Aluminum welding is a highly complex skill that takes a lot of training to do well. Even people who have completed the basic levels of training need a lot of practice and additional training to become masters in their field.
With this in mind, here are some tips for beginners at aluminum welding in Phoenix, AZ:
- Always heat the aluminum: Before you begin welding, it can be helpful to run a blowtorch over the aluminum to heat it up. This will help you minimize the distortion that appears when heating from a welding torch causes a hotspot.
- Remove oxide: Aluminum welding can be performed faster and more accurately if you start by removing the oxide layer from the aluminum. You can accomplish this with just a wire brush made out of stainless steel. You can then use a file to clean the edges of the aluminum, whereas you won’t necessarily be able to complete the task quite as well with the wire brush.
- Make haste: While you don’t want to rush through the job, it’s important to remember that welding jobs with aluminum need to be completed relatively quickly. You have to keep going, otherwise there’s always the risk you’ll burn through the aluminum due to overheating it. Move the welding gun along the weld at all times. This is much different than welding steel, where you don’t have to work nearly as quickly to complete the job.
- Focus on accuracy: Be as accurate as possible when completing your aluminum welds. Before you actually begin the weld, try to fit the pieces together as tightly as you can to make sure it has an accurate, firm set that has been properly cleaned. When working with aluminum, there’s no chance of being able to fill in the gaps between the surfaces the way you would with steel, so accuracy becomes much more important.
- Electrode safety: There’s a chance you could have a contaminated tungsten tip on your welding gun. If you notice this contamination, for your own safety you should stop working immediately. This is a problem that happens with some regularity, and when it does it is important to resolve the issue before continuing work on the weld.
- Choose the right inert gas: The welding gun you use for your project will require a supply of inert gas. The ideal choice is argon, but depending on the equipment you’re using, you might also be able to use an argon/helium mixture.
- Tighten the spring tensioner: The spring tensioner connected to the wire must be tight to prevent the wire reel from unraveling and to keep the first three inches of wire extremely straight. This prevents any damage from being done to the liner while the wire gets fed through the welding gun.
These are just a few tips to help beginning welders complete their aluminum jobs. For more information about aluminum welding in Phoenix, AZ, we encourage you to contact the team at Metal Pro Inc. today.