Compared to welding other metals, welding aluminum is easier because of various factors, among them the propensity of aluminum to thaw out at a comparatively lower temperature and not breaking when it turns rock-solid. Depending on the type of alloy of aluminum you are using, you will weld the metal differently. With a little effort you can learn how to weld aluminum in all its different forms.
The various types of alloys include non-heat-treatable alloys like the ones containing manganese (Mn) and Magnesium (Mg) and heat-treatable alloys containing magnesium zinc and silicon copper.
Work pieces made from these types of aluminum are easier to weld whereas the ones containing copper and lead are harder to work with. Copper and lead alloys usually have a tendency to crack when they are weld, which makes it harder to work with them.
Different Welding Methods – MIG and TIG Welding
Apart from gas and plasma welding, the two most often used welding methods are TIG welding and MIG welding. Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, also known as Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) uses non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The power is a constant current welding power supply.
MIG welding process is a subtype of gas metal arc welding. Among the two, MIG welding is the more advanced and can handle thicker aluminum work pieces, at a much faster speed.
Safety, Precautions and First Aid
Safety for yourself and your environment should always be your primary concern when welding aluminum, or any other metal. Welding is unlike many other hobbies or jobs because of the high temperature and stress that are involved in it. Apart from the high temperature, flames, the arc and molten metal are constant risk. Keeping this in mind, wearing your helmet and glasses while you work cannot be compromised with. It must be a habit with you to flick the glass down when you start welding.
Aluminum also requires special care because aluminum jobs produce imperfections in the weld area that have to be brushed away with a steel brush from time to time. You have to be careful while you use the brush.
It is also advisable to learn how to aluminum weld properly as well as know basic first aid in case you or any of your coworkers are injured while welding. Without adequate safety and precaution, your aluminum welding job is an endeavor fraught with risk. You must take steps outlined here to reduce that risk.
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