How to Reduce Spatter When Flux Core Welding

Spatter is a common occurrence in flux core welding. It’s the molten droplets that travel through the weld pool to create flecks on the surface of the weld.

If you let those tiny molten droplets land on your project or general welding area, the clean-up process will be a pain. And if you haven’t worn the right protective equipment, it will risk you with painful burns and will compromise your safety.

Reducing spatter in flux core welding is the goal of many welders, manufacturers, and end-users. 

Fortunately, there are techniques to reduce the amount of spatter generated when you weld.

Below are some methods that can help you handle spatter when flux-cored welding.

How to Reduce Spatter When Flux Core Welding

Welders know that spatter can cause frustrating welding problems. They need to know how much spatter there is and why is it there.

Flux core welding especially deals with significant problem of spatter due to the material and techniques required to weld.

Here are the most common problems and solutions to reduce spatter.

Welding Materials

Spatter is a combination of metal particles and droplets that are melted out when welding. Knowing the characteristics of materials is crucial when trying to understand how to reduce spatter.

From the quality of metals and coatings used to the cleanliness on the surface of the material, these are all important factors to determine how much spatter is produced.

In order to effectively weld, you need to consider the basic characteristics and composition of the metal you’re working with.

Note that flux core welding shouldn’t be done on certain types or grades of metal due to their varying components and strength level.

Some weldable metals are also not premium products. They are made from cheap base metal and filled with cheap additives to create a low-cost metal.

Working with such inappropriate or low-quality materials can result in welds with excess droplets of molten metal near the welding arc.

The only solution is to ditch these materials and look for high-quality weldable metal to minimize spatter if this is your main problem.

Another thing that can contribute to spatter that concerns the material of the metal you are using is the type of coating your metal has.

Metals often have coatings like paint, rubber, or other galvanized coatings that cover the surface of the metal.

Before welding, make sure to scrape or break up these coatings first. This will ensure that you are working with pure metal rather than on paint or rubbery surface that can melt and bubble down causing spatter.

As much as working with high-quality and pure metal is important, a weld also needs clean metal to bond properly.

Clean the surface of the metal before welding. Make sure all the dirt, oil, dust, and other elements are completely wiped off the surface to ensure a smoother weld and reduced spatter.

You must also control the amount of weld buildup as too much can interfere with other processes, like painting and finishing.

Welding Settings

As important as it is to choose the right welding materials and making sure they are clean and prepared ready before welding, setting your welder correctly is essential as well.

When you are working with flux core welding, one of the first causes for spatter is incorrect amperage settings. As a matter of fact, the key to flux core welding is the right amperage settings and a clean wire.

If you’re not using your welder correctly, you might notice that your welds have burn marks or excessive spatter no matter how expensive the metal you’re using.

The speed of your wire feed determines the amount of amperage required for welding. If you set the wire feed too high, molten slag will be thrown around, causing spatter.

There are two ways that you can do to regulate the flow of your welder in order to get them in the right welding setting.

The first thing you can do is reduce the wire feed speed. Doing so will lower the amperage since running amperage in a too high setting is the main culprit in producing pesky splatter when welding.

You can also lower the amperage by increasing voltage so it stays polar to the high amperage setting.

Fine-tune your settings and run test welds on scraps of metals until the spatter is reduced. Alternate between these settings until you find the perfect balance that yields the least spatter.

You may need to do this process continually utilizing trial and error until you find the right settings that work well for you.

steps to reduce spatter when flux core welding

Welding Gas

The shielding gas used during flux core welding serves several purposes. It protects the weld pool from outside contaminants and oxidation while at the same time stabilizing it so that you have a good weld.

For flux core welding where you often work with thicker metals, the most frequently used blend is 75% argon and 25% carbon dioxide. Also, remember that thicker steel requires a higher carbon dioxide percentage.

This shielding gas ratio can be used with thick metals and in out-of-position welding.

It provides better weld penetration while preventing spatter from forming, thereby delivering increased mechanical properties and clean welds.

For a smooth finish and minimal spatter, you’ll need the right mix for your thickness so make sure you are using the right combination and ratio of shielding gas.

Final Words

One of the most frustrating things about flux core welding is dealing with all that pesky spatter.

Although the process of flux core welding is one of the most durable ways to complete your next welding project, it can be challenging and frustrating to deal with spatter.

For welders, spatter can be a nuisance that damages the metal surface and impairs visibility while increasing cleanup time.

While it is difficult to completely eliminate spatter, there are steps that you can take in order to reduce the chances that it will happen on your next project.

Make it easier on yourself by following the simple solutions for reducing spatter that are mentioned above.

Leave a Comment