Welding Wrought Iron
Wrought iron has many uses: it can be used as a decorative item such as gates and doors; or it can be used as a security measure where it is used to protect windows and other vulnerable areas of a building or home. Because wrought iron is such a relatively easy metal to work with, it has become a favorite among welders. It provides good tensile strength and is resistant to corrosion, which makes it perfect for use outdoors, and it is highly resistant to fatigue.
When working with wrought iron there are many different techniques that welders can use. It can be worked using the forge, oxyacetylene, flash, seam, spot and thermite techniques. The only drawback is that because wrought iron is a soft metal, the welder must be sure to use the correct pressure so that a strong weld is created. If you choose to use the forge welding technique then the wrought iron should be heated to a minimum of 1350 degrees Centigrade. If you prefer the submerged arc welding technique, you should insure that the filler and flux being used are the same type and that they are designed for use with low carbon steels. In this process it is important that the welding speed be kept low to avoid excessive weld porosity.
Using a low welding speed is also recommended if you are using shielded metal arc welding. The lower speed will allow the weld pool to remain in a liquid state for a longer period of time before it begins to harden. Once the weld begins to harden, the gases trapped in the weld, along with any slag particles, will rise to the surface; this will allow you to remove them and present a clean weld. This technique will also provide a less porous and stronger weld than other techniques used to weld wrought iron.
As with any welding job, it is important that the metals you are working with are free of debris and have been cleansed of any oils that may have found their way onto the metal. Removing the debris will provide you with a cleaner end result, and by removing any oils or other contaminants from the wrought iron will lessen the chance of a fire occurring. Always remember, the cleaner your metals, the better quality of weld you will be able to create. Welding wrought iron can be very rewarding and enjoyable once you find the technique that works for you.