Technology has come a long way over the past few decades; welding machines come packed with more power than ever and top brands continually push the limits with each new generation of equipment. The performance of modern day machines are constantly reaching new heights and as more brands enter the market, this trend will only continue in coming years.
However, the increased performance is a double-edged sword in some machines; especially those used domestically. Some brands will supply leads and plugs for a machine that just can’t hold the power needed to run at peak power.
While supplying incorrect fittings may prevent the welding machine from achieving an optimal performance, the inability to maintain high currents can become a potential safety risk to the welder. Attempting to use these machines at high currents may cause the leads or plugs to fail, short-circuit, or potentially burn out and start a fire!
To ensure that Australian welders can make informed decisions on welding equipment, Weld Australia, together with participating equipment suppliers, has developed a register of safe-to-use equipment. This register will maintain a list of equipment that is deemed safe for use through compliance with IEC 60974.1 (Arc welding equipment – Part 1: Welding power sources) and IEC 60974.6 (Arc welding equipment – Part 6: Limited duty equipment). This list is available for download here and will be updated quarterly.
The major electrical properties of each machine has been listed next to its name. Some models will be able to utilise multiple welding processes. For these machines, the electrical properties of each technique is listed in separate rows. To confirm that these models are fitted with the correct plug/lead, compare the Plug Rating of each machine with the highest I1eff of the model. If the Plug Rating is higher or equal to the I1eff, then the machine has been correctly fitted.
To gauge how effective a machine is at maintaining a high current output, check the Duty Cycle at 40ᵒC. The listed duty cycle identifies the percentage of time; for a machine with a duty cycle of 60% at 100 A, the machine can operate for three minutes at 100 A for every five minutes it is being used.