Aluminum is one of the common Earth metals found in most objects people use every day. It is a soft, lightweight, and low-strength metal capable of being forged and welded. However, these characteristics are also the reason why welding aluminum is challenging even for the most experienced professionals with the best equipment.
Furthermore, the kind of welder machine may affect the result of your projects. That’s why it’s important to choose properly which machine is right for you and this depends on your projects. Read below to know how to use aluminum welders.
What Are The Kinds Of Aluminum Welders?
According to experts, the most common welders are Gas Metal Arc Welder or Metal Inert Gas Welder (GMAW/MIG) and Gas Tungsten Arc Welder or Tungsten Inert Gas Welder (GTAW/TIG). The difference between these two types of welders is:
This machine employs a faster deposition rate which may affect the quality of the welded material. However, it uses a mechanical wire feeder, which requires the welder to use a spool gun to make the feeding possible. Furthermore, you have to make sure that the metal is entirely clean and dry before proceeding with this process to prevent the risk of porosity.
Here are some tips to follow:
- Make sure your spool gun is ready for feeding.
- Clean your metal so it’s free from contaminants such as oxides.
- Do not pull the metal while you’re welding.
- Use multiple pass straight beads to avoid defects and improve its appearance.
- Apply a heat sink to prevent metal warping
If you’re looking for a welder, make sure that you check its specifications to determine which machine is best for you.
Another commonly used welder for aluminum is GTAW/TIG. It’s mostly used for professional race cars and by automotive experts. Furthermore, it requires the use of constant alternating current and 100% Argon as its protection.
Here are some tips to follow:
- Use pure tungsten rode when welding aluminum using a TIG welder.
- Make sure that the metal is perfectly clean and dry.
- Check if there’s too much argon flow within the torch. If it has, do not proceed so you prevent irregular arcs.
- Use a heat sink to avoid metal warping.
Furthermore, GTAW/TIG prevents mechanical feeding issues by not using mechanical wire feeders. Instead, the metal will be fed up in the puddle which maintains the cleanliness of the metal along the process Thus, it helps in preventing serious contamination.
How To Maintain Welders?
The best to maintain your welder is to check the manual and determine if you’re using the machine incorrectly and excessively. Also, make sure always to have the warranty with you. In case of a severe malfunction, you may be able to have your machine replaced or repaired without paying extra fees.
Furthermore, make sure that your welder is kept securely and properly and away from any materials and chemicals that may cause damages to the machine.
What Is Overload Feature Of Welders?
The overload feature prevents your welder from overheating. So, make sure your welder has this feature to keep you and your machine from harm due to possible damages and explosions. If you’re planning to buy a welder, make sure the machine has this feature. If not, don’t buy it and risk your safety with a machine capable of overheating.
How To Clean The Welder After Using It?
Cleaning the welder depends on its parts. Different parts require a different method of cleaning such as:
- Drive rolls: For those who rarely weld, drive rolls may not have much dirt accumulated inside. However, it’s the opposite for people who weld most of the time. Frequent machine running may cause the drive rolls to collect more dust. Hence, the best way to clean your drive rolls is by using a compressed air blower to remove the dust. If you don’t have an air blower, you may use a brush to remove the dirt. However, this is time-consuming compared to using a blower.
- Gun liner: Since the drive roll is connected with the gun liner, you may apply the same cleaning method to remove any accumulated dirt. You may blow any dust with a compressed air blower or carefully brush the dust away with a wire brush.
- Nozzle and diffuser: Since both nozzle and diffuser tend to form rust, it would be best to clean them with a brush or rag until they are sparkling clean. Moreover, it.s necessary to prevent rusting of welder parts as much as possible. If rusts block these parts, it would be difficult for you to weld smoothly.
Welding is not an easy task. There are many factors you need to consider before welding, such as impurities, cleanliness, water vapor, and more. As long as you prepare your aluminum properly, you will not have problems along the process.
As mentioned above, aluminum is challenging to weld even if you have the best welder. Therefore, it would be best to consult a professional, especially if this is your first time welding a metal.