Air-Cooled Versus Water-Cooled Torches

Oct 11, 2023

Here we look at the differences between a water-cooled and air-cooled welding torch. Understanding what each is and the benefits it could offer will provide you with a higher quality product and more productive line.

Robotic welding torch

Choos­ing Between Air-Cooled and Water-Cooled Robot Weld­ing Torch­es: A Com­pre­hen­sive Guide

Won­der­ing what the key dif­fer­ences are between an air-cooled and water-cooled robot weld­ing torch? Do you seek guid­ance in bet­ter under­stand­ing your weld­ing process needs? Than this arti­cle is for you! For opti­mal per­for­mance and cost, it is always good to have the cor­rect torch in place and the goal of this arti­cle is to help you arrive at that place. 

Water-Cooled Welder Torch: Keep­ing Cool for Extend­ed Performance

In a water-cooled weld­ing torch, the cool­ing solu­tion comes through the hoses and cir­cu­lates through the body and con­sum­ables of the torch and then back to the cool­er where the heat is absorbed. This cools the torch off so you can weld at high­er amper­ages for longer peri­ods of time. These torch­es typ­i­cal­ly use less cop­per in their pow­er cables as the cool­ing solu­tion removes the resis­tive heat before buildup and damage. 

Water-cooled torch­es do an excep­tion­al job work­ing for long stretch­es and run­ning con­tin­u­ous­ly. This enables pro­duc­tion at high­er tem­per­a­tures and faster paces. 

Depend­ing on the amper­age load, water cooled torch­es can get back to a cooled state in 30 sec­onds- 2 min­utes because of the effi­cient exter­nal cool­ing system. 

It is impor­tant to note that water-cooled torch­es are more expen­sive as there is more equip­ment (such as a water cool­er) to purchase. 

Pop­u­lar Robots​.com Water Cooled Welder Options

Air-Cooled Welder Torch: Sim­plic­i­ty and Durability 

Air-cooled weld­ing torch­es are cooled by air; they use the ambi­ent air and shield­ing gas to dis­si­pate the heat. Thick­er cop­per cabling is used to enable the cable to trans­fer the elec­tric­i­ty to the gun with­out exces­sive heat build-up. 

These sys­tems are sim­pler and more rugged, ulti­mate­ly requir­ing less main­te­nance. If there were a col­li­sion to the sys­tem, there would be less dam­age as there is less over-all equipment. 

Pop­u­lar Robots​.com Air Cooled Welder Options

Choos­ing the Right Robot Weld­ing Torch for Your Needs

Decid­ing which is right for your busi­ness will require con­sid­er­a­tion of your amper­age require­ments, duty cycle, work site loca­tion, mate­r­i­al, gas mix­ture, and budget. 


The amp range for water-cooled torch­es is between 300600 amps. The amp range for air-cooled torch­es is between 150 – 600 amps.

Weld­ing process that require an extreme­ly high amper­age with a high duty cycle, such as repeat­ed­ly weld­ing at 800 amps, the water-cooled torch is the way to go. An air-cooled torch just wouldn’t hold up to the high amper­age stress and would even­tu­al­ly affect the qual­i­ty and con­sis­ten­cy of the welds.

On the con­trary, if your com­pa­ny will be weld­ing sheet met­al a few min­utes every hour than a water-cooled sys­tem may be unnec­es­sary. have a low duty-cycle requir­ing low-amper­age and thin­ner mate­r­i­al, than an air-cooled torch will suit your needs.

Duty Cycle:

A duty cycle is the amount of time dur­ing a 10-minute cycle that the gun can oper­ate at its rat­ed capac­i­ty with­out get­ting too hot. Typ­i­cal­ly, an air-cooled torch can per­form at a duty cycle below 50%. Any­thing above would be more suc­cess­ful with a water-cooled torch. It is also impor­tant to note that two guns both rat­ed at 400 amps can have dif­fer­ent duty cycles, so it is impor­tant to con­sid­er the amper­age and duty cycle togeth­er to form an accu­rate assessment. 

Work­site Location

Water-cooled guns require more equip­ment so they take up more space. Air-cooled guns can be used in remote loca­tions with no access to water and are more eas­i­ly trans­port­ed from site to site. 


Also know­ing the type of mate­r­i­al, you will be using is help­ful or if your your pro­duc­tion line has tight spaces (which are more eas­i­ly tack­led by a water-cooled torch). Shiny met­als such as alu­minum and thick­er met­als lend bet­ter to a water-cooled torch.

Gas Mix­ture

The gas mix­ture and puls­ing both affect the weld­ing torch as well. CO2 gas on its own can achieve full amper­age how­ev­er when it is mixed with Argon, Heli­um, or Oxy­gen, there is more amper­age capac­i­ty lost. For instance, a 7525 mix of CO2 and Argon would bring your torch from 500 amp to 400 amp in rat­ing and would con­tin­ue to change with a mix­ture change. This is also the case with puls­ing. Pulsed arc weld­ing can reduce the rat­ing of the torch by up to 35%.


Final­ly, it is impor­tant to look at the price of the weld­ing torch, main­te­nance costs, down­time costs, and over­all productivity. 

As men­tioned, there are high­er costs asso­ci­at­ed with the pur­chase of a water-cooled sys­tem as one has to pur­chase an entire sys­tem that includes a radi­a­tor, pump, hose lines, and more. There are also more exten­sive main­te­nance costs asso­ci­at­ed with the addi­tion­al equipment. 

How­ev­er, the coolant in the sys­tem also helps to extend the over­all ser­vice life of the con­sum­ables which leads to less downtime. 

Con­sid­er­ing all of these fac­tors and then choos­ing the right tool for your weld­ing process will help save you time and money.

Con­tact Robots​.com Today!

If you seek to get the most out of your robot­ic weld­ing cell for as lit­tle invest­ment as pos­si­ble con­tact Robots​.com experts today. Robots​.com experts have over 35 years of expe­ri­ence in auto­mat­ed weld­ing solu­tions. We are ready to dis­cuss your weld­ing needs to pro­vide you with an opti­mal weld­ing process. We look for­ward to work­ing with you; con­tact experts online or at 8777626881.

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