What Causes Undercut In Welding?

Performing a welding process is not a piece of cake, and you might end up getting defects in the output result even if you are an experienced welder and have all the technical knowledge and expertise.

One of the most common defects faced by the welders is undercut in the welding process. No matter how professional you perform the welding operation, an undercut can ruin all your efficiency and hard work.

Therefore it is necessary to find the root cause of the problem and get rid of it once and for all. This is precisely what we are going to do here in this article; we will analyze what is undercutting in welding, what are the causes of it, and how we can resolve this problem.

What Is Undercut In Welding?

An undercut in its original terms can be described as space that is formed due to the absence or exclusion of any material from the lower part of the object.

In the case of welding, undercutting is defined as the area that comes as a result when the weld metal fails to fill at the base of the welding material; it creates a long and narrow cut or a trough that weakens the material. It typically occurs when the material does not melt and fuse properly.

What Causes Undercut In Welding?

Problems Caused By The Undercut In Welding

Many problems occur as a result of undercut in welding material. Most importantly, the materials are welded to give strength and stability and are also used for removing the cracks and defects in the products,  but due to the undercutting, all these factors get highly affected.

The undercut in welding results in flagging the joining pieces and the material. It highly affects the productivity, quality, speed and also enhances maintenance and repairing cost.

The material no longer remains in a stable position and can quickly get crack or break down. There are many other complications that come as a result of undercut in welding.

Let’s go through the causes of this problem so that we eliminate or minimize it.

Reasons for undercut in welding

It is essential to know the causes which create undercut in welding. If we know it before starting the process, we can try our best to avoid those reasons. Preventing these problems will result in a good quality weld that eventually will save your time, money, and resources.

There are many factors that can cause this problem to happen; some of the main reasons are mentioned below.

Overheating and Excessive Current

The most common this which can cause the undercut in welding is overheating of the material. It happens when a welder is not well aware of the melting points and suitable temperature ranges of the welding material pieces.

In addition, the excess current flow also affects the performance and can cause an undercut in welding.

Electrode and Arc Length

Another common practice of the welders is that they do not consider the importance and versatility of the electrodes.

There are different types of electrodes made for various purposes. Choosing the appropriate electrode is crucial for performing the quality weld operation.

One other important factor related to the electrode is the length of an arc. It is important that the arc length does not go beyond the diameter of the metal portion of the core.

Welder Position and Electrode Angle

As said earlier, welding is not as easy as we think it is; it involves many complications and requires complete focus and attention to minor details.

Undercutting in welding can also be caused when the welder performs the process from the wrong side or does not get a clear view. Plus, the electrode angle and size also has a significant role and needs to be taken care of properly.

High Speed

Another important reason which causes the undercut is when the welder tries to perform the process at high speed. The welding process requires patience and complete attention.

Similarly, going too slow can also create complications. Proceeding with the normal speed is the key when doing the welding operation.

Selection of Gas Field and Ratio

When dealing with gas welding, you need to be careful about the fuel gas you choose based on the type of welding material. Inappropriate selection of gas can cause an undercut in welding.

Besides, it is also important to consider the proportion of fuel gases and oxygen as it can also cause undercut.

How to Prevent Undercut In Welding

Taking preventive measures to minimize the risks of getting undercut, and therefore, it is important to take note of these preventive techniques.

  • To start with, firstly, you should check is the power generation source. Accurate current and voltage flow should be ensured before you start the operation.
  • You should have sound knowledge of the type of welding materials, such as the melting point. It helps you in performing the process on the basis of the kind of materials.
  • Going with too slow or too high speed can cause severe problems; therefore, it is vital that you must know how much speed is required for a specific type of welding and the material.
  • Choosing the appropriate electrode is recommended to prevent undercut and other measure defects in welding. Electrode size and angle should also be taken into consideration for enhanced performance and quality.
  • One of the most important factor to look for is the weaving technique; when you operate at fast speed weaving, getting an undercut is certain. Make sure that you go with the medium speed weaving and take pause where necessary on each side of the weld.
  • The other important factor we mostly ignore is the cleaning of the welding material, especially the part that needs to be weld. To prevent undercut and other issues, make sure that you have properly cleaned the welding pieces.
  • Ensure that you are getting a crystal clear view of everything around you, especially the welding pieces, as you perform the operation. It can be achieved when you take the right position and angle.
  • When performing gas welding, choose the appropriate gas and the right set of proportions. Plus, regulate the shielding gas flow in order to prevent the undercut in welding.
There is nothing that can stop you from performing the perfect weld until and unless you take necessary preventive measures and follow the standard protocols and procedure.

This article highlights the important factors that cause undercut and how you can take care of it. Once you have read it carefully, we are sure that you will not get undercut in welding next time you perform the welding operation.

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