Useful Tips for Welding Stainless Steel

Welding Stainless Steel

Welders often use stainless steel because it is very resistant to both rust and corrosion, thanks to the high levels of chromium contained in it. Being able to weld stainless steel is a great skill for any welder to have because not only does it make a welder very valuable, but some jobs are designed just for welders capable of welding stainless steel. It isn’t the easiest metal to weld. Stick and wire feed welders can both be used when you want to weld stainless steel, but if you use a MIG welder, or wire feed, you have to use gas. This is because you won’t find stainless steel in a flux-cored form.

Welding Stainless Steel
Picture Credit: www.precisionsteelworks.com

There are some things that you can do to make it easier when you are welding stainless steel. For example, make sure that you thoroughly clean the steel before you weld it. You have to clean the stainless steel because of the high chromium content. If you use a wire brush on the surface, it should be clean. This will remove any chromium buildup, grease, oils, paint, and dirt. You have to make sure that stainless steel is completely free of any debris before you will be able to properly weld it.

Avoid Warping

You should always use low heat when you are welding stainless steel. Most of the time stainless steel is in very thin sheets, and if you do not use low heat to weld it, you can warp it. Start with cool settings and then add heat slowly if you need to for stronger welds and better penetration. Sheets of stainless steel need to tack welded like car body panels. Tack weld them in several places then fill in later. This will reduce the chance of warping and you can easily make sure that everything is properly aligned. Another way to avoid warping the steel is to weld in short bursts of three to four seconds. Then, stop and allow the steel to cool off, then weld again.

If you use a stick welder to work on stainless steel, use only stainless rods. If the rod’s suffix ends with “-16” then use it with AC welders and if it ends with “-15” then it’s for direct current reverse polarity use. Your strongest results will come from the “-15” rod but both will work very well. If you are planning to use a regular MIG or flux cored rods or wire for stainless steel welding, you need to remember that any portions that are welded will rust. Add primer or clear paint to help prevent corrosion.

Visit Bakersgas.com to find all the welding supplies you need to get any job done.

Related Products

Miller Maxstar 280 TIG/Stick Welder (Auto-Line 208-575)

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Anchor Stainless Steel Shoe Handle Brush

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Crown Alloys Welding Wire

Crown Alloys ER 309LSI – .035 x 2# MIG Welding Wire – 2 lb Spool

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Miller Thunderbolt Stick Welder

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8 thoughts on “Useful Tips for Welding Stainless Steel”

  1. Chris Winters says:

    It makes sense that low heat should be used in stainless steel products. This seems like it would be especially true when working with tubes where warping should be avoided at all costs. I wonder what kind of heat is required in order to bend pipes without putting the structure at risk.

    1. Isaac Davis says:

      No heat, the opposite! Freeze water in the pipe then bend it with ice inside keeps the structure 👍🏻👍🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  2. Hannah Schroeder says:

    Thanks for the tip about using low heat while welding stainless steel. I want to get a stainless steel countertop, and my husband wants to try making it for me. He should be sure to use low heat if he does, but maybe it would be better to hire a professional service instead.

  3. my helmetsGUIDE says:

    sometimes gas is not available so not necessary that we will only use mig .. anyways thanks a lot bro

  4. Alexandra Harrison says:

    Hi I’m wanting to weld stainless steel for a crafting project using cuterly what advice would you give me thanks

  5. Mike says:

    When welding with stainless stick rod, ive been told to only burn half of the rod or so cuz after the rod heats up it burns differently and the flux begins to fall off. Ive personally seen this happen but im asking because i want to know if anyone else has ever been taught this practice or they do it because of this happening. Some guys say they burn it to the nub cuz it doesnt change. Any feed back will be useful. Thanks.

  6. UpWeld says:

    Thnkas for sharing really Useful Tips for Welding Stainless Steel

  7. Robert Brady says:

    Im trying to get certified in mig welding stainless pipe. Currently our union has no such cert. The job requires to one pass schedule 10 stainless pipe. The test will be in the 6g position in schedule 40 stainless and apparently has to be run up hill! Any tips on passing this test? Im not sure if it will be tri gas or not. Im more concerned about angle position, type of weave abd how to cap it? 2 stringers or 3 like required on cabon ateem. Any input sould be very appropriate d. Thanks

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