The welding fabrication industry has a lot of different metals. However, aluminum has been the most prevalent metal in the welding industry. It got used first in welding fabrication during the 19th century.
Right now, aluminum is an essential metal in the welding industry. It can get welded into different kinds of structures such as cans and automotive equipment. However, there are various ways of welding aluminum, and one of the best ways to do it is by using a stick welder.
If you are looking for ways to weld aluminum and settle with stick welding as one of the methods, you should learn it. Here are some of the steps you need to take.
# Table of Contents
Understanding the properties of aluminum:
Some features make aluminum a perfect metal for welding. Without some of these properties, aluminum cannot weld properly with other metal types. First, it is soft and light in weight to make it easy to join with other metals.
Another great property of aluminum is that it does not corrode easily. Also, aluminum has a low melting temperature, which makes welding it appropriate. Also, it has high thermal conductivity and good electrical conductivity.
Preparing aluminum for stick welding:
It is essential to make sure aluminum is clean before you begin welding. Most of what you need to get rid of are the rust that gathers on the aluminum surface you are looking to weld. Remember, aluminum quickly forms a thin layer of rust when it gets in touch with oxygen.
The best thing to do is to prevent the initial formation of this layer. When prevention has not succeeded, you should get rid of it as part of the preparation you should undertake before you begin welding. You can use sandpaper or a sharp tool to remove the formed layer.
Using a stick welder on aluminum:
Previously, aluminum welding used to be possible only using TIG welding. However, as technology advances, now there are more ways in which welders can weld aluminum. The two most common methods are MIG welding and stick welding.
However, aluminum welding is the one that has grown so much in popularity. Therefore, many welders nowadays prefer stick welding as a way to join together two aluminum rods or aluminum to other metals. It is essential to know some essentials of stick welding.
Basics of welding aluminum using stick welders:
Mostly, welders prefer stick welding for the most complicated welding tasks. Here are some of the basic things you should learn about stick welding before using it;
- It is one of the types of metal welding that use an arc to melt the metals. Therefore, it is this melting that causes the surfaces to join.
- Experts recommend the use of aluminum-coated electrodes when using the stick welding method.
- The metal mixes with a filler when you are using a coated electrode. That is what causes it to join at that point.
- Stick welding is one of the fastest ways that you can use and among the best because the arc does not get into much contact with the metal.
- The type of electrodes is essential because they determine their polarity and current settings.
- Stick welding employs the use of a flux coated electrode that can get used along with DC reverse polarity.
- The flux coating is what mitigates aluminum oxide and also prevents other gases from getting into contact with the metal and arc.
- The arc requires protection from the environment, and the flux is what makes that possible. Some of it vaporizes to form shielding gases that serve this function.
Aluminum Vs. steel welding
There are lots of differences you can note when welding these two different kinds of metals separately. For example, you expect a change in color when welding steel, which does not happen with aluminum. Usually, steel changes its color to a dull-red one.
However, the color changes do not occur in aluminum because its welding process does not go beyond the melting point. Also, aluminum weld strength can get affected when it interacts with oxygen during welding. That's due to the formation of aluminum oxide that absorbs moisture.
Therefore, these changes in an aluminum can be visible once you finish welding the metal. Meaning, steel can form more robust welds than aluminum.
Aluminum welding is one of the most challenging tasks you can handle. That is because of its low melting point, meaning a small application of heat can mess up your welding process. However, if you set your temperatures right, welding aluminum can be more straightforward.
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How hot is a welding arc?
Welding arcs usually have a temperature that ranges from 3000 to 20000 degrees Celsius.
How to make a tIG welder from an arc welder?
You can use two ways depending on the type of current. If using AC, you need a high-frequency unit, while for AC/DC, you only need a TYIG torch with a gas valve and shielding gas.
How many watts does a welding machine use?
Welding machines use different wattages depending on their settings. However, the maximum amount of power a welding machine can use is 20KVa at its highest settings.
What polarity do you need to stick weld aluminum?
When using stick welding, you need a flux coated electrode that requires the use of DC reverse polarity to make welding possible.
Can you weld aluminum with DC?
Yes. It is advisable to use DC, especially when welding thick aluminum. DC penetrates better, causing the resulting weld to be strong than when using an AC.
Is AC or DC better for welding?
Generally, DC is a better current for welding. DC results in smoother welds compared to AC.
Last Updated on May 25, 2021 by weldinghubs