Last Updated on January 8, 2022 by Luis Ferency
Aluminum welding is very much rigorous than steel welding because of the difference in the characteristics of both metals. Steel is different from aluminum because aluminum melts at almost 1200 levels apart from it an oxide layer is coated on aluminum and it melts at almost 3700 levels. This can create difficultly in How to weld Aluminum because if one can’t clean the layer of oxide, then the oxide of aluminum will dematerialize beneath and the oxide will combine with the aluminum forming dangerous brittle welds. The speed of conducting heat of the aluminum is also much rapid than the speed of steel carbon so it demands ecstasy amperage and quick electrode movement. After understanding these distinctions we can accommodate according to apart from it demands artistry.
How to weld Aluminum?
In this article, you will learn in detail about How to weld Aluminum with MIG, TIG & STICK.
1. MIG Welding Aluminum
To weld the aluminum having a welder of MIG you have to connect a spool gun. It is entirely a jumbled process and there will be many sparks flying around. For the best results heat the metal previously before starting the welding
The spool gun contains a wire spool itself in the gun so there’s a small distance for the wire to bowl before enrolling in the weld pool. One should have a spool gun because the wire of the aluminum is very much softer than the wire of the steel and doesn’t blaze from the machine effectively. To switch on the spool gun have a look at the settings of your welder firstly. You need to unplug the MIG Gun then plug in the Spool Gun. Usually, you will see a switch over the machine hitting that switch you can make the machine know that it has been changed.
MIG Wire to use for Aluminum
For the welding of aluminum, you need a wire of aluminum. The most famous wires of aluminum are 5554, 5356, and 4043. The category of the wire you need to weld should meet the category of aluminum, make sure that you know your composite. 5356 suggests a tensile which is good in strength although 4043 is a well-known silicon composite that provides you good control on the pool of welding and is accordant with an amplitude of base composite.
Cleaning the Metal
When you are going to weld steel of MIG you will see some of the dirt over the metal, but in the case of aluminum, you just need to clean the metal. Clean any kind of oil or other contaminants from the metal surface even there should not be an aluminum oxide layer that remains on the aluminum’s surface. You can rub a workpiece of metal with any brush of the steel wire which should be stainless.
Aluminum has very much rich conductivity as compared to steel so it uses to run at ecstasy voltage settings. You need to stir the spool gun fast with all of this heat and you must be careful not to harm or burn yourself through the metal particularly on thin aluminum. Use the technique of pushing instead to pull the bead.
Mostly MIG, aluminum welding uses clean argon or a helium/argon mix. Helium is very costly and generally has less potential than shielding gas, but you need to add this if you need more heat and want to weld thicker metals. Then you can’t use your argon and CO2 mixed and CO2 gas cylinder for MIG aluminum welding because the aluminum will oxidize by CO2.
2. TIG Aluminum welding
TIG aluminum welding is one of the popular methods that is mostly associated with welding TIG closely. TIG aluminum welding is the most difficult learning process in welding, it is harder to operate the arc. If you have just started to learn to weld you should learn the welding of the TIG steel to help you to get a hang of TIG. But don’t about to start learning it.
A current of AC
One of the most important things you should remember before welding TIG aluminum is that you should use an alternating current. AC is used to break the oxide layer that usually lay on the aluminum. DC will not pass from the oxide layer and will not dismiss your weld. Technically you can weld through DC but you will be in trouble because the oxide will not break.
Some welders of TIG used to have a Square Wave while they are welding that is used for the cleaning of the metal. But still, you should clean the metal carefully. You should do anything or everything to save your weld from damage due to the oxide layer. Use a brush made of wire to break the oxide layer and use solvents for the removal of the grease before welding the TIG.
You should know the aluminum grade before choosing a rode filler. 4043 rods will be the best to use for welding.
To make your task easier the aluminum should be preheated which you are going to weld. You will get a better start.
3. Stick Aluminum Welding
How to weld aluminum for MIG, TIG, and Stick. One of its answers is here. You can weld a stick aluminum but this is messier and Stick welding is not that clean. Again, the aluminum is heated before welding it and the metal surface should be clean also with the help of a clean steel brush.
Rods of Electrodes
Take electrodes to stick that is designed to weld stick aluminum for example 4043s. Different kinds of rods work differently but 4043s rods are mostly used for this purpose. You should be sure that the place where you are working is ventilated enough because these rods make a lot of smoke.
The electrodes burn out very quickly and produce a lot of noise so you have to move it fast around the joint. Once it is done you have to spend time in the chipping and need to clean the weld.
Methods of welding the aluminum for MIG, TIG, and Stick are almost the same. You just need to be care full while welding because it takes your full attention. 4043 is the best rod to use. Use a steel brush for cleaning the aluminum surface. Because cleaning the aluminum surface is important before welding. Preheating of aluminum makes the task easy. Prefer to work at a ventilated place as rods make smoke. So, here is the answer to how to weld aluminum for MIG, TIG, and Stick.
Terje Chuck from Dallas, TX has welding experience of 30+ years. He believes in providing quality metal products while keeping the work environment safe and clean. He is one of our biggest resources that is skilled at interpreting blueprints to assemble them in a structure as per specifications.