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How to chose a weld cleaning machineposted on 19 July 2021 | posted in Weld cleaning machines
BRUSH WELD CLEANING MACHINES
There are a number of misleading claims made by suppliers of weld cleaning machines which have resulted in customers buying the wrong piece of equipment for a particular application and spending excessive capital in the process.
What we will try and do here is to look at the options and dispel some of the myths and claims that are currently made.
Firstly, all machines can be adapted for etching of Stainless Steels and other metals. All that is required is some form of stencil and the correct electrolyte. Whether this option is required and the amount of marking will determine the level and cost of the equipment. Remember that most machines cannot etch and clean at the same time so it may be worth considering a separate etching machine for frequent work.
Now onto the actual cleaning of Stainless Steel. The limiting factors on cleaning are, power output, brush size and concentration of chemical. A machine cannot clean faster than a man can weld! The best cleaning machines will be set to clean fast at the lowest cost. There are also a variety of blends of chemicals available with numerous claims attached. The type of chemical and strength should be decided by trials as different grades and finishes of Stainless Steel need to be considered.
Most machines at the lower end of the market are designed to remove TIG welding and as such use low power inverter technology.
The simplest available kit consists of an adaptor which fits into the collet on the torch and uses the TIG welder at a low setting as its power source. It comes complete with brush and chemicals and is the most portable and lowest priced currently available.
The TIG cleaners above this level all have inverters which deliver the power to the brush by some form of cable and head attachment. The amount of power can vary but this also limits the speed of cleaning. Some machines have multi brush attachments but this causes a reduction in speed and of course increase cost of brushes.
Sophisticated cleaning machines are also available with pumps to deliver the chemicals directly to the brush and also with built in extraction but at a cost! It is always worth seeking advice for your particular application at an early stage.
MIG welding usually produces a heavier weld burn than TIG and this requires a cleaning machine with much higher power levels to achieve fast removal.
Cleaning machines are available with variable power, pump delivery systems and brushes up to 120mm wide. One machine available has a built in recirculation unit to collect the waste acid and re-use it. The larger units can also incorporate an electro-polishing bath attachment.