Image Number 3 for United States Patent #6257517.
A welding wire feeding system feeds welding wire from a barrel to a welding gun. The system includes a feed mechanism for drawing welding wire from the barrel and advancing the welding wire toward the welding gun. A free-wheeling wheel is disposed between the barrel and the feed mechanism and is freely rotatable about an axis. The welding wire is wound around the wheel, whereby a curvature is imparted to an otherwise-straight welding wire. Also, any twists generated in the welding wire at the welding gun will be stopped at the wheel before reaching and fouling the barrel.