Although metal plays a critical role in the daily lives of many people, most are unfamiliar with the intricacies and subtle complexities that differ between various types. While cast welding professionals know the differences between steel and aluminum welding, you may be unaware. Because planning any future welding project requires knowledge of these differences, here’s a look at everything you need to know about the two main types.
A Look at the Differences Between Steel & Aluminum Welding
Aluminum and steel have different physical characteristics, which affect their capabilities and welding techniques. Although aluminum is lighter and less dense, it has a much higher rate of heat transfer than steel. As a result, this material can solidify after a weld faster than steel would. The metal also typically has a thin layer of aluminum oxide, which melts at a high temperature. Most professional welders will remove this surface to ensure optimal results in their project.
Expert welders are often adept at determining their progress by evaluating the heated metal’s color. While this technique works well with steel projects, it can be problematic when working with aluminum. The material doesn’t display color changes very well, and as it melts, it experiences a very subtle change to silver. The welder must use caution or risk ending up with liquid metal.
Welders can use a variety of techniques, such as oxy-acetylene torch welding when working with steel. However, this technique is not ideal for aluminum, which absorbs the hydrogen gas and leads to project defects. Additionally, while both aluminum and steel can be welded with metal-inert gas techniques, steel requires argon that’s mixed with carbon dioxide and aluminum requires pure argon.
Regardless of the metal you choose for your project, you’ll need high-quality welding supplies. At Wholesale Auto Parts, located in Morehead, KY, their team of technicians and automotive specialists can help you find exactly what you need. Serving Rowan County for more than 13 years, they also offer logging supplies, truck parts, and other hardware. To speak with a certified professional about a specific part, call them today at (606) 784-4147. You can also view their website for more information about supplies for steel and aluminum welding.