Trampoline frames are usually made of galvanized steel or aluminum. As a result, the best way to repair a trampoline frame is by welding. There are several welding techniques, but the dilemma arises when choosing a rod for welding. If you are wondering- is there any special type of rod I should use for welding the trampoline, then you are not alone.
The amount of information on welding rods and welding methods can be overwhelming at the same time. But worry no more; because we have detailed all the important info here.
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Best Welding Methods for Trampoline
It can be a tad tricky to understand which welding method suits best for your trampoline. Thus, we have made your work easier by listing the top welding ways for the trampoline based on the metal it is generally composed of.
1. Arc Welding
Arc welding is one of the most widely used methods. It is the process where direct and alternating current passes through a metal electrode, thus creating an electric arc. The heat from the electricity drives the melting point of the metal and causes it to melt; therefore, the metals bond.
To weld two metals, you can either use a consumable electrode or a non-consumable electrode. Since metal reacts to air, shielding gas or slag is used to prevent extensive interaction of the metal to air. There are different arc welding processes; some are manual while others are automatic.
2. Metal Inert Gas Welding (MIG)
MIG is also a type of Arc welding. It uses a consumable electrode to form an electric arc between two metals. The extreme heat powered by electricity causes the metals to melt and bond together to eliminate any cracks. To shield the metals from reacting to the atmosphere, a protective gas layer forms with the help of a shielding gun.
3. Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TIG)
Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TIG) is also a form of arc welding that primarily uses non-consumable electrodes and constant electricity. The high heat concentration melts the metals and causes them to come together and join.
Also, it has a gas shield to protect the metals from reacting to the atmosphere, and the gas is usually helium or argon. Helium and argon are the most stable gases in the world and work great in this instance.
4. Oxy-Acetylene Welding
In oxy-acetylene welding, the oxygen and acetylene gas mingle together to produce high-power heat. Instead of creating electric arc similar to the arc welding, it uses the gas mixture to generate heat. Handling this kind of welding can be a little tricky, so it requires a known and experienced hand.
Now, this welding provides flexibility as you can adjust the proportion rate of the mixed gases. It does not require an arc but has a simple solution where it just heats two metals until they are runny and then allows the metals to cool down a bit to get attached.
The welding processes mentioned above are ideal for both galvanized steel and aluminum. Steel that is coated with a layer of zinc is called galvanized steel. This layer of zinc has to be scraped off to start the welding process. It is vital to wear protective gear when working with galvanized steel, as it gives off fumes that are harmful to your health.
Best Types of Rods for Welding the Trampoline
It is vital to make an informed decision while choosing a metal rod for welding, as the rod determines how well the metals will connect. Keep on reading to understand how to achieve that.
How to Select the Rod for Welding?
Firstly, you have to identify the type of metal, its thickness, tensile strength, and welding current.
1. Thickness of metal
If the metal used is thick, then an electrode with good malleability and modest hydrogen count is the best option as it stops weld cracking. The last number of AWS specifies hydrogen count. The AWS ending in 16 or 18 shows that the rod has modest-hydrogen counts. Thinner materials fair well with rods that produce slight arcs.
2. Tensile Strength
You have to find out the tensile strength of your trampoline’s base metal and select a welding rod with a similar tensile strength to eliminate any breakage. The two digits at the beginning of an electrode indicate the minimum tensile range of a welding rod.
For instance, an E7018 has a tensile strength of 70,000 PSI, making it resilient to pressure and a perfect companion for galvanized steel structures.
3. Welding Current
It is essential to consider the welding current metal capacity as it determines the penetration power of the rod or electrode.
The fourth digit in the AWS shows the welding current capacity of a rod. For example, rods such as E6010 manufacture a strong arc that can dig through rust and grease.
Best Welding Electrodes or Rods for Trampoline
The list below shows the most compatible rods for the trampoline.
This electrode is referred to as a fast freeze rod as it can cool quickly after being used. Moreover, it provides a strong arc that allows it to penetrate through rust and grease; as a result, you can avoid cleaning the base metal.
In addition, it assists flat and overhead operation, making it multifaceted. One disadvantage is that it only supports direct current. There is another rod called E6011 with similar characteristics as E6010, but it supports AC and DC power, thus making it more versatile.
Since most trampoline is constructed of steel and aluminum and stays outdoors, a strong electrode like E6010 can cut through the accumulated rust and dirt. However, zinc from galvanized steel produces toxic fumes; thus, we advise you to scrape the metal base first and wear protective gear to preserve good health.
E7018 does not provide strong penetration. So, it will not cut through rust and dirt, so a thorough cleaning of the base metal is required. However, it produces more substantial and exact welds that is a plus point for sturdy structures.
Furthermore, its hydrogen count is relatively lower. Its lower hydrogen blocks any scope of cracking, making it versatile and suitable for galvanized metals structures. Since most trampoline frames are made of galvanized metal, the E7018 is the best fit.
Although these two rods are best suitable for metal trampoline structures, there is a myriad of options that you can choose from. Simply take the base metal, tensile strength, and welding current of the base metal and match it with the rod to discover your perfect welding rod.
So, is there any special type of rod I should use for welding the trampoline? Sadly, there are no definite answers. A variety of rods are available in the market, but they do not come with a handbook that specifies where they fit best.
To be honest, it is difficult to form a firm guideline for the welding rods, as all-metal structures are unique in size, shape, and composition. Hence you have to consider a few things while you choose the rod.
For your convenience, we combed through all the information to make a comprehensive guide for choosing a rod for welding your trampoline. Hopefully, our given information can help you to make the right decision!