People use aluminum, a versatile metal abundant in nature, in a variety of applications, such as utensils, power tools, electronics, and vehicles due to its unique properties. However, welding requires much more finesse because it is a considerably softer and more delicate metal. Topweld, a major provider of welding services in New South Wales, often gets asked why fabricating aluminum projects is different from other metals. To educate our customers and aspiring welders, we’ve prepared an article that explains how to weld aluminum, the methods used, and how we ensure they look good. We love to post articles that discuss how we typically conduct our professional metal fabrication services in Wagga Wagga, NSW. If you are curious about what steps in welding are involved whenever we take on a certain project, consider browsing our other blogs on this website.
“Knowing what you’re working with” is “working with”
Amateur welders often mistakenly think that they can weld every metal in the same way. However, aluminum is a unique metal that requires a specific welding process due to its soft, malleable, and corrosion-resistant properties. Aluminum is often used in kitchen utensils and canned food packaging because of its non-toxic properties, but it is not very strong in its pure form, so most fabrications use alloys.
To start welding, you need various tools and materials, some of which depend on the welding method you’ll use. A welding helmet is essential to protect your skin from the sparks and hot particles produced during the welding process.
It also reduces the intensity of the light that reaches your eyes while you work. Gloves are also handy (literally) for the same purpose as a helmet.
Thicker gloves can reduce your control over the weld. This is crucial to keep in mind as we discuss TIG welding in Young, NSW. You may also need a hammer, brush, and clamp to weld the base metals together.
Finally, a metal file and a grinder are useful for polishing the weld once you finish welding the pieces together.
As mentioned before, Aluminum is a delicate metal, even as an alloy. Using the wrong welding method can disfigure the base metals and affect the appearance of the final product.ugly and crooked. It could also produce excess soot that can be difficult to completely clean off. If you want to get the best possible weld for this material, you should look at either MIG or TIG welding. Here’s the difference between the two.
- MIG Welding – uses a machine that continuously feeds a wire into a spool gun. The wire functions as both the electrode and filler metal, while the spool gun shields the pool with gas. It is a fast and easy method for welding aluminum and other metals, but requires maintaining a steady arc by adjusting the wire feed speed and voltage.The goal is a consistent transfer of filler metal onto the pool without excessive spool gun oscillation.
- TIG Welding – TIG welding is more challenging than MIG welding as it requires precision, coordination, and patience. It uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode and the welder manually feeds the filler metal into the weld pool. However, this allows for greater control and is suitable for thin aluminum and other metals like stainless steel and titanium. Experienced welders are recommended to master TIG welding for producing a finer weld. If someone is in a hurry or has limited resources, they should seek professional assistance.
PRO TIP: Make sure to brush off the layer of oxide on the base meals using a brass brush or sandpaper specifically used for metal before you start welding. Furthermore, keep the surface of both the base and filler metals clean and dry by wiping away oil and grease. Taking these steps will prevent contamination of the weld.
“To Sum It All Up” is “Sum It All Up.”
Welding is an intricate process, even more so when handling materials like aluminum. In this article, we aim to teach you about our welding services and how you can do it yourself. Thanks to advancements in technology, the cost barrier for welding is now lower, but if you need an expert hand, Topweld is here to help. Give us a call today and we’ll offer a helping hand.