Choosing the Right Metal for Your Welding Project

Welding is a complex process that combines the science of heat, electricity, metallurgy, oxidation, and different states of matter. Since there are various factors at work, you might encounter complications which can lead to failure.

A good way to reduce the risk is by choosing a metal that is easy to work with and does not require many post-weld operations. Here are the options you should ask about with your metal fabrication services contractor:

Stainless Steel

This type of metal can be welded readily with adequate knowledge, and the proper technique. Stainless steels are popular for their resistance to corrosion, and they are easy to weld despite their complicated chemical composition.

When working with stainless steel, it is important to consider what grade you will be handling. There are three major types that you need to be familiar with — martensitic, ferritic, and austenitic. As they have dissimilar properties, they require different approaches.

Low Carbon Mild Steel

This is arguably the easiest metal to weld. Low carbon steel has a long history in the welding industry, and it is extremely common because of its numerous applications. Because of the demand for low carbon steel, engineers and scientists continue to develop ways to weld it. Some of these include special filler chemical compositions, patented electrical arc waveforms, and welding power sources.

Aluminum

Aluminum is much easier to work with than low carbon steel as long as you have the right techniques. The grade is just one concern that you need to keep an eye out for because those in the 6XXX series need a more careful operation to prevent cracking.

In welding, there is always a risk of failure, but you can always take steps to prevent complications and improve your work. Start with choosing your metal wisely and learn as much as you can before purchasing.