Common Challenges of Welding Stainless Steel
Stainless steel welding is not usually a common practice that most welders undertake. Over the years, steel has mostly been known as a metal that can only be handled through fabrication. That’s why there are not very many technicians who have been incorporating professional services that are associated with welding steel. However, if you plan to integrate stainless steel welding, here are some challenges to overcome.
Usually, when metals are welded together, they create an electrical circuit. However, this is not the case with stainless steel. Because stainless steel is non-conductive, it can interfere with the welding process. If you are not careful, you can easily create a short circuit that could damage your equipment. To avoid this, it is vital to use an electrode explicitly made for stainless steel. This will help create a better electrical connection between the two pieces of metal.
Stainless steel is commonly known for heat tolerance and is often used in high-temperature applications. However, this does not mean that it can withstand any amount of heat. If you weld stainless steel for too long, it can start to warp. You can eliminate this challenge by using a welding torch with a lower setting. This will help prevent the stainless steel from being exposed to too much heat. Additionally, you should always use a cooling agent when welding stainless steel to keep the metal from becoming too hot.
A majority of metals will corrode when they are exposed to the elements. However, stainless steel is different. It is designed to resist corrosion. This is why it is often used in outdoor applications. Even though stainless steel is resistant to corrosion, it can still be susceptible to weld decay. Weld decay is when the weld itself starts to corrode.
This can happen if the weld is not cleaned correctly or if it is left exposed to the elements. You can avoid weld decay by taking the time to clean the weld before you start welding. Additionally, you should always cover the weld with a protective coating. This will help to keep the weld from being exposed to the elements.
Expansion and Contraction
When metals are heated, they will expand. When they cool, they will contract. This is a common phenomenon that all metals experience. However, stainless steel is unique because it has a higher rate of expansion and contraction. This can be challenging when welding stainless steel because it can cause the metal to warp. You should always preheat the metal before you start welding. Additionally, you should always allow the metal to cool slowly after welding.
Welding stainless steel can be a challenge. However, it can be a successful process if you are prepared and have the right tools. Use the proper electrode, take your time, and use a cooling agent. These tips will help you overcome the everyday challenges of welding stainless steel. Make sure to clean the weld before you start and cover it with a protective coating when you finish. Contact JB Electric LLC for stainless steel welding services.
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