Spattering problems may occur in welding for various reasons, such as incompatible welding metals, dirt or contaminated materials, inappropriate welder settings, wrong welding technique, incorrect welding gas, equipment problems, etc.

What Is Spatter In Welding?

Spatter is a kind of welding defect which consist of droplets of molten metal or non-metallic material around the site of a weld during the welding procedure.

It results in unsighted globules of material due to the disturbance of the pool of molten material. The metal particles from the weld are jammed in the area adjacent to the welding zone.

Simply put, the welds are not coming out as clean and fresh as you expected. They are splashed or scattered during the welding procedure.

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Reasons Of Spatter In Welding
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What Causes Spatter In Welding?

Spattering problems in welding can happen for dozens of reasons. Here, we are going to mention some common causes of this issue.

Reason: 01 — Incompatible Welding Metals

Some welders use incompatible and cheap metals to save a few bucks or due to negligence. Not all metals are ideal for use as fillers for welding a particular type of metal.

For example, you can’t weld aluminum to steel, titanium to steel, carbon to stainless steel, etc.

If you try to weld the above mentioned metals together, then spatter problem will arise. You need to use the right type of metal and compatible filler material, filler rod, and welding wire to have spatter free weld.


To eliminate the spattering problem, you first need to determine desired characteristics of metal.

Here, you need to choose high-quality materials for welding. Make sure, it has a reasonable degree of ductility to deform properly without breaking. Choose a filler metal with a good mechanical strength and toughness combination.

Plus, be cautious while choosing filler wires in case of mig welding. It must have adequate mechanical and chemical properties to handle the welding task minimizing the risk of cracking, corrosion, and/or weld defects

Reason: 02 — Dirty or Contaminated Materials

Any dirt or contaminant substances on the welding surface will result in molten metal spitting, leading to a weld spatter. It would reduce the material’s weldability. Presence of oil, dirt, dust, or other substances on the welding surface might lead to slag inclusions hampering the welding process.

Moreover, welding on dirty or contaminated surfaces may cause porosity (a weak, bubble-filled weld with a small hole or pores).


Perfectly preparing the metal is crucial for a successful welding operation. Properly clean the surface of the metal. It will have a positive impact on the appearance of the final weld and would reduce the overall operating costs of the project.

You can apply common industrial solvents, such as Acetone, to get off contaminants or impurities from the metal surface before welding. Apart from that, you can get rid off lingering particles just by grinding off the rust and paint from the surface.

Make sure to clean rag with a wire brush.

Reason: 03 — Inappropriate Welder Settings

Whether you are following TIG, MIG, or Stick welding technique, maintaining the correct voltage and amperage is crucial.

For example, your welding wire speed for MIG welding will determine the ideal amperage. If you use too high an amperage, it will cause spattering problems. Likewise, a too-low voltage will result in spattering issues in MIG welding.

Incorrect polarity or insufficient shielding gas flow can also cause spattering problems. It will lead to poor joint preparation and weaken the joint.


Following the right welding parameter is essential to avoid spatter problems.

For example, 13-15v amperage with 0.024-inch wire is enough to mig weld aluminum. You may keep the wire feed speed from130 to 160 ipm in MIG welding.

But if the wire size is 0.30-inch, you will need to use 15-17v power and 75-100 ipm wire feed speed to weld the same metal. So, your wire size must be consistent with the amperage applied.

Always go through the welding machine’s manual. It contains essential information on proper operation and safety guidelines. You must follow those.

Reason: 04 — Wrong Welding Technique

Are you 100% sure that you are following the right welding technique?

Using the wrong arc length, travel angle, and travel speed can cause spattering problems.

For example, if the arc length is too long, it is expected to produce a ball on the end of the electrode if you are tig welding. When the ball is detached and dropped into the puddle, it will lead to a spatter.

Likewise, when you move the arc too fast, it would rapidly pour an excessive amount of filler metal into the weld area which in turn can cause spattering issues.


Depending on the particular welding method, your welding technique must change.

For example, it is necessary to hold the welding gun 15 degree angle for in MIG welding. While 90 degrees angle is essential for a butt joint.

The torch angle should be between 15 to 20 degrees for TIG welding. Don’t hold the torch at 45 degrees otherwise you will lose a lot of coverage from shielding gas.

For flux-core or MIG welding, the arc length should be between 3/8 to 1/2 inch while maintaining 1/5 inch between the rod contact tip and workpiece.

But in TIG welding, the ideal arc length depends on the electrode diameter. If the electrode diameter is 1 inch long, the arc length would be 1.5 inches.

Reason: 05. Incorrect Welding Gas

Using correct shielding gas is an essential requirement for better weld quality. Apart from affecting weld penetration profiles, arc stability, and mechanical properties, a wrong welding gas may cause spattering problems.  

Shielding gases of inferior quality can affect the spatter level too.


Regarding MIG/MAG welding, you can use Argon or argon/helium mixtures in almost all welding grades. The mixture should contain 75% argon and 25% carbon dioxide to get good weld penetration and flow rate can vary from 25cft to 31cft.

On the contrary, you can use 100% pure argon gas for TIG welding.

However, you may need to use tri-mix gas in some cases. For instance, He/Ar/CO2 is the best shielding gas to weld stainless steel materials.

How To Prevent Spatter In Welding?

  1. Ensure a constant current flow and maintain the same output for welding from the very first to the last.
  2. If you want to create consistent and precise welds, don’t forget to maintain constant wire feed operation, especially for high-specification applications.
  3. Keeping the outer air or draft, less exposed to the welding workpiece, is a good rule of thumb because it can disrupt the delivery of the shielding gas during the welding process.
  4. Make sure to use the correct drive roll tension. It should not be too loose or too tight. Otherwise, it will cause spatter issues.
  5. Test the right welding technique before finally applying it on the main welding piece. It can be pushed or pulled. Your main goal should be avoiding or minimizing spatter problems.

Summing Up

Welding spatter can happen for various reasons. Your main goal is to figure out the root cause of this problem and deal with it. Once you find the main reason for this issue, ensure it doesn’t repeat in the future for achieving a precise welding result. 

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Maidul Islam

I am Maidul Shakil and am a welder for more that 6 years. Welding metals and joining them is my hobby and passion. I have learnt all welding techniques, safety issues, fabrication process and rigging from SUNY Westchester Community College . I am now trying to teach beginners about welding to encourage them to come to the field.

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