Differences Between Aluminum & Stainless Steel Welding in Alberta
July 17, 2015 by Advantage Manufacturing
As one of the few welding shops in Edmonton and Calgary that do both, we strive to stay at the forefront of changing technologies and the needs of our clients.
Today, applications for aluminum welding are growing because of the metal’s cost effectiveness, lightweight abilities and strength. The problem for this industry is that there still are very few aluminum welding and fabrication experts in Alberta who are trained to weld it properly.
This is where Advantage Manufacturing Ltd shines. Our shop is dually certified in Edmonton and surrounding areas to do aluminum welding and steel fabrication according to CSA standards. We understand the differences between these two materials and will work with you to provide recommendations based on the scope of your project. Most importantly, we have a mobile unit that can work independently of our 7,200 square-foot steel and aluminum fabrication shop.
Which Metal Do You Need For Your Industrial Project?
What is it? A low-density metal made mainly from bauxite ore and other alloys.
Where to use it? Used in varied industries for construction, building, drill sites, mining, trucks and machinery.
Advantages: Strong, lightweight and resistant to corrosion; recyclable without losing its strength or performance capabilities.
What is it? A steel alloy distinguished from carbon steel by its high levels of chromium.
Where to use it? Commonly used in the petrochemical industry, forestry (saw blades), gas and oil extraction, mining and construction.
Advantages: Superior aesthetics and hardness; resists corrosion, rust and staining. These qualities are especially important in the petrochemical industry, where contamination from corrosion is dangerous.
What Are the Differences When It Comes to Welding?
Aluminum is a better conductor of heat than steel. It is also softer and easier to form. When feeding spooled aluminum wire into a metal-inert gas weld, the welder has to be skilled in setting up a feeding system. Specially developed equipment for handling the wire has to be chosen—unlike steel wire feed systems, aluminum spool “brakes” need to be made of nylon in order to prevent the feed wire from being abraded. Aluminum also requires a greater degree of pretreatment before a weld.
Steel is typically less tricky to work with; however, an expert is still required to do an industrial job correctly. Stainless shrinks less upon solidification than aluminum, and expands less when heated. Steel can be welded by oxy-acetylene torch or MIG welding practices.
For guidance on which type of metal you need for your industrial projects, contact us today! We can also provide you with more information about our custom and portable stainless steel and aluminum welding services in Calgary, Edmonton and throughout Central and Northern Alberta.