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Old 01-14-2017, 07:45 AM
Rufus Rufus is offline
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Default Welding cable

Hi all:
Sometime today I will be ordering 4 (four) 150 amp diodes to convert the Miller Thunderbolt over to a DC machine. I have about 10 feet of welding cable that I bought years ago and the closest I can tell it is 5/16 to 3/8 inch in diameter. Any idea as to the current handling capability this cable might have? I was hoping to A) make a reactor coil out of it and B) maybe use it to lengthen the welding leads on the machine. The cable on the machine is thicker than this cable and I noticed that my Power Arc 4000's welding cables are the same diameter as this roll of 10 feet of cable. The max that the Power Arc 4000 puts out is 125 amps AC. Any idea of current handling capability?

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Tim
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:58 AM
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Cable sizes are:
00 = .3648 is 283 amp
000 - .4096 is 328 amp

When electricity flows through a wire, it mostly flows on the surface of the wire, not through the middle. Which is why the welding cable is multi strand as well as giving it flexibility.
This is AWG standard info and for DC, but not welding cable specifically, which could carry even more. I think you will be fine with it.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:02 AM
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Here are some cable dimensions and amperages.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:16 AM
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Here are some cable dimensions and amperages.
If the welding cable I have is 4 gauge then it should be able to carry 180 amps, that is if I am reading the chart correctly.

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Tim
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:29 AM
Rufus Rufus is offline
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I just checked on a website that had my cable drawn to scale and the cable I have is 4 gauge so it will carry 180 amps.

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Tim
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:30 AM
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If the welding cable I have is 4 gauge then it should be able to carry 180 amps, that is if I am reading the chart correctly.

Thanks
Tim
At 30% duty cycle
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:10 AM
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At 30% duty cycle
True, but I wont be exceeding the duty cycle With cleaning the weld just laid down, and doing other things I wont exceed it.

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Tim
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:52 AM
Lew Hartswick Lew Hartswick is offline
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Originally Posted by Ironman View Post

When electricity flows through a wire, it mostly flows on the surface of the wire, not through the middle. Which is why the welding cable is multi strand as well as giving it flexibility..
This is NOT true unless the frequency of the AC is well above any power line in the world. Skin effect does not become significant until you get above the 100s of Kilohertz. I'm not sure at what freq. it even becomes measurable but would guess it's well above 10 KHz. To top it off the skin effect would not see the individual strands anyway, it would see only the overall diameter of the cable.
...lew...
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:45 AM
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This is NOT true unless the frequency of the AC is well above any power line in the world. Skin effect does not become significant until you get above the 100s of Kilohertz. I'm not sure at what freq. it even becomes measurable but would guess it's well above 10 KHz. To top it off the skin effect would not see the individual strands anyway, it would see only the overall diameter of the cable.
...lew...
This is based on Tesla's findings. If I am not mistaken, the old High Frequency Tig Welders are based on Tesla's principles. I do know that In a lot of old HF tig welders there is a spark gap in which a spark jumps across the gap and in turn fires a Hf transformer (if I am wrong, please feel free to correct me).

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Tim
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Old 01-14-2017, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
Cable sizes are:
00 = .3648 is 283 amp
000 - .4096 is 328 amp

When electricity flows through a wire, it mostly flows on the surface of the wire, not through the middle. Which is why the welding cable is multi strand as well as giving it flexibility.
This is AWG standard info and for DC, but not welding cable specifically, which could carry even more. I think you will be fine with it.
Gerry that effect is called skin effect and only applies to ac current it is frequency dependent and really has little effect at the frequency's we use for power transmission and welding
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