Welding cables are used in electric arc-welding machines to charge an electrode which in turn is required to produce an electric arc, or any heat source between the electrode and the metals, or other materials which are being welded. In other words, welding cable is an electric conductor for the welding electric current. It comprises of of fine copper strands which are clustered together inside a non-conductive durable jacket, made from synthetic or natural rubber of various colours. These fine strands provide more flexibility to the welding cable than the other electric conductors while the insulating jacket provides repeated movements of current through the rough surfaces. The flexibility of the copper strands should be such that the diameter of the copper strands should increase with the current level. Contact the leading welding cable manufacturer for selecting the cable for your project, however check for the below details.
Benefits – Welding cables are nowadays considered over the other cable types because of the below benefits:
- They are extremely flexible. These properties are essential, especially in arc welding where the electrode is required to be moved around the joints to be welded.
- They are durable as well. This property is important in the industrial environments where abrasions, cuts, burns from sparks, and exposure to oil and water will wear out a weak cable.
- Also, welding cables are insulated with rubber, especially Neoprene or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) thus making it spark, oil, water and abrasion resistant.
- The copper strands gives the flexibility as compared to other stranded cables. Higher the number of cables, greater is the flexibility. For example TEMCo’s smallest welding cable, 6 AWG, has 259 copper wire strands.
Things to keep in mind– Besides the physical properties and that you are buying the welding cables from the leading welding cables manufacturers, you need to consider the below 3 factors for any power supply application:
- Cable Length
- Insulation temperature rating
If welding cables are to be used along with hoists or cranes, then thicker cables should be considered. Higher strength welding cables or thicker cables with higher strand counts can be considered as a cheaper alternative as well.
Now, you should always consider the cable which is able to handle the maximum output from the welder. The 3 factors which will provide the maximum output are:
- Total length of the welding circuit
- Rated output of welding power source
- Duty cycle of the welding power source
The electricity travels along the complete welding circuit which includes It includes the power source, electrode cable, electrode holder (or TIG torch or wire feeder and gun), electrical arc, work cable and work clamp. In order to determine the welding size, combine together full lengths of the electrode cable and the work cable while the electrode cable is attached to an electrode holder, TIG torch or wire feeder and the work cable is attached to the work clamp.
Heating capacity – Welding cables are rated for an ambient temperature of 30°C (86°F). Higher ambient temperatures reduce their ability to dissipate heat which again reduces their ampacity. The cables which are clustered together also have reduced ability to dissipate heat. So, multiple cables should be scattered.
Contact the leading welding manufacturer for your project so that you get the best quality welding cable!