If you want the welding equipment to work smoothly and last for many years, then you need to choose the cable very carefully. It serves to connect the welding machine with the holder, in which the electrode is attached, and the product itself, which will be subject to welding.
The outer sheath of the cable is made of special rubber hose, which is highly durable. Multicore versions have an additional layer of polymer film that prevents the cable cores from sticking together with their rubber insulation.
Requirements for welding cables
Since the cable for the welding machine is designed to work with electric current, strict process requirements are imposed on it and high safety standards are applied.
- Since the welding cable is laid in different working conditions, its body must be resistant to breaks, impacts and aggressive chemical environments. As a rule, the braid is made of polymeric materials that do not allow for the exposure of the cores and damage to the working arc or direct current effects.
- Since the welding cable is stored in the wound state, its repeated winding and unwinding should not affect the elasticity and elasticity of the polymer protection.
- The cable cross section for the welding machine must withstand the desired current load.
The welding cable should be selected in accordance with the characteristics of the welding current of the welding machine.
Types of welding cable
Modern manufacturers offer consumers 7 classes of cable, the marking of which is carried out according to the diameter of its cross section and the number of wires.
The main ones are:
- Single core cable for welding machine. The core is made of copper, which has high wire characteristics, flexibility in winding and elasticity. This cable is used for portable inverters.
- A two-core cable having two conductors — a cathode and an anode — allows high-frequency currents to be used for pulsed welding, and alternating currents for metal cutting. The cores are made of copper or a conductive copper based alloy.
- Three-core cable is used in automatic welding units, for welding the pipeline, where a smooth weld is required.
In addition, various sheath options allow manufacturers to produce cables for special climatic conditions:
- Antiseptic or tropical (KG-T) resistant to temperatures up to 50 degrees and high humidity when there is a risk of damage by mold fungi and microorganisms. In the conditions of tropical and desert heat, a simple cable can break under even a slight tension, which will expose the wires.
- Resistant to cold (cold-resistant KG-HL). Their polymer coating is cold-resistant, so that the cable does not freeze and no cracks appear in it. It is used to perform work in those areas that differ in a harsh climate with air temperature reaching -60 ° C.
Welding cable marking
The cable is marked with the following abbreviation:
- KS (welding cable), figures 1,2,3 - the number of wires;
- P - indicates the presence of polymer protection;
- HF (P, P) —constant or alternating high-frequency current.
Welding cable: cross section
It directly depends on the number and cross section of the wires.
The veins of a large cross section (35.6 or 47.2) are used in automatic welding of high voltage, and a cross section of 6.7 mm is used in inverters operating on 220 V.
The entire nomenclature of sections of different cables, voltage and calculated weight are listed in specialized catalogs that help to accurately select the appropriate cable parameters according to the estimated current strength and calculated data.
If the cable cross-section is chosen incorrectly, this can lead to a short circuit in the inverter or welding machine, which will lead to the burnout of the rheostat or breakdown.
If the cross section is smaller, then the current through the conductors will not go, and it will condense on a fuse, the welder will turn off.
The brand and type of cable should be selected based on the data on the technical characteristics of the welding machine with which it will be used. It is also necessary to take into account the environmental conditions (humidity, air temperature, etc.) during welding. Competently selected welding cable, the price of which is from 100 rubles per meter, is a guarantee of the welder’s safety and guarantee of the equipment’s long life.