Want to weld aluminum? But how to weld aluminum at home isn’t clear to many out there. So, let’s proceed with us.
Welding is super easy when you know all the tactics. But there are a variety of materials that you’ve to deal with while you’re in the welding profession. From steel to carbon, every metal comes around in the welding task. And the aluminum is something that is a very common thing to weld often for many home DIYs as well as workshop tasks.
It can be a risk to weld any kind of materials without the proper guideline. You need the right guidance and the whole list of equipment to weld.
Today we’re going to tell you about aluminum welding and how you can do it safely.
How Can I Weld Aluminum? – The Step By Step Guideline
Aluminum is sensitive and soft to weld comparing to steel or stainless steel. It can burn or break down easily for the higher conduction level. Since it comes with a lower melting point, the welder must have to know when to push the welding alloys.
What Kind Of Welder To Use For Welding Aluminum:
You can weld aluminum following every type of welding mechanism. From MIG to Torch, you can perform welding for your aluminum pieces.
Before you get started, you must select the right process of welding for handling aluminum. Otherwise, you’ll end up making a faulty or broken aluminum piece.
Let’s know the types of welding that you can apply for aluminum materials.
MIG is one of the best promising welding processes to weld aluminum. If your aluminum has a thinner gauge, then you can easily enjoy aluminum welding with MIG. If you own one of the best MIG welders machine in your hand, then there are no other things are needed than some basic skill.
MIG can offer the right amount of heat to the aluminum and cut through very smoothly. Welders who want to use shielded gas, they need to work with 100% argon to give the best shot.
You will even need a welding wire or rod including alloy. You must know it that without a perfect alloy, aluminum welding is pretty much difficult.
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TIG (Tungsten inert gas) welding is another process that you can try for aluminum welding. But most of the welders love to weld aluminum using MIG. They find MIG reliable comparing to TIG.
Though you can TIG aluminum welding, so we would like to discuss it too. TIG can create an accurate temperature for welding aluminum. But it continues with the heat for longer. In a meanwhile, the excessive heat is not applicable for aluminum sheets. It can cause a burning disaster. So, you must know how to control the current in the TIG welder. If anything happens out of your control, you are successfully getting a failure welding experience.
You can apply TIG welding to both thin and thick sheets. But, TIG can co-operate without a filler rod. So, you just need to keep the alloy in the middles of aluminum sheets closely.
MIG VS TIG- The Difference Between Them & Which Is Better?
To determine which is better among MIG & TIG isn’t easier. But you can easily get the right decision which one can be your companion from the comparison.
Argon is used as the shielding gas for both TIG and MIG welding. Depending on the various welding carbon dioxide is mixed with the argon (CO2) and helium for the corresponding tasks.
Both of them use a different kind of electrode. The electrode that’s produced from MIG is attached to the pieces but TIG doesn’t consume the electrode.
MIG is simply versatile to weld general steel and nonferrous metals. But TIGs are the complicated welding machines with multiple settings adjustment that allows to weld steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, and any kind of metals that come across in your welding profession.
So, we can see both of these welders are great from their characteristics. MIG is easy to use but TIG is a bit complicated with functional setting adjustments. However, we’re going to discuss with you how to do the MIG and TIG weld aluminum.
Things That You Need to Do:
1. Start With Cleaning:
A dirty aluminum piece can’t be welder perfectly. Before you start your welding, you just need to make sure the piece is nicely clean and wiped. You can even use a stainless wire brush to clean the aluminum.
2. Use Safety Equipment:
It’s not only important but necessary for using safety equipment while welding.
- You must start with your head. You should wear a helmet. It’s best if you’re wearing an auto darkening helmet. Unluckily, if you don’t have the helmet, you can use eye-glasses at least. It will protect your eyes. Any kinds of welding operations are risky to operate without eye-protection.
- Wear an apron that is not made of plastic or elastic. It’s better if you can wear a leather jacket. Whatever clothing you’re wearing should be fit but not so tight.
- Make sure the pent is not made of random jeans. Some random jeans are prone to catch spark easily. Denim can be an excellent pick for the welding time.
- Don’t ever go for welding without any boots. The boots are very important to keep your feet safe. Make sure the boots are leather materials.
3. Check The Thickness Of The Material:
If you have a MIG welder, you can only weld more than 14 gauge thick aluminum. If the aluminum pieces are less than 14 gauge, that requires a TIG to weld. So, you always should check the thickness of the aluminum pieces before you start your work.
4. Get The Right Shielding Gas:
Shielding gas is very important for welding tasks. Since aluminum is non-ferrous. So, aluminum MIG welding requires 100% argon gas to operate. And TIG aluminum welding can only operate with the mixed combination of carbon-di-oxide and argon.
3. Choose The Filler Metal:
It’s a very important factor to choose the right filler for your applications. As a right filler can create the right number of alloys that can make your pieces joined perfectly.
4. Spool Guns & Wire Feeding:
You can’t accomplish the aluminum MIG welding without the right spool gun and wire feeding options. Both of them are very important. A spool gun feeds the aluminum wire. So, the aluminum wire gets feeding that can adjust aluminum pieces altogether.
So, choose the appropriate spool guns to make decrease the possibility of birdnesting. The ideal aluminum welding wire is ER 4043 and ER 5356. Else, you can get which can compatible with your welding tasks.
How To Do MIG Aluminum Welding Professionally?
Now, we’re going to discuss MIG aluminum welding with a spool gun. Though, welding somehow depends on the skill and experience. Still, we can weld following the right steps.
- Aluminum is very sensitive and soft. So, it becomes very difficult to weld aluminum by pushing the alloys using guns. In this case, spool guns are more reliable and can easily make the best alloys for allowing a very short distance for the wire to get in.
- As you know Metal Inert Gas uses argon as the shielding gas. It produces a safe protective shield for the users. Now, you can connect your spool gun to the positive side of the welding machine.
- This step is very important. You’ll have to insert the aluminum wire through the spool gun. Now, remove the tip and canister cover from your gun.
- Clip the 8 inches of the wire and join the wire with the gun. Now, input the spool into the canister. Make sure you’re covering the canister and close it. Therefore, don’t forget to close the tension arm which is beside the spool gun.
- Now attach the gun with a contact tip. Then install the nozzle into it and the gun is ready to weld.
- Make sure the wire isn’t too loose. Thus, the speed will be uncontrollable. So, you can increase the tension to make the wire come out smoothly.
- Now, you’re ready to weld. We hope you’ve already removed all the oxides from the aluminum piece before you weld.
- You should keep the angle 10 to 15 degree. So, the welding will be smooth and beautiful to look at.
And the most important caution is to make enough distance between the nozzle and the base metal. Otherwise, there can be a burning incident.
How To Do TIG Aluminum Welding Professionally?
TIG welding is very easy for handling aluminum materials. Now, we’re going to tell you to step by step a guideline to weld aluminum using TIG.
- First of all, you need the top TIG welder which has available settings adjustment for handling aluminum. You can do aluminum do it using AC and DC both current flows.
- To weld using AC, the tungsten should include a ball at the top point. You can easily create the ball by attaching the tungsten to the torch.
- Now, turn on your DC mode in the TIG machine. Now, light the torch for a couple of seconds. There will be a heated torch that appeared in the end. While you see the ball has formed, you’re ready to weld.
- You can turn on AC mode now. And start welding after cleaning the surface of the materials with cleaning oil.
- You should point out the machine exactly to the base metal. So, the filler metal will work at the right moment.
- The torch should be held at a 15-degree angle. Remove the torch when you see melting metal on it and there is a puddle of filler.
- After every few seconds, add the filler metal rod to the weld pool. You should be very punctual and attentive while doing this.
- Add some extra filler to prevent aluminum breaking. Now, you can minimize the current flow and make the puddle to get solid.
- Slowly when the torch is turned off, you’ll notice a filler solid weld.
Aluminum is so popular to make many projects. It’s very easy to get but the main problem is it’s so fragile. So, you need to have a lot of knowledge to weld aluminum at home.
But with the right steps and knowledge, you can make masterpieces from aluminum by welding. Whether for your hobby or professional reasons, every welder should know how to weld aluminum at home.