Everything That You Need to Know About TIG Welding Stainless Steel
Before we get into TIG welding steel, let us first focus on what TIG welding actually means. TIG welding basically means Tungsten Inert Gas welding. Another name for this sort of welding is Gas Tungsten Arc welding which is a very effective one. This method is most widely used for stainless steel, aluminum and copper. This means the method extends to non-ferrous substances. TIG welding requires skill, coordination and patience. This is something a little difficult to carry out, but has several advantages over the other types of welding. In this article, we are going to learn more about TIG steel welding.
TIG Welding Stainless Steel
When it comes to applying TIG welding on stainless steel, it is very important to choose the most appropriate filter material which can avert the problem of excessive steel porosity. Preheating the material is sometimes required before the welding process. This might not be required for steel materials less than one inch thick. But alloy steels and tool steels should be preheated in order to prevent cracking of the material while it is being welded.
Tips for TIG Welding Stainless Steel
Rule of thumb
In order to have an idea about the total heat required for the welding process, a particular rule of thumb can come in handy. For steel here, the heat input is quite low. The numerical value would stand at 0.66 amp per one thousand inch of thickness of steel or carbon steel. This should do the work for you.
Copper chill bar
Using a copper chill bar is very important in the process of TIG welding for steel. Along with this, you could make use of argon ports to act as a shielding port. Both of these materials act towards diverting the heat away from the primary welding area. Copper chill bars come in different shapes and sizes. You could choose any of the shapes; just ensure that the copper remains in touch with the weldment.
Protect the backside
The shielding gas touching the back of the material to be welded can take the heat away and reduce heat input. It is necessary that you protect the rear side of the material in order to prevent its oxidation. Also, the metal surface has a number of irregularities which might hinder the welding process by improving the chances of cracking. Keeping the backside safe ensures that the material is well protected and there are no irregularities on the metal surface.
You should always opt for a TIG torch that has a glass lens. This improves on the total area of gas coverage and reduces disturbances in the welding process. This also eases the gas flow to have a smoother process. Another idea would be extending the electrode that would again lead to an increase in the weld area visibility.
It is imperative that you perform maintenance checks on some of the welded parts in order to keep them well. For this, you would be required to cut the parts apart to fix them. However, putting them back together is a difficult task, especially catering to the requirements of the dimensions. Welded materials shrink during the process. So, be careful when you put back the part together.
Use different brushes
If you are working with different metals at the same time, make sure you use different brushes for them. This is done in order to prevent contamination of the metals. If you have stainless steel around and use the same brush for different metals, it won’t remain purely stainless anymore. It would be a good idea to write the names of the metals on the handles of the brushes in order to have uninterrupted process.
Clean the steel
This might be a much underrated process, but cleaning the steel before you weld it is rather important. Because of the high chromium content in the steel, it needs to be washed out carefully. The brushes also need to be cleaned in order to have a smooth running process. The stainless steel that you are going to weld should be free from dust, oil and debris.
Sometimes you would need to use sticks during the welding process. In case of stainless steel, it is imperative that you opt for stainless rods for best results. If the rod you are using ends has a name that ends with -16”, then it can be used with AC welding apparatus. On the other hand, if the name ends with -15”, then it is to be used with direct current. In order to prevent corrosion and rusting of the rods, use a primer beforehand for best results.
TIG welding for steel is not an easy job. But keeping in mind these tips, the process becomes easier.