Aluminum welding: 5 things to watch out for
In the field of aluminum welding, experience is king: in fact, experience is what allows you to obtain a strong, precise, and clean weld that gives added value to the finished product. We asked our technicians to describe the most critical aspects of aluminum welding, and here's what they said.
Cracks, porosity, and blowholes
The most important thing to watch out for during the aluminum welding process is the formation of cracks, porosity, and blowholes, which, in addition to compromising the weld’s uniformity from an aesthetic standpoint, render it inconsistent from a structural standpoint, while at the same time reducing its effectiveness.
The formation of oxides
While aluminum melts at 1202°F, thin layers of oxide, which have a melting point greater than 2000°, can form on its surface during the welding process due to the filler materials. Therefore, in order to avoid this risk, it is recommended to perform aluminum welding operations using an alternating current TIG welder.
The thickness of the material
Another variable to take into account when welding aluminum is the thickness of the material to be welded. If the material isn't very thick, excellent results can be obtained with TIG welding. For thicker materials, on the other hand, it is recommended to use MIG welding, along with a suitable filler material, in order to prevent cracks from forming and to obtain a strong weld.
The type of aluminum to be welded
The choice of the aluminum material can also affect the results, because not all alloys can be welded. In fact, excellent results can be obtained if the parts to be welded belong to the 3XXX-5XXX-6XXX-7XXX series, otherwise welding is not recommended.
The production speed
Last but not least, when choosing the type of welding to be performed, one must always evaluate the quality/cost/work time ratio. In order to speed up the processes, laser welding can be utilized, which is fast, precise and guaranteed, even if the edges of the parts must be carefully prepared in order to ensure optimal performance.