Welding is an industrial process that has changed the course of history subtly yet significantly. Many of the extraordinary things humans are capable of today, from flying planes in the sky to keeping ships afloat on the sea, rely heavily on welding. And welding, in turn, is dependent on a number of essential components.
Welding cables are among these vital components. These are electrical cables that are capable of conducting high levels of electrical current typically used in welding. Hence, for a good weld you need the buy the best welding cable online.
Copper is most commonly used to make welding cables across the world. This is because the flexible metal is an excellent conductor of electricity. It is also easily available and relatively more affordable than other options, making it the economical choice for cables in welding. Furthermore, copper is inherently malleable, so it is easy to convert and reshape the metal into wires and cables of different diameters.
You’ll find that welding cables come in different colors. These colors are not always random. Often, the color code is used to indicate the cable’s size and ampacity rating (i.e. the maximum current it can carry).
If you’re involved in welding operations as a part of your profession or for a personal pet project, you’re going to need welding cables handy. Since these cables are crucial to the welding process, you need to store them properly and maintain them in the right manner. If you’re not sure how to do this, the tips outlined below should help.
If you generally work out of a garage or a workshop, it’s best to have cabinets or shelves installed for storing your welding cables. Storing them at ground level can be a costly mistake, because often, there may be moisture, debris or other pollutants on the floor that could eventually damage the cables. If you do not have sufficient storage installed yet, you can consider hanging the cables off the ground to keep them dry and intact.
Copper is not prone to rust. Nevertheless, the insulation used in the welding cables and wires you’ve purchased may be vulnerable to moisture or heat. So, it is always advisable to store these consumables in a cool and dry area. You can even look for any suggested storage temperature range on the pack of the cables, and adhere to the guidelines accordingly. This will keep the cables in the best condition until you remove them for use.
If your welding space has a lot of direct sunlight, it may be a good idea to store the cables elsewhere. Ideally, you need to choose a place that is not directly exposed to the sun. Direct sun exposure can break down the insulation used in welding cables. Over extended periods, it can also lead to the oxidation of copper. These issues could interfere with the effectiveness of the cable with time.
Common depictions of copper cables used in welding may show the spools tightly coiled. However, to extend the lives of these cables, ensure that they are not too tightly wound. It could cause kinks or bends in the cable. Also, the continuous tension in the cable could lead to cracks or breaks in the insulation over time, thus compromising the product and its usability.
In case you store your welding cables in a separate part of your workshop, you need to inspect them periodically. Look for any buildup of dust, oil or grime. Ensure that no moisture has seeped into the storage area. And check if any of the cables have been damaged in some manner or have worn out. In case you find any such cables, make a note and have them replaced as needed.
Cleaning the cables on a regular basis is another essential part of their maintenance and upkeep. Depending on the environment in which they are stored, there may be a buildup of oil, dirt and other contaminants. You need to get rid of these elements by using a dry and soft cloth to clean the cables. Avoid using wet items or harsh chemicals for cleaning the cables, because they will do more harm instead.
Welding cables are an important part of the welding process, whether you choose MIG welding, TIG welding or even stick welding. While it is essential to look for the best welding cable online and compare your options before making a purchase, post-purchase maintenance is also vital.
The techniques and tips outlined above can help you maintain and store welding cables in the best possible manner. Make sure that you follow the best practices for cable storage and maintenance, so they remain intact and are not damaged or otherwise compromised.