Suspended Spot Welding is one method of welding that many people do not realize exists. A few different things make it unique though. Most importantly though it can be done outside. This makes it very convenient if you are working outside and need to have an indoor welding facility. It is important that you understand all of the differences though so you can choose the best type of this technology for you and your welding needs.
The basic difference between a stand and suspended Welding equipment is where the arc or torch is located. The stand welder welds by placement of a welding rod directly into an aluminum piece of material and a filler wire is held between the rod tip and the tip of your welding equipment. This type of welding electrodes is known as tip dresser welding electrodes because the tip is completely covered by the metal being welded. In a suspended Welding setup the same electrodes are used but instead of being tip dresser they are placed into an aluminum container that is filled with a fuel, usually sulfur dioxide, or other fuel type material.
Both types of setup look almost the same and they both get their power supply from a similar type of electrical generator. The only real difference you will notice is that the tip dresser has its electrodes in a separate container. This is to prevent the possibility of a spark igniting the gas and cause a fire. On the other hand a stand mounted gun will have the electrodes mounted to the platform itself. The electrical generators used are often powered by small batteries that have been charged through an electrical outlet.
There are plenty of places that you can purchase Suspended Spot Welding equipment from. Most welding machines stores will carry both types of welded electrodes and tips. You may also be able to find them online if you search around a bit. One thing that you will want to be careful about when purchasing Suspended Spot Welding equipment is making sure that the welders that you are considering are actually blueprints or drawings of genuine welded tips and dresses. Some welders who sell this type of welding equipment may try to sell you something that is not actually what they say it is.
One of the most popular welded tip dresser setups used on welding guns are called the cupcake welders. The cupcake setup consists of a welding gun with a cupcake holder that is connected to a welding generator. What happens is the tip of a regular welding gun, the cupcake holder and the welding generator are all connected to one piece of steel tubing. When you press the trigger the steel tip of your gun will hit the steel tip of the cupcake holder and this will heat up the cupcake which creates a weld. If you want to do a little more than simply heat up a cupcake, you can use a direct feed filler gun that will give you a nice clean weld without having to mess with the cupcake holder.
One drawback to using the cupcake tip dresser is that it tends to not heat up very fast. A regular welding process will continue at a fairly constant temperature until you have completed the entire weld. Since this type of welding equipment has a cupcake holder and generator, it will not heat up fast enough to complete the entire welding process. It is for this reason that many companies use this type of welding equipment in lieu of a full-scale dedicated tip dresser.