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Discussion Forum

Mig contact tips melting

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05-22-2003 19:50:00

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I seem to melt contact tips esily when using manufacturer's recommended settings for a given thickness of metal. I can avoid this by increasing wire speed a bit. Is it the machine or something I should be doing differently?

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05-23-2003 18:46:20

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 Re: mig contact tips melting in reply to derf, 05-22-2003 19:50:00  
Like the others have said it should be hard to melt the contact tip, and they covered most everything I can think of that might be causing you problems except one. Make sure that the contact tip your using is sized right for the size wire your using. If your using a small wire like a .023 or .035 and the tip size is too big, it can cause problems with the wire not making good contact in the tip and melting prematurely inside it binding up the whole works. Good luck...

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05-24-2003 19:07:37

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 Re: Re: mig contact tips melting in reply to Wayne, 05-23-2003 18:46:20  
The purpose of the contact tip is to make contact between the power at the tip and the wire being fed through it. Putting a slight curve or bend in it will cause the wire to rub the sides of the hole and make better contact. I was shown that 30 years ago in the factory I was working in at the time and have done it ever since. A shallow grove in a piece of scrap with a 4" angle grinder is about the right bend. Put the tip in it with the threads hanging out over the edge so they don't get bashed and give it a couple light taps with a hammer, careful not to squash it.

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05-23-2003 22:35:31

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 Re: Re: mig contact tips melting in reply to Wayne, 05-23-2003 18:46:20  
One other possibility !!! there are people out there in the shop teaching professions teaching their students to push into the weld instead of dragging with a mig welder causing all kind of grief including melted tips this seems to be prevalent in adult education classes I ran into a company putting people taught to weld like this with a mig in the field as expert certified welders.

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Bill 52 8n

05-24-2003 21:00:43

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 Re: Re: Re: mig contact tips melting in reply to JohnDeere6322, 05-23-2003 22:35:31  
I was taught to push instead of pull at school. It gives you a much flatter, smoother bead appearance. The only times that I melted tips off was when I was setting up to do spray arc and had too many volts and not enough wirespeed.


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05-23-2003 11:42:32

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 Re: mig contact tips melting in reply to derf, 05-22-2003 19:50:00  
Hi derf,

I can honestly say I've never seen a melted contact tip in 40yrs of welding. You can stick the wire to the tip if your too close to the molten puddle that will require tip replacement most of the time, 99%.

The tip can be ground off and be reused when this happens. Only when working for my self, chuck them if working for someone as it's cheaper than labor.

Forget recomended wire speed settings. Use the chart to set the voltage then on a scrap piece while holding the tip about 1/4" to 3/8" away and a "steady" distance, start an arc then adjust wire speed to sound just like bacon frying. This allows for any tip, liner or roll slipage and is the most accurate method.

I like my tip even with the cup end but a tip thats extended upto 1/4" past cup end also works well for some applications. Too far out then you can cause porosity with-in the weld with tip life being short.


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05-23-2003 06:37:22

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 Re: mig contact tips melting in reply to derf, 05-22-2003 19:50:00  
You should find it very hard to melt a contact tip with a home sized welder. In fact if your settings are right it’s hard to “melt” a tip even at 500-600 amps. That said there are many sizes of tips for different amperage ranges. It is possible that your voltage is set too high. This would explain why it helps to speed up you wire feed rate. Remember also that the chart on your welder is just a guide line. Everyone welds a little different. How fast your move, what angle you hold the mig gun and your wire stick out will affect the actual welder settings that work best for you. Here are a couple of things to check. Is the contact tip protruding past the end of the nozzle? If so it should not for most applications. Don't let the tip touch the weld puddle. Are you using the correct size tip for the wire? Make sure that all connections are tight such as contact tip, diffuser, conductor tube, rear plug, connections on machine and your ground. Also check to make sure that the wire is feeding smoothly. Try not to kink the cablehoz or have it in a tight loop. Aluminum is bad about melting tips when you stub them out, but mild steel usually only sticks the wire to the tip. To break this loose just grab the ball with a pair of needle nose pliers and pop it loose. You should get a lot of usage out of a contact tip. Good luck.

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