Welding is a piece of art, and one needs to be extra cautious while dealing with it. It requires backbreaking work—specialized equipment, with two pieces of metal to join together.
Welding rods are a filling metal that can turn two pieces of metal into a single identity. Several options are available in the market, and you can choose the one that suits your requirements. Different rods have different strengths and capabilities.
Aluminum welding rods are preferred because they make it possible to achieve satisfactory results and are widely used in welding because it is corrosion-resistant and extremely lightweight. These rods can be welded without special equipment, highly reflective to light and heat.
The finest quality gives an extra burst of assurance in both residential and commercial use. Below is a detailed description of how good aluminum welding rods are, which can help you decide on the best one.
How Good Are Aluminum Welding Rods?
Aluminum rods are very similar to other welding rods. A significant difference can be noticed because these rods melt perfectly to fuse the pieces of metal.
Many aluminum rods are present, each with different usage and formulations. First, knowing the welding type for the repairing process is very necessary.
Density, strength, and melting temperature vary among these and are the crucial factors that are beneficial if you understand them initially. Lack of knowledge and experience will always leave you with the missing part of the puzzle.
Lastly, always use the rights settings on the welding equipment. Fulfill all of these criteria, and you are good to go.
Usage Of Aluminum Filler Alloys
Aluminum welding rods act as filling material to bond two metals using a torch or current. Using aluminum rods is a straightforward process if you follow the basic rules.
1: To avoid any disaster, it is recommended to use the right rod according to the environment and never mix it with other materials.
2: The welding rod and the aluminum alloy should be compatible.
3: Adjust the settings of your equipment properly. Amperage and current settings are important when using electrical arc welding to get the optimum heat.
Contrarily, when gas welding, you should have some working experience with aluminum to understand the metal reactions better.
Most of the welding rods have similar characteristics. However, the major difference is the coating they are coated with to help the material used in the rod and the welding process.
Welding aluminum with rods can give you extraordinary results if done properly.
Classification Of Aluminum Filler Alloys
1XXX,2XXX,4XXX, and 5XXXX are alloy families for aluminum filler rods. These determine the best filler metal and characteristics that are used for the specific welding process
Pure Aluminum Alloys(1XXX)
This filler alloy is the purest, making it an excellent choice to weld metal in which conduction of electricity is necessary.
None of these alloys are strong enough not to crack. So it is suggested to use the same filler alloy as the parent material that you will weld. For instance, an 1100 filler rod will be used to weld 1100 parent metal.
Finding the exact match might sometimes be challenging. In such a scenario, you should use a filler rod that is at least as pure as the parent material. The last two digits of the alloy designation specify the purity for the 1XXX series. For instance, 1100 means 99.0 % purity, and 1070 is 99.7 percent purity.
Welding non-1XXXX series base material with 1XXX filler alloys is not recommended. Similarly, they should not be used to weld base metals having different series from each other. Doing so will make the base metal crack sensitive.
The 1XXX could cause problems in feeds as they are soft. Using a push/pull torch is best suited to these filler alloys.
Aluminum Copper Alloys(2XXX)
2319 is a readily available 2XXX filler alloy composed of Cu(copper), MN(manganese), and Ti(titanium). It was created to match the 2219 filler alloy. However, you can also use it for welding 2519 aluminum armor alloy. This alloy treats the heat well enough in post-weld heat treatment, providing extended strength. Besides this, it is not applicable anywhere.
Aluminum Silicon Alloys(4XXX)
These contain Si(silicon) and can be hardened with tensile strength from 170 to 380 MPa. Aluminum alloys are best for brazing and fusion welding because of the increased fluidity, making them less prone to porosity than 5XXX filler rods.
4043 and 4047 are the most common 4XXX filler rods. Heat treatment is provided to these as they can get complicated due to magnesium and copper.4XXX filler rods are soft. So, they can pose difficulties to feeding in gas metal arc welding.
Aluminum Manganese Alloys(5XXX)
5356 is most common in 5XXX filler alloy. These alloys create stronger welds, as they have a higher amount of copper.5556 and 5183 are some other high-strength fillers, having manganese which further increases the strength.
They have modest strength, ideal for the manufacturing of cookware. Even used in chemical plants, these are suitable for operation at elevated temperatures. Aluminum alloys have good corrosion resistance and formability and do not get hard when heated at a high temperature.
High Strength Aluminum Alloys
Used in space technology and sports equipment, these have a tensile strength of 220 to 610 MPa. These do not require an arc for the welding process to be carried out. High temperatures make them increase their strength. It is mainly because of the presence of zinc as the main element.
Can I Figure Out Aluminum Alloy Family By Just Looking at It?
You can’t figure out an alloy family by just putting two pieces together on a bench. Unfortunately, there is no real and practical way to tell the aluminum alloy family by just metal examination.
The metal lacks laboratory analysis, and with no documentation on itself, you cant conclude any judgment confidently on your behalf.
How to Deal With Aluminum Alloy Unkown Sample?
The best strategy is to cut parts from the aluminum crap piece for your project. Doing so will ensure that you are using the same aluminum alloy. However, it won’t help you choose the welding rod type.
Welding can rod can only be chosen after performing some welds which you believe to be the most suitable and checking the weld quality.
Some of the welding workshops sort their scraps by alloy. So buying scraps from them could be another option. Organizing their scraps allows them to use these pieces more efficiently. You can buy these cuts and scraps reasonably from many welding shops.
How to Choose the Right Aluminum Welding Rod?
Before buying aluminum welding rods for your welding projects, you should consider some elements.
It’s necessary to know the aluminum alloy family. Once you understand the alloy family, you will be able to select a rod in an eye blink
.You can match the right welding rod with the aluminum alloy by looking at various online charts and guides. See one provided by Hobart Brothers.
Welding rods differ for each welding equipment, particularly with aluminum. The best source to get this information is from the equipment manufacturer about how to set up that equipment for welding rods, various metal types, and applications.
Lastly, it’s essential to know the weld nature that you will produce. Are you going to perform vertical welds opposing horizontal ones? Do you need to weld right angles or butt joints?
For instance, some aluminum welding rods cannot perform overhead work, so select the one that matches your application.
Prerequisites for Using Aluminum Welding Rod
The right settings, tools, and welding rods will be useless if you have not done the perquisites before welding.
It’s essential to clean the welding surface before you start fusing it with aluminum welding rods. Starting off with a dirty or contaminated surface results in poor quality, no matter whether the rods selected are the most appropriate ones. Oxides layer forms on the aluminum surface when exposed to the atmosphere.
This layer of oxides won’t let the proper amount of heat reach the aluminum surface and also prevents its flow from getting mixed with filler metal. Contaminants from the layer often get mixed with the aluminum and filler metal, resulting in a poor weld with bubbles or may get cracked.
The contaminants often cause a spatter when welding, which damages the aluminum surface around the weld area. Once you have cleaned the surface, you need to carry out your welding operation immediately after, as delay causes the reformation of the oxidized layer.
Consider cutting your aluminum if needed with a high-performance plasma cutter. Easy aluminum alloy has different cutting needs. Some require the edges of weld beveled ground or milled shape before welding.
See Also: MIG Welders for Aluminum
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