Tips for Welding Inconel
Inconel refers to a group of specific nickel-chromium alloys that are used in different welding processes. Inconel is most commonly used in techniques that require a high heat tolerance. Welding Inconel can be rather difficult because the welds that are created have a tendency to crack. There are a few alloys of Inconel that were specifically designed for use in welding. They are most commonly welded using tungsten inert gas welding or TIG as it is commonly known.
To achieve the best results when welding using an Inconel alloy you should use Inconel 625 filler metal. This is the easiest Inconel alloy to weld and is effective when two Inconel pieces need to be welded together. You can also use Inconel 625 to weld other metals that are dissimilar in composition, such as stainless steel. When using Inconel to weld it is common for the weld pool to be poorly defined. Inconel fillers tend to leave a skin like film on the surface of the weld pool and is dirty in appearance. If this occurs during your welding there is no need for alarm, this is a common side effect of using Inconel as part of your welding. Strong welds are produced using Inconel, which are highly resistant to corrosion when they are properly applied.
The most common method used when welding using Inconel is the TIG technique. This method allows the welder to have more control over the weld than other methods, such as GMAW and SMAW. It is important for the welder to have better control of the weld due to the difficulty that the alloy can present. You must put in a lot of practice time in order to become proficient using TIG and Inconel. Welding Inconel using TIG is very demanding on the welder and the more practice you have working with the alloy the better you will become.
You may also want to consider using an automated welding technique when you are required to work with Inconel. Plasma arc welding uses a more focused welding arc and is easily automated. You can also use pulsed micro laser welding, which is gaining in popularity among welders when you have to weld using Inconel. Welding Inconel is a very demanding process and should not be attempted by beginners; it takes time to master the skill of working with Inconel and it is not something that can easily be learned overnight. But once you have the knowledge and skill, working with Inconel will not be as intimidating.