MIG welding technique is easy to learn but hard to master. Vertical MIG welding is a tricky welding method. It is especially beneficial for structural welds on buildings and pipe welding.
You can utilize this welding technique on thick, heavy metal by using a metal-transfer mode. Here, we will share how to do it, along with some vertical MIG welding tips.
What Is Vertical Position In MIG Welding?
Vertical MIG welding keeps the top area to the bottom or the bottom area to the top in the weld joint. When you move the bottom part to the top section, it is called vertical up MIG welding. It provides deeper penetration for thicker metals by ensuring increased heat input into the weld.
In contrast, keeping the top part to the bottom section is called vertical down welding. This approach is suitable for thinner metals to prevent heat build-up of uphill welding.
How to Do MIG Welding In Vertical Position?
MIG welding in the vertical position can be challenging. But you can accomplish it by following these steps below:
Step: 01: Set Up Your Welding Machine
Ensure that your MIG welding machine is set up for vertical welding.
You may need to adjust your voltage, wire speed, and gas flow rate to suit the position.
Does your welding device have an inductance setting? If so, keep the setting 20-30% lower for faster puddle freezing.
You can use C25 or C100. But make sure it provides optional protection to the puddle.
The wire diameter should be between 0.030″ to 0.035″.
Step: 02: Prepare Your Materials
Clean the joint area from any contaminants, rust, or paint. Bevel the edges of the joint to allow for proper penetration.
5% additional amperage is recommended if the workspace is spotless. It will burn off the contaminants otherwise.
Step: 03: Choose the Right Welding Technique
You can either use the “uphill” or “downhill” technique. It depends on the material’s thickness and the joint’s position.
- The uphill method involves pushing the weld bead upward against gravity.
- In contrast, the downhill technique involves pulling the bead downward.
Step: 04: Use Proper Positioning
Position yourself in a comfortable and stable position.
Keep your arms close to your body, and ensure that your welding gun is perpendicular to the joint. If possible, use a helper to support your arm.
Step: 05: Start Welding
Begin at the bottom of the joint and work upward in small sections.
Make sure to pause occasionally to allow the weld to cool. Use a steady motion and keep the welding gun at a consistent distance from the joint.
Keep the travelling speed a bit slow for vertical up MIG welding but a bit faster for vertical down MIG welding.
The travelling should be 5-10° for the vertical up technique and 15-20° for the vertical down method.
Step: 06: Monitor The Weld Pool
Observe the weld pool. The metal deposition should be higher for the vertical up technique and low for the vertical down method.
Keep weave beads for the vertical up welding technique and stringer beads for vertical down welding.
Adjust your technique to ensure proper penetration and a smooth, consistent bead.
Step: 07: Finish The Weld
When you reach the top of the joint, pause briefly to ensure the weld has cooled and solidified.
Trim any excess wire, and grind the weld surface smoothly if necessary.
7 Tips on Vertical MIG Welding
Following are some tips to perfectly Mig weld in vertical technique.
- Avoid going too fast. Otherwise, it will produce less heat in the workpiece. There will be a lack of weld metal deposits.
- Remember, your welding effectiveness depends on your preparation. Make sure the metal surface is free from impurities. Otherwise, contamination will cause porosity.
- Keep your travel speed consistent throughout the weld to ensure a uniform bead. This is especially important in vertical welding, where gravity can affect the flow of the molten metal.
- Awkward body positions will result in poor welds. Avoid any “jerking” motion of your neck and head. Keep your body in a comfortable position.
- Keep an eye on the puddle to ensure it’s the right size and shape. Adjust your technique if necessary to avoid any undercutting or cold starts.
- Make sure to use high-quality working clamps as they create good-quality welded joints. The clamps should be free from coated metal.
- For precise control, use a lower amperage setting. It will help you cool down the puddle quickly.
Your welding technique, welding settings, and accessories will determine how much will be the welding result. Make sure to practice vertical MIG welding on scrap metal before finally using it on the main workspace.
Hopefully, the above-mentioned vertical MIG welding tips will help you how to achieve a successful welding result.