There are many factors that could cause a decrease in the life of your contact tips, or the life of consumables in general. The following are several things to consider that may affect tip life:

  • If the drive rolls are too tight they may cause scoring or reshaping of the welding wire which may cause undesired wear in the tip.
  • Rusty or dirty weld wire may also cause uneven wear in the tip. Chemicals can produce unwanted reactions with the weld wire or tip metal.
  • Too much cast in the wire will result in too much contact and friction with the inside of the tip, and in turn will cause undesired wear.
  • Using a tip with a hole that is too small for the wire can result in the wire getting stuck as well as too much wear in the tip.
  • Using a contact tip outside its amperage range can cause the copper to break down, wear unevenly or too quickly, or even melt/burn away.
  • A loose tip in the front of the gun will move around and wear to fast from the wire moving through it.
  • Running a torch past its recommended duty cycle could cause the tip to heat up too much and break down.
  • If the wire stick-out is too short putting the tip too close to the weld, the tip might heat up too quickly and possibly break down. If it is too far it may wander outside the tip before it gets to the weld puddle causing unneeded wear on the end of the tip.