are having to tighten your drive rolls more than before, check for damage or wear. If everything appears to be in order, double-check that the feed settings are still correct and that the wire is within specifications. When all your parameters are correct, it may be time to change your drive rollers.
Driver Rolls Selection And Alignment
The majority of drive rollers feature two grooves for different wire diameters. Check that the drive roller is placed such that the groove utilized is the correct size for the wire size. Before closing/locking the tension arm, make sure the wire is sitting directly and securely inside the groove of the roller.
Liner Type And Condition
A dirty, crimped, blocked, or otherwise damaged liner will almost always produce feeding problems due to its prolonged contact with the wire. While replacing a faulty liner is affordable, it is also one of the more time-consuming consumables to replace.
Steel liners are ideal for most wires. However, some wires, such as aluminum, necessitate the use of a nylon liner to ensure appropriate feeding.
Finally, double-check that your contact tip ID corresponds to the wire size and that the hole is still circular to make sure a clean feed. It can wear and become oblong over time, causing wire-feeding difficulties. Also, make sure your stick-out isn’t too long or too short.
MIG welder wire feed issues are directly proportional to how well you maintain and care for your MIG wire feed welding machine. Proper and timely machine maintenance, as well as selecting the optimum consumables, can go a long way toward deciding the quality of weld it is capable of producing.
In the end, wire feed problems are manageable.