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A common metal used in the manufacturing of consumer products is stainless steel. It is a strong, corrosion-resistant material that has been around for more than a century. The most popular welding process for this type of metal is MIG welding.
Stainless steel is an appealing metal for MIG Welding. However, it can wrap easily due to heat. Here you get valuable information about MIG welding stainless steel tips.
Stainless Steel in Welding: Characteristics, Challenges, and Techniques
Stainless steel is popular for welding since it’s a highly-resistant to corrosion. The main reason being, it contains higher percentages of chromium as compared to other metals. Using steel for MIG welding, is a bit complex. However, it will give quality cuts as compared to other metals that leave a slag.
Is stainless steel the only metal for MIG Welding? No. Carbon steel is an alternative; however, it’s not popular since it’s prone to rust.
Whereas MIG welding for carbon steel is simple, the same cannot be said about stainless steel. Here we’ll look at stainless steel welding and how to get quality cuts. Keep reading
Even as we tear apart MIG stainless steel welding, we shall examine why this remarkable metal requires extra care. We’ll also look at the precautionary measures to get quality cuts.
Everybody loves stainless steel metal mostly due to its shininess and smoothness that brings out an aesthetic appeal. For a best MIG welder, the glossiness may not be so important as long as you get a good output. Stainless steel can be used for repairs and crafting new projects.
What is the best type of stainless steel for MIG welding?
Perhaps the main question on your mind would be which the best type of stainless steel is for MIG welding? There are several types of steel out there, and each has different qualities.
Does type matter? Yes. Here is the answer. You need to carefully choose the best type of stainless steel that will produce excellent results.
- Austenitic steel is popular since it consists of high quantities of chromium and nickel. This is unlike Ferritic and Martensitic types that have high carbon material that makes them magnetic. Highly magnetic metal still will produce sparks.
- You’ll need filter metals that are similar to the base metals. For the best welding results, a filter material should have the same composition as the base metal.
Stainless steel warping problem
- Most welders, especially beginners, have a problem welding steel due to the high heat retention, which can lead to wrapping.
- The process also results in a lot of slags, and this complicates the cooling of the metal.
Why choose MIG welding for your projects?
The advantage of MIG welding is that it’s fast and easy to learn. Additionally, there is a filler wire on the inside, and the joints will cool fast. It’s ideal for home use or DIY projects.
How to use MIG welding to join metals
The most important thing is to ensure the stainless steel doesn’t wrap during the welding process. Ensure your working space is clean.
There are various methods through which you can prevent distortion of the stainless-steel metal. You can either brace the metal joints or spread the heat.
How to brace the joints in stainless steel welding
Place the stainless steel metal over the table and hold firmly using the clamp. You can also place a wooden plank between the joints to ensure they’re apart.
Next, join the metals using MIG welding. However, when working on large sheets of metal, you will need more bracing. In this case, TIG welding is the best choice.
The trick is, to brace the joint perfectly to achieve the best results. In this way, the heat is spread out, and this minimizes the distortion of your metal.
Perhaps you may be wondering, how do you spread the heat?
It’s fairly a simple procedure where you stagger or back step as you weld. It’s more like pulling the weld and allowing the joint to cool, then proceeding with the welding.
Since stainless steel heats very fast, then you can hold the MIG welding machine for a long period. This is unlike carbon steel, which you hold only for a short period.
What type of gas should you use?
For excellent results, you’ll need an argon and carbon dioxide gas shield. Preferably use a ratio of 2.5% for carbon dioxide and 90% for helium and 7.5% for argon.
MIG welding stainless steel with pure argon
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From our discussion of how stainless steel welding with MIG, it’s evident that the metal is delicate and requires extra care when welding.
To get the best results;
- Use moderate power to prevent melting the steel.
- If there’s heat, you can turn off the power to have a smooth liquid.
- Where the metal splatters, it means the heat is not sufficient
Our final thoughts, steel is an elegant metal that people love; however, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to welding. Hopefully, from our review, you’ll get quality cuts.
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