What Are The Common Methods In Welding Stainless Steel?

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The thickness, finish, and intended application of the finished product all affect the stainless steel welding process. There are several techniques for joining stainless steel, but there are three most widely utilized by American welders. TIG, MIG, and resistance welding are these techniques for welding stainless steel.

Why is it difficult to weld stainless steel?

Compared to other metals, stainless steel has a substantially higher thermal conductivity, meaning that proper welding requires more heat input. This can lead to material distortion and warping and makes controlling the welding process more challenging. Chromium is present in stainless steel and can react to form chromium carbides when it comes into contact with the carbon in the welding electrode. It may be difficult to identify and stop the brittleness and cracking of the stainless steel that results from this process. Since stainless steel is more likely than other metals to corrode, any welds need to be properly cleaned and protected to prevent contamination or pollution. Because stainless steel is expensive, errors or rework may be expensive and time-consuming. 

Gas Tungsten arc welding/TIG welding

It is the most widely used process because it provides excellent quality, versatility, and longevity. Because of its low heat input, this method is ideal for thin material. Depending on the requirements of the particular project, argon gas is frequently combined with gasses such as helium, nitrogen, and hydrogen. Welding process involving a single side can be used to create inert backing gas protection between the exterior and interior welds, preventing oxidation and increasing resistance to corrosion. 

Resistance or spot welding

One of the least expensive forms of welding is resistance welding, or “spot” welding as it is commonly known. Because of its extreme versatility, resistance welding (RW) equipment can be used for a wide range of projects, from small to large. RW seals frayed metal edges together by heating them with an electrical current. Because it can be adjusted to avoid distorting the metal, this kind of welding is very effective when used on low melting point metal. 

Gas metal welding or MIG welding

When performed correctly, MIG welding, a semi-automated process, provides a strong joining of two stainless steel pieces. Solid wire electrode and argon-rich shielding gas are used in this process. Because MIG welding enables the use of a pulsed current supply, it is popular among welders who want to tackle difficult-to-reach areas on intricate stainless steel projects. To stabilize the arc and enhance the quality of the weld, various gas mixtures are frequently used, such as those containing carbon dioxide, helium, and oxygen.

Choosing the right method

What qualities you’re looking for will ultimately determine which stainless steel welding technique is best for you. Spot welding might be your best bet if you’re looking for a less expensive weld. But TIG, or gas tungsten arc welding, might be a better option if the material we’re working with is thin.

The team of welding and metal fabrication  experts at GLW Engineering will assess the materials, capabilities, and desired finishing style for each project to determine which welding method is best suited for the job.

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