Tips for Welding Copper

Welding | June 20, 2023

Welding various materials poses unique challenges, where each element demands a distinct approach. Copper, in particular, is a tricky material known for its excellent thermal conductivity and high melting point. The experts at LWS Manufacturing & Welding have prepared some crucial tips for welding copper to help you navigate this task with greater ease and precision.

1. Choose the Right Copper

Before you begin, it is important to understand that there are different types of copper. For welding purposes, oxygen-free or low-phosphorus coppers are ideal due to their reduced risk of embrittlement.

2. Preheat Your Copper

Due to its high thermal conductivity, copper pulls in heat rapidly, making welding difficult. To mitigate this, preheating copper to around 500°F (260°C) before welding can significantly improve the process.

3. Ensure Proper Ventilation

Copper welding can release potentially harmful fumes. Make sure you have adequate ventilation and personal protection equipment to keep yourself safe when welding copper materials.

4. Use a Higher Welding Amperage

To combat copper’s high melting point, use a higher amperage than you would with other metals. Make sure your welding equipment can handle this increased output.

Learn how to prevent welding spatter.

5. Avoid Overheating

Despite the need for high amperage, overheating can lead to warping and weak joints. Control your heat input carefully and allow time for the material to cool between welds.

6. TIG Welding is Preferable

TIG (tungsten inert gas) or, more precisely, gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) tends to work better with copper because it offers better control over heat input and produces cleaner welds. If possible, opt for TIG welding when working with copper.

7. Use the Right Filler Material

When choosing a filler material, it is best to match the base copper alloy as closely as possible to avoid potential compatibility issues.

8. Cleanliness is Key

Like with any welding project, make sure your copper is clean and free of oxidation before you start. This ensures a smoother, stronger weld. When it comes to welding, a clean environment is a safe environment.

Learn some simple welding safety tips.

9. Be Patient

Copper welding requires a delicate balance of heat and speed. Practice patience and take your time to achieve the best results.

Welding copper can be challenging. If you have a project at hand and require the welding work to be completed by a professional, we can help. Fill out a contact form on our website, and the team will get back to you.