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Build-up on Drive Rolls

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  • Build-up on Drive Rolls


    I've recently started working as a "Weld Tech" for a company that manufactures electrical motor housings using mainly automated processes. (A weld tech is a support role that assists operators with weld issues and services the non-electrical components in the welding machines.) I'd previously worked as a production GMAW welder for about 4 years.

    Shortly after starting, I was called to assist with some wire feed issues that were causing poor welds. Upon inspecting the drive rolls, I noticed a dark red, almost clay-like "gunk" in the groove of the wheel. It was also present in the torch liner and really any place it could build up. This was not something I had seen before, and the old tech/ my trainer said they'd also not seen that before and suspected that it may be that the spool was somehow contaminated with some unknown chemical at some point. I accepted this, being new to the shop and doing my best not to step on toes.

    However, since then I have noticed this same gunk on nearly every feeder that uses the same wire. Within a few days of cleaning the drive rolls the build-up is back and causing issues.

    We use #1000 spools that do not have a cardboard wrapper, and the current method of feeding prevents the use of any such shroud/jacket/cover. We also use the lube pad/cleaners that clip to the wire, which quickly collect a lot of this stuff.

    I know the wire itself is the problem. It is not "name brand" i.e. Lincoln or Hobart, and likely the cheapest wire available. I have talked to our supplier about alternatives, but these spools are the only option we have right now. I am not exactly in a position to push for other suppliers or more expensive options.

    Does anyone have ideas for mitigating or removing the build-up?

  • #2
    I have seen that gunk in the rolls and the liners for 40 years. But every place I worked used the cheapest wire also...Bob
    Bob Wright

    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.