Did you know that we've been welding metal for thousands of years? The earliest welding was done with bronze, but the technique has developed to cover a range of different metals. One of the most challenging metals to weld is aluminum, but what makes aluminum welding so different? Read on to learn more.
What Makes Aluminum Welding So Difficult?
Welding aluminum is different from other forms of welding, and the most obvious difference is that it's a lot more challenging. If you want to know how to weld aluminum properly, you need to understand what makes welding aluminum so difficult.
Porosity is a major issue when welding aluminum. During welding, both the aluminum and the filler become liquid absorb hydrogen. As the metal cools, this hydrogen can form bubbles that are trapped inside the metal, leading to high porosity.
Unlike steel, the presence of hydrogen alone won't cause the weld to crack. However, cracking can occur at the temperatures involved. The best way to avoid this issue is to make sure you use the right filler.
Aluminum has high thermal conductivity. That means that the heat you apply to the weld can quickly spread to other parts of the metal, meaning the weld itself isn't hot enough. To counter this, you should opt for higher temperatures so that the weld will penetrate. The Types of Welding Used for Aluminum There are multiple different methods that can be used to weld aluminum. These are some of the most common.
Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG welding aluminum is a good choice because it doesn't require mechanical wire feeding; you can feed the wire by hand. This method produces a nice clean weld.
Metal Inert Gas or MIG welding aluminum is another good option. This method users a mechanical wire feeding system rather than manual feeding but generally has higher deposit rates. There can be some small metal beads left behind but for experienced welders, this can offer a good clean result.
Arc welding is the most commonly known of all welding methods. It's cost-effective, but it needs an experienced welder to get the job done right. Mistakes can soon remove any cost benefits.
Resistance welding is possible with aluminum, but it is challenging due to the thermal conductivity issues discussed above. You will need to use specialized equipment if you're planning to use resistance welding for aluminum. Are You Looking for a Certified Welder for Aluminum Welding? As you can see, aluminum welding is a lot more challenging than welding other materials. If you're looking for a certified welder to tackle your aluminum welding needs, then we're here to help. We're a one-stop shop offering construction, repair, portable services, and welding services in Edmonton, Drayton Valley, and beyond. We have a wealth of experience and multiple certifications so you can be sure you're always getting high-quality work. Contact us today to see how we can help you.