Aluminium is one of the most abundant metals on the planet, comprising about 8% of the Earth’s crust. However, it is found combined with other minerals such as bauxite and cryolite. When extracted from its compound state, pure aluminium is produced and utilized for various purposes.
In the field of fabrication, which involves binding metal together, it is good to keep in mind these tips for the best aluminium welding results.
Get to Know Your Metal
Understanding the nature of aluminium will give you an idea of how to handle it correctly.
This metal appears to be pale silver and is lightweight yet very durable. It is resistant to corrosion and is non-toxic. It is a good conductor of heat; therefore, it can easily be welded because of its porous nature. You can note that its melting point is 660.3 °C.
Clean Your Metals and Work Area
It is essential in aluminium welding applications to brush the surface of your metal with a brass or copper bristle brush. Make sure not to use a steel bristle brush to avoid tainting your material.
The process of copper wire brushing removes the oxide layer on the aluminium. Try brushing your workpiece using a single direction until the metal turns dull. This is a sign that the oxide layer has been taken off.
Wiping your workpiece and filler rods using denatured alcohol or acetone will rid them of impurities.
Ensure that your work area is free from any metal scraps or shavings before starting the welding process to avoid compromising the quality of your finished product.
Follow Precautionary and Safety Protocols
You must work in a well-ventilated environment, so you do not ingest any harmful fumes.
As a precaution, place your machine in a stable and dry area to prevent electric shock.
Before starting on any project, wear protective gear for your face and body to avoid any risk of burning.
Torching Position and Machine Settings
In TIG (Tungsten Insert Gas) welding, where a filler rod is melted and becomes part of a metal puddle, you want to ensure that the rod is fed fast while keeping the angle of your torch at 90 degrees during the process.
Another critical tip is to use the correct settings for your aluminium welding applications. Preset the amperage of your machine, adjust the distance of your tungsten wire from the ceramic cup, and make sure to use the right cup size for your project.
Practice is Key
What makes TIG welding unique is your ability to control the heat of your torch during the process. So start practising with scrap metal and modify your settings as you see fit.
TIG is a technique focused on detail; therefore, practice is required while keeping helpful tips for the best aluminium welding results.
In the long run, it is a skill worth honing since TIG welding is a good choice for most metals including aluminium.