With the focus on manufacturing sector, secondary industries like welding cable manufacturing has also gained importance. Welding cables are an important part of any industry that is concerned with sculptural processes or fabrication, such as automobile, heavy machinery or electronics. It finds wide application in a range of industries and sectors.
Welding cable manufacturers in India today are mostly in the small and medium sector. With manufacturing sector likely to pick up after a brief slowdown, cable manufacturers will also reap benefits. Indian manufacturers are also eyeing the international markets in an effort to expand their base. However, they face stiff competition from big names in cable manufacturing.
What makes a welding cable?
Simply put, a welding cable is a type of cable that is used in welding processes.
A welding cable usually has a single conductor, usually copper. Most wending cables are required to withstand up to 600V of tension. It is used in the secondary circuits of an electric welder. The conductor is finely stranded. In size it can range from 8 AWG to 500 kcmil. It usually has a single insulating layer of neoprene thermoset or EPDM. The insulating operating temperature is at 90°C or 105°C.
Although, most welding cables are rated at 600V, one can also find cables rated 100V. The cable is thermoset. This is necessary to ensure its resistance to weld splatter. A thermoplastic, for instance, would not have the same ability. A welding cable must also have superior durability and flexibility.
Applications of welding cables:
A welding cable is used to power the electrode during welding. It is used in two types of welding operations: resistance welding and arc welding.
Resistance welding: In this type of welding heat is used to fuse overlapping metals. The heat is caused by the resistance of the materials. The metals to be fused are placed between welding points, which are a couple of electrodes. After this a high current, but low-voltage electric charge is passed between the welding points. The metals heat up when they resist the charge. The what, in turn, fuses the metals together?
Arc welding: In this process welding power passed between the electrode and the base material, creating an arc. An inert gas like argon is used to sustain the arc. The arc melts the electrode, while leaving behind the metal.
Factors to consider when buying a welding cable:
When buying a welding cable, just looking for a welding cable manufacturer is not enough. Since steady and stable supply of power is critical for the welding process to run smoothly, there are some factors that you must pay attention to:
Ampacity: This is the current rate of the cable, or in other words, its current-carrying capacity. It is the amount of current that the cable can carry without surpassing the operating temperature rating. Keep in mind that a welding cable’s ampacity is calculated differently than other cables. It is typically higher than other type of cables. This is because factors like duty cycle, circuit length and out power are also factored in.
Flexibility: Welding cables are also required to be quite flexible. This is because a welder often moves around while welding. This is especially true when working on large machines. The cable must also have a good tensile strength. Since, the cable is often coiled around while welding work is carried out, it must be able to withstand such usage without breaking apart.
Resistance to heat and sparks: Welding work can be corrosive to any normal cable. With sparks and heat generated, cables with lesser strength and insulation can easily fall apart. Durability is one of the essential qualities of welding cables.
Size: The size is a deciding factor since it will has a direct relationship with the current conducted. The more the current required, the more should be the diameter of the cables and the number of copper wires within. Determining the size before welding work is carried out is critical because if we are using more current that the cable size can handle, it will overheat.
Welding cable manufacturers are an important part of the manufacturing industry. Welding cables must be selected carefully, keeping in mind the ampacity, flexibility, size and durability.