The process of welding aluminum requires less energy than welding other metals which typically makes it an easier metal to weld. While this may sound good, there can also be some problems when you are required to use welding equipment that was designed to be used on steel. This is why it is important for the welder to consult their owner’s manual in order to find the proper settings that can be used for welding aluminum.
MIG Welding Aluminum
Welding aluminum using the MIG welding process has been known to require the welder to perform some post-welding touchups to the weld area in order to create a more presentable finish. The process of MIG welding requires the use of an electrode of continually fed wire which forms the base of the welds. This electrode also requires the welder to use a shielding gas composed of an inert gas or mixture of two gases. When MIG welding is performed on aluminum the results may be a bit messier than when other metals are welded. MIG welding aluminum tends to be messier because of the need for the welder to use the spray transfer welding method where the welding arc creates a spray of tiny metal beads. With time and practice any welder can master the spray technique.
TIG Welding Aluminum
TIG welding is a welding process that doesn’t require the welder to perform as much post-welding cleanup work as is required in MIG welding. The ability to produce welds that require little to no post-welding work makes this the perfect welding process to use when fast and easy welds are required on aluminum. The process of TIG welding requires the use of a permanent tungsten electrode which is not consumed during the welding process. The welder will still be required to add any necessary filler metal manually. These requirements and restrictions make this process the best to use when there isn’t any additional metal being used. TIG welding aluminum also requires the welder to use an inert gas to shield the arc.
These two welding processes are the most common welding techniques used when aluminum is welded. Both of these welding methods will require some practice in order to master the different techniques. It also important that the welder check all of the settings on their welding equipment prior to welding. This will ensure that they are all properly set to weld aluminum. Welding aluminum properly requires patience and practice as do all welding techniques; but once the skill is mastered it will be much easier to produce high quality welds on aluminum.