Weld My World - Welding News

Different Welding Alloys


The practice of welding requires specialized knowledge in the different techniques as well as what type of metals can be joined.  Not all metals can be used together to create a strong weld, and some metals will not even join together; it is because of all the different types of metals that can be used that welders need to have knowledge of which different metals can be joined with different types of alloys in order to create a weld that will be strong and last for years.  Welding alloys come in a variety of choices: bronze, cast iron, copper, aluminum, cobalt and a variety of others. The important thing for welders to know is which type of alloy to use and when.

Metal alloys are not created the same, different alloys consist of different minerals and properties.  Not only that, they also come in a variety of forms and electrode types.  The different forms of alloys that are available for use are: pastes, powders, wire, sheets, foil, thermite mix and tubular wire.  What this means for the welder is that they need to know at which temperature each of the different alloys and their forms will melt.  Welders need to be familiar with the breaking point and melting point of each form of alloy and the different metals that they are created from.

The first thing every welder should consider in order to create a strong weld is the type of metal that they will be working with.  This will help the welder determine which type of alloy should be used in order to create a sound weld.  This is especially important if the two types of metals that are going to be joined are different in consistency. When a welder is joining two dissimilar metals, it is important that they are familiar with the types of alloys that will work well with the metals. 

Because of the large amount of different alloys that are available for welders to choose from actually makes the decision a little bit harder instead of easier on the welder.  The amount of choices available force the welder to be knowledgeable with the different forms of alloys as well as which type of metals they can be used with.  One factor to consider is how easy the alloy will be to weld; this includes the temperatures that will need to be used as well as its bonding ability with the base metals.  Welders also need to know how the parts being joined will be used; this will help the welder choose an alloy that will be more flexible or firm.  If the wrong type of alloy is chosen for the joints main purpose, it may result in the weld cracking or breaking.

If a weld is going to be used in a manner that will expose it to larger amounts of stress then a stronger alloy should be used.  The most common alloys used when strength is required are nickel bronze and aluminum bronze combinations.  If the joint is in an area where flexibility is important then the welder should choose an alloy that offers some give once it has cooled.  If a joint is going to be done on material that will be exposed to water regularly then it is important that an alloy with a higher level of corrosion resistance be used.

Typically there is more than one right choice when it comes to choosing an alloy, and it is important that the welder not feel overwhelmed by all of the choices but that they choose the alloy that is right for them and their project.  Depending on the circumstances and how the weld is expected to operate, the proper alloy is available; it is up to the welder to know which one is the right one.  This knowledge will continue to grow as the welder continues to progress and become more experienced in their welding.  Welding is an area where those who are involved continue to grow and learn throughout their careers.

Ed C.


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