If you’re new to the world of aluminum welding, it can seem daunting. Aluminum is a difficult material to weld because it has different properties than steel. It’s important that you know how to prepare your materials and equipment before starting, so things go smoothly. Hopefully, with the right information, it’s not so hard to weld aluminum after all! In this blog post, we are going to share these tips for MIG welding aluminum that will take your skills from novice to expert level.
Aluminum MIG Welding Tips For Beginners
The following are some tips for MIG welding aluminum:
Tips-1: Use an appropriate filler material such as bronze wire, copper brazing rod, brass shim stock, or nickel silver sheet in conjunction with consumable electrode wires when making T joints without backing bars. These materials have better strength properties than mild steel wire, so they provide good protection against cracking during long-term service.
Tips-2: Be sure to preheat your material thoroughly before welding because it prevents thermal shock on thinner sections and lowers warping in thicker pieces.
Tips-3: Shape your weld beads for a smooth finish by using an appropriate filler wire such as bronze, copper brazing rod, or brass shim stock that will provide good protection against cracking during long-term service.
Tips-4: Keep finished welds clean by brushing off with a wire brush or grinding them down with sandpaper so they don’t flake over time, causing corrosion.
Tips-5: Use proper joint design techniques when joining dissimilar metals together to prevent excessive oxidation and corrosion.”
Tips-6:Wear long sleeves for protection. Aluminum welding requires the use of a gas that can be irritating to the skin, so cover up before starting your task! We recommend wearing something like an old t-shirt or, even better, a heavy-duty welder’s jacket and gloves.
Tips-7: Buy some aluminum wire brushes. These will help you get rid of any rust on the metal you’re working with ahead of time; this is really important if what you are using as filler material has high levels of iron in it –
Tips-8: If there is no visible corrosion, but you want to remove any potential oxidation beforehand, just scrub off the surface layer
Tips-9: A good welder will mix the shielding gas for you. You should never try to use a larger nozzle than what your machine is set up for, or else it will create too much turbulence, which can lead to problems with arc stability.
Tips-10: You need a high-frequency start with an inverter; otherwise, you are going to have really poor results at the weld joint.
Tips-11: As soon as you stop pushing on the gun trigger, take out all of your wire from around the tip–the longer that wire stays in there after stopping, the colder it gets and creates more spatter inside your weld puddle.
Tips-12: Use a higher voltage when tacking to get good penetration and avoid porosity in your welds – 50% more than you would normally use! Lower it back down after joining so that you don’t accidentally burn through your material with too much heat.
Tips-13: When spatter is an issue, try using cloth as a ground clamp on one side of the workpiece before pressing down to tack. This will create enough drag without getting hot enough to melt the metal underneath and cause problems from surface tension – just be careful where you touch!
Tips-14: Select the proper drive roll; otherwise, it can lead to poor wire feed, excessive spatter, and feed speed.
Tips-15: Always maintain a clean work area! Aluminum dust can be explosive when mixed with oxygen – even the tiniest spark could set it off. Addressing this issue will make your welding job easier in many ways: avoid contamination of weld joints from chips and slag that you’ll need to grind away later; extend electrode life by preventing buildup on the wire surface, which eventually leads to porosity in your welds; protect yourself against harmful vapors generated during grinding operations (aluminum metal generates an extremely noxious gas).
Tips-16: When making long fillet or groove welds, always preheat one side before adding filler material such as steel wool for inside corners, etc.,
Tips-17: Wear a breathing apparatus when welding in enclosed spaces, so you avoid inhaling harmful fumes and gases
Tips-18: Welding aluminum with an ordinary flux core wire will produce welds that are brittle; always use one of the following types: MIG (inert metal gas), TIG, or MAG. These provide shielding for your weld metal against oxidation from air contact. This prevents porosity which can lead to cracks in weld joints later on down the road
Tips-19: While using any type of filler material inside corners etc., be sure not to overfill them as this could cause distortion at these points
Tips-20: Pace yourself while welding aluminum – don’t try to make up for the lost time by increasing intensity if it means taking shortcuts such as skipping
Tips-21: Use the correct technique for each situation you find yourself in. If you’re welding overhead, for example, use a push technique and if you are working on sides or bottom-up work, then switch to pull
Tips-22: Always wear proper ear protection because of the high pitched noise produced by these machines
Tips-23: If possible, have an assistant guard your back so that the sound does not cause damage – it will feel like someone is hitting you with a hammer!
Tips-24: Be sure to use flux-cored wire if you’re not going to preheat your workpieces because it reduces oxidation
MIG welding aluminum can be tricky. There are many factors that influence how a weld will turn out, and because there is no one best way to do it, you may need some practice before perfecting your technique. Fortunately for you, we’ve put together this list of tips and tricks to help you get started on the right foot! We hope they come in handy when working with MIG welding aluminum.