Aluminum Welding In Tampa
Welding aluminum pieces often presents a series of unique challenges even for seasoned welders. Compared to welding common materials like steel, aluminum presents a series of challenges such as its proclivity to cracking and some of the chemistry that involves welding too. Welding aluminum often requires a series of special procedures and it’s important to consider these factors when you are choosing a professional for your aluminum welding in Tampa. Some of the top factors that any aluminum welder will need to take into consideration are choosing the right filler, the proper storage, and cleaning of the base material, and then using proper welding techniques throughout manufacturing. Here are some of the most common challenges that we see in using proper welding techniques and best practices used to solve welding aluminum problems.
Using the proper technique for welding aluminum is essential. The chemistry needs to be right and any severe reduction of hydrocarbons. As the melting point of aluminum is much lower than other steels and alloys, the welding process needs to be different as well. Aluminum will melt at 1221°F versus the 2500° that’s required to melt steel. Aluminum also has an oxide layer that can melt at 3700°. Aluminum is a high-strength material and its overall strength can increase as the service temperature decreases which is the opposite of steel. Aluminum is commonly used in cold temperature applications for this reason.
The Main Challenges Of Welding Aluminum
Various characteristics of aluminum present themselves in the early welding process. There are thermal conductivity issues as well as problems with porosity that can come up quickly and welding aluminum. Hydrogen is also very soluble in liquid aluminum. During the welding process, hydrogen can sometimes be absorbed into the molten materials and form bubbles that lead to porosity in the metal. Using a shielding gas mixture of helium and argon can fix a variety of these porosity issues the voltage must also be increased to overcome higher ionization potential in these gases. These types of processes are extremely common in welding thick aluminum base materials. Aluminum is also much more thermally conductive than steel. It has five times the thermal conductivity and this makes the cool areas of the base susceptible to pulling heat away from the welding pool. With this occurring, is often a lack of penetration in the weld and a low strength weld. Aluminum often requires a much higher heat output to maintain the penetration of the weld.
Proper Filler Metal
Using a selection chart for filler when welding aluminum will help to determine which filler suits a project. Every combination of aluminum has a recommended filler metal option depending on the type of weld in the application. Through an analysis of the and components, it’s possible to determine the main properties that a filler metal should have on the selection chart. A welder can quickly eliminate various filler metals based on their operating temperatures, strength tolerances, color matches, and more.
Technique Practices With Aluminum
As well as choosing the proper filler materials and chemistry there are also some changes in the practices of welding. Welders will not typically as they would with steel when welding aluminum, the bead is usually stringy or and there needs to be a faster travel speed to maintain penetration and stay in front of the puddle of filler. Thorough cleaning also needs to take place on the base material as any residue, oil or dirt could lead to porosity issues. Usually, Welders will clean down the surface with acetone or and aluminum cleaner on the metal surface. Cleaning the joints with compressed air will often lead to contamination so manual cleaning is best. Using a stainless steel brush is also essential for cleaning up welds. This will work at removing oxide layers during welding will ensure that they won’t hold moisture and damage the weld later on. If you would be interested in custom aluminum welding in Tampa, contact us today to learn more.