Welding contact tips are highly misunderstood components in a MIG gun setup. Choosing the correct contact tip for your welding application and understanding how to keep it performing at its best are just as critical as anything else needed to produce a quality weld.
Usually when I'm meeting with a Foreman or Production Manager and get a chance to talk first hand to his or her welders, one of the most common topics that come up is their contact tips. The problem: they have to change them too much. This kills productivity for the shop, takes a big bite out of cost, and generally just creates a less efficient atmosphere for the welder to work in.
So why are your contact tips not lasting? And what are the problems that cause the contact tips to fail? How do you prevent them? I'm going to go through below the 3 most common contact tip problems I run across on a day to day basis, and how typically you can overcome those problems.