Aluminum poses a few challenges when it comes to welding and it is not as easy to work with as other metals like steel, for example. If you don’t have the right experience, you will find that it can be very hard to weld aluminum, especially if you don’t take the time to clean and prepare your aluminum piece properly prior to the welding process. Cleaning your aluminum workpiece is incredibly important as dirt and other impurities can affect the weld and cause your piece to look unprofessional. Cleaning is the first step and failure to do so will lead to an inferior looking product.
Cleaning aluminum for the purpose of welding consists of two steps; removing grease and removing oxide. The removal of these substances is crucial; otherwise, your final product will have defects. Simply wiping your piece down with a rag or brush is not enough and can actually make it worse by moving the grease and dirt around. To clean your aluminum piece successfully, you will have to use a liquid degreaser and apply it using a lint-free rag. Only after the liquid has evaporated can you begin fitting all of the parts together. If you need to completely immerse the parts that need to be welded into the liquid, make sure the metal is dry before you start to weld.
Once you have removed all of the oil and grease, you need to remove oxides, which can only be done by physically stripping the material from the surface of the aluminum. A soft bristle wire brush is ideal as it will completely remove any oxides. It is very important to allow your metal to dry completely after having cleaned it but don’t wait too long because airborne grease and dirt can settle on your workpiece once more, in which case you would have to clean it all over again.
Aluminum is popular because of all the benefits it presents, including the fact that it is extremely easy to work with and very formable so it can take on different shapes. It also has a high strength-to-weight ratio so manufacturers can accomplish a tremendous amount with this metal that offers a lot of diversity. These qualities make aluminum very easy to work with but also difficult to weld and without the right experience, a welder can easily burn through their workpiece. You must also be careful with the feeder wire as aluminum is very soft and can cause the wire to become tangled while you weld if you are inexperienced.
Aluminum welding does come with its fair share of challenges but a professional welding shop like Sees Inc can work with different metals and materials because of their skills and experience. Whether you need welding fabrication or equipment repair, Sees Inc in Nisku can help, so give them a call today!