Tips for Welding Aluminum
When it comes to welding, aluminum can be a challenging material to work with. This is especially true if you are an inexperienced welder or have never worked with the material before. As a leading provider of fabrication and welding services, the team at LWS Manufacturing & Welding knows how difficult aluminum can be to weld. That is why we have compiled a list of tips for welding aluminum to help you minimize the risk of mistakes or injuries while increasing the quality of each weld.
4 Tips to Safely Weld Aluminum
To ensure optimal quality and safety when welding aluminum, consider the following tips:
1. Understand the Qualities of Aluminum
Aluminum is a chemical element that has a much lower density than other common metals. For example, it has roughly one third of the density of steel. Due to this lower density, aluminum has much higher thermal conductivity than iron and steel. This means that heat will spread faster when welding, so you will need to weld at a faster speed when using TIG welding techniques.
2. Use a Wire Brush
Aluminum has an oxide layer that can make it more difficult to weld. That is why a wire brush is a must-have tool for welding aluminum. By using a wire brush, you can ensure that the surface of your aluminum products are as clean as they can be without damaging them. Using a copper or brass brush will provide the best results as they can break down and remove the oxide layer from the metal. It is best to avoid steel brushes as this material can contaminate aluminum and render it unusable.
3. Keep Everything Clean
Aluminum is extremely sensitive to impurities in your filler rods or work area. To ensure optimal results, it is strongly recommended to clean your filler rods with acetone or alcohol even if they are brand new. Your work area should also be completely clean and free of metal shavings from previous projects as these materials can increase the chance of burn marks.
4. Monitor the Angle of Your Weld
Once all preparation and cleaning has been completed, it is time to weld. In addition to ensuring that your welding settings are correct (gas flow, etc.), it is crucial to ensure that you are holding your torch at a 90° angle. While a slight tilt is acceptable for some materials, it can lead to a balled-up filler rod when welding aluminum.
To learn more about welding aluminum or to inquire about our metal services, get in touch with the team at LWS Manufacturing & Welding. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services or the details of your project.