Question from the customer
It's a pain to change out the electrodes, so sometimes we end up using them even past the recommended number of connections. What kinds of problems might this cause?
Answer from the engineer
When electrodes are used beyond their recommended number of splices, silica deposits accumulate on the electrode tips. The silica is an insulator and can affect the arc direction. Together these changes create arc instability which can increase splice loss. Some workers try to remove the silica deposits with sandpaper or other abrasive materials. But this risks changes the shape of the electrode tip, which again can lead to further instability of the arc.