Dross Problems on 16ga Stainless

I have tried and tried to reduce the dross on 16 ga. Stainless and ready to throw in the towel unless someone has some cut parameters they want to share.

I have:
RW45 w/45X and new Consumables
Air Drier w/electric water purge installed on air compressor so I know its dry

I have tried every IPM in 10ipm increments from 30 up to 150 and amps from 30-45 in 5A steps in all the IPM combinations.

The dross is probably the least at 40A and 120ipm with the RW45 gauge showing 60psi while cutting but the amall 1/4" holes are not close to round where the pierce point is as well as excessive dross in all pierce locations.

While using the search for a topic that may answer some of my problems I read someone suggested Argon not Air. Is this possibly a solution?

No you use nitrogen for cutting stainless. 16 gauge stainless should work at 30 amps and 85 ipm. Also you have to remember the cutting tip for the X45 is a 1.0mm/50 amp tip with a .040 orifice hole in it. Your not going to get really fine cuts with it.

It was Nitrogen that I read, not sure why I typed Argon.

Was thinking that it might possibly be the tip size and as luck would have it I JUST made my Paypal payment for the new Machine torch from George.

I will hold off any stainless cutting until my new torch gets here, install the 30 tip, and I get myself a bottle of Nitrogen.

Thanks for all your patience and help George!!

Just remember that a BIG bottle of nitrogen will not last long at that psi and flow rate for that plasma cutter. So keep the SS projects to a minimum or keep a few bottles on hand.

Good Advice Thank You!

Does everybody use Nitrogen when cutting SS? What are the advantages of using Nitrogen rather than air? Going to use Nitrogen regardless on Georges recommendation just curious what it is going to do for me?

Nitrogen leaves a cleaner edge. Air leaves a black rough edge that has to be sanded off.

Not to mention cruds up your Fluid in the water table with the same black junk.

No. I use regular shop air. It’s a little more cleanup but not terribly difficult. The black deposits in the water settle out in the tank and I just toss it. No biggie. It does require TIG to weld well.

I have been practicing with stainless using air and I have the black crud your referring to in the water table. I am new to this and did not know what to expect but now realize what is causing the water to look like it is. thanks for all the replies!

Stainless can be welded with Mig. You just need stainless wire and Tri-mix gas.
It’s a bigger pain in the butt unless you do a lot of it, Tig is the better answer for little one offs.

1 Like

Don’t you need a spool gun too? When I was looking at it originally, it seemed I’d be spending as much getting my Mig up to snuff as just buying a Tig unit & I could do everything with that (just a little slower) that I could do with Mig as well.

No need of a spool gun. SS wire feeds just fine through a regular gun. Also, can use 98Ar/2CO2 instead of trimix. Still, TIG is by far the better option, if only because the MIG oxide/scale is such a hassle to remove.

1 Like

I’d also consider your skills and experience when you think about welding. If you can mug, but haven’t used tig, then you’d convert your mic for stainless. In my experience, tig is a difficult skill to learn so simply buying a tig machine may not necessarily be the best solution.

Trimix cuts down on the discoloration and scale on SS. In some cases you may not even need to pickle it after.

What exactly is that and why?

Just realized you were probably referring to welding which this thread has somehow turned into and not my original post of dross from plasma cutting.

Pickle is a type of acid used to restore the corrosion resistance to stainless after it has been welded. I guess you could do it on the Plasma cut edges. But for the most part you’re grinding or mechanically removing the scale (dross), black soot from the cut edge. So really no need for the added costs and clenaup.

Sorry to drag the thread the other direction. There just seems to be some misconceptions that Stainless is black magic to work with. Trying to spread the love. (watch out if you drill , mill, or turn it those ribbons are wicked sharp and will send you to the plant nurse (or your mommy) in a hurry!)

1 Like