A new welding cable prototype, similar to a design by Watteredge-Uniflex Inc., contains six 30 AWG braided copper strands. The strands are of herringbone rope construction and have a non-conductive EPDM rubber star separator to maintain strand positioning and to equally distribute cooling water through the cable. The cable has a low inductive reactance to minimize operating temperatures and wear.
Transient and steady state heat transfer was analyzed in a prototype cable using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) combined with Computer Aided Drafting (CAD). The analysis numerically determined catastrophic failure times after sudden loss of coolant and developed a computer simulation model for future parametric studies. The FEA model is generated with eight node quadrilateral elements, and the analysis includes internal heat generation rates due to temperature dependent resistance in the copper strands. The FEA results are presented with a discussion of the mesh generation and analysis software.