If you’re new to the world of metalworking, learning the concepts of forge welding can be difficult. In addition to properly heating your metals and striking while they’re hot, you need to learn about the concept of fluxing. What is fluxing, and how is it used in metal fabrication processes at facilities in Phoenix, AZ? Read on to learn the basics.
When is fluxing required?
While flux isn’t always required in forge welding, it does increase your chances of making a successful weld, especially if you’re a beginner at metalworking. In some cases, like when you’re forge welding mild steel to high carbon steel, fluxing is absolutely required.
What does flux do?
As a beginner in metalworking in Phoenix, AZ, learning about what fluxing is involves discovering how it affects the metal you’re working with. Flux is generally used to protect metal as it undergoes heating and cooling processes during forging. It reduces the temperature at which scale and other impurities form on the metal, keeping the surface clean and increasing your possibility of creating a good weld.
Scale is something you don’t want to see as you’re welding. It’s a byproduct of forged metal that occurs as the metal oxidizes during heating and cooling of forging. Scale by itself isn’t a bad thing, but it can cause problems when it breaks and moisture seeps through. It can cause corrosion that impacts the overall strength and stability of the metal.
How does fluxing make the forging process easier?
Beginning blacksmiths should use flux in their work, since it lets you “cover your tracks” if you mess up a weld along the way. Keep in mind, though, that flux isn’t glue—it simply strengthens your welds so you can bond metals more effectively.
Even if you’re using a gas forge, you should still consider using flux in your work. Since there’s increased oxidation that comes from a gas forge, using flux will reduce the chance that your metal will develop oxidation layers. Your pieces will be less likely to form rust on the surface if you use flux, and it’s especially helpful when you’re new to metalworking.
Can you use borax for forge welding?
Many people successfully use borax for forge welding, but it takes experience and knowledge to determine the ideal amount for your application. There’s a fine line between pouring too much borax or applying too little on the weld. Use just enough borax to cover the welding surface. It’s best to pour the borax into a teaspoon and slowly sprinkle it over the metal. If you notice a glassy coating start to form on the metal, you know you’ve done it right.
Gaining an understanding of what fluxing is should be one of the first lessons you learn as you begin to work with metal in Phoenix, AZ. Whether you need products fabricated by the pros or you want to learn more about the fabrication process, contact Metal Pro Inc. to learn about the complex steps it takes to make something new from metal.