There is an order of preferred methods of welding aluminum. The use of the stick welder is recognized because it provides high-quality results. MIG also works well on thick materials that have a smooth finish. It is rapid, and welds from MIG can equal quality from the stick weld, but that depends on a few factors. So, in this article, you will learn how to weld aluminum with a stick welder.
Stick welding aluminum is a small but mostly unrecognized welding method for aluminum. It is an alternative that is expensive when welding aluminum. One pound of aluminum electrodes goes for almost thirty dollars. It is less fortunate that the majority of the time that small quantities in the market come in increments of five lbs. There are other options than spending hundreds of bucks for repairs that take a few minutes.
The other issue is that welding rods necessary for aluminum welding are hygroscopic, which means they possess a water affinity. The flux will be gummy and dumped overnight if you leave them outside. Also, thin materials are not an option because welding with aluminum rods is discouraged at under an eighth inch. You can also use it with stick welders that use DC, not AC.
Reverse polarity is implemented, which is similar to the majority of other electrodes in stainless steel. Aluminum melts rapidly forward; intense concentration is necessary to lay a suitable head.
You need to get an inert tungsten gas with AC capability, not DC. This welder employs inert gas and tungsten electrode to shield the welding area. The achieved precision with this welding type is vital when working with aluminum and mostly thin pieces.
TIG welders are costly; therefore, consider contracting the local welding supply home hardware and store outlet about possibilities of renting.
You can use other processes of welding to weld aluminum, like MIG, but TIG is the most critical method for beginners.
Get The Aluminum Filler Rod
This item is necessary for bonding two pieces. Avoid using dirty or rusty filler rods because they will result in weak welds. These rods are available at home improvement stores or hardware.
You will have to get the argon gas canister. The purpose of argon in the process of welding is shielding. Pure argon is a cost-effective gas solution. You can add three percent of helium to increase the stability of the arc. You need to acquire gas from authorized dealers. Most supply stores will refer you to an outlet or provide gas. If you rent a TIG welder, buy your argon canister when picking the welder.
You will have to put on protective clothing made from thick fabric. There is a lot of ultraviolet radiation with TIG welding. Due to this, you may get burns on the arms when you use short sleeves. Go for a shirt made of one hundred percent cotton. It would help if you ensured that pants do not have scuffs that may catch molten metal.
You will also have to use heavy welding equipment like thick gloves, a welding helmet, and a respirator to protect you during welding. The machine will protect you against radiation, intense light, oxides, fumes, chemical burns, electric shocks, and much more. The gloves need to be resistant to fire and have insulation. Keep the fire extinguisher accessible in case of stray sparks.
Try using the helmet with lenses that darken automatically during the whole process. The lens needs a shade rating of between ten to thirteen.
Using improper setup, broken or damaged equipment can be dangerous. A safety check will either save a life or prevent injury. Before you start, take some moments to;
- Check the cords and wires and fix those that have nicks and frays.
- Replace all rusted and dented tanks
- Check and replace corroded or cracked parts
- Double-check all connections and horses
Clean aluminum because, with time, it forms an oxide coat on the exterior, which melts at a higher temperature than standard aluminum. Therefore, before doing aluminum welding, make sure you clean the oxide layer. Carry this out by filing, grinding, or wire-brushing the oxide.
If you use brushes to clean aluminum, you need to ensure they are only used to weld aluminum. Brushes that clean other metals leave their traces and may affect the quality – use the stainless steel wool rubber like the scotch scrubbing pad to finish the procedure.
You will then have to practice the welding motion by placing the torch on your hand but keep the torch unlit to save the metal. Place the base of your gloved hand on your table for support. When you start welding aluminum with the stick welder, set the amperage and purpose to utilize about 0.025mm of the thickness of the workpiece. Set the welder’s amperage higher than expected and use the foot pedal to tone back the current. Get all tools in the working position and press the torch button. Use the foot pedal and push it halfway downward to create the arc. If there is trouble starting your arch, the amperage will be low. Make adjustments and try again.