Best Practices for Welding Stainless SteelBlog | August 28th, 2020
One material that is often used by industries in fabricating their products is stainless steel. It is an iron-based alloy that is comprised of chromium, an element that makes it resistant to corrosion and strong against heat. The inclusion of other elements such as carbon, nitrogen, aluminium, copper, and many more makes stainless steel boast a lot of helpful metal properties.
Aside from resisting rusting and heat, stainless steel is also known for its high tensile strength. It can even withstand the effects of corrosive chemicals. Stainless steel likewise has an attractive appearance, which encourages manufacturers to use them in a lot of fabrication works. The production of stainless steel products is possible due to the ease of formability and fabrication of stainless steel.
One way to fabricate stainless steel is through welding. To successfully weld stainless steel, here are some of the best practices that you should know and follow.
Clean the Metal Surface
The stainless steel surface can be easily contaminated by other types of metal. Without cleaning it, the contamination that the metal will obtain can diminish its corrosion resistance. Thus, it needs to be cleaned first for a smooth welding experience. The cleaning of the stainless steel surface can be done through a wire brush. If you do not want to use a brush, then you may clean the stainless steel surface by specialised pickling treatment, which is intended to remove the depleted layer of chromium.
Pick an Appropriate Filler
In welding, filler metals are used to provide a secure joint between two surfaces that are being combined. Stainless steel can only be welded properly if it is joined with an appropriate filler material. One factor that you must consider in picking this material is the grades of the steel you intend to join. Usually, it is recommended that the filler material will either match or slightly exceed the grades of the steel being combined for the weld to be intact and fitted well.
Check Metal Temperatures
One factor that affects the quality of the weld is its temperatures. Therefore, it is important for you to continuously monitor and control the temperatures of the materials whenever the welding process is going on. There are helpful tools that you can use to track material temperatures. One of them would be the temperature indicating sticks. Other tools that can do the same thing are electronic infrared thermometers and electronic surface temperature probes.
Reduce Warping Situations
Not all stainless steel parts are thick. Some of them are thin, which is only appropriate if they will be used in fabricating certain products. One thing that you must check and monitor when welding thin stainless steel materials are the occurrence of warping. To minimise warping, you should initiate the welding with low temperatures and utilise tack welds to effectively secure stainless steel materials. Welding in a short duration of 3 to 5 seconds can also help minimise warping if tack welds are not used.
Following these practices in welding stainless steel materials can help you obtain a product that can still resist corrosion and manifest long-lasting properties. These practices are great for welding stainless steel products that are suitable in any type of industry.
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