Many metal fabrication hobbyists need to weld different materials from time to time. However, many of them make mistakes due to their limited knowledge about the complexities involved in welding. This article discusses some tips that will help hobbyists to have better welding results during sheet metal fabrication using GTAW (gas tungsten arc welding).
Think About the Material
A good weld starts with understanding the attributes of the material that you are going to weld. For instance, some materials, such as aluminium, may easily distort or crack during the welding process. This is due to their high thermal conductivity and soft nature. Awareness of these characteristics will enable you to adjust the weld parameters, such as the temperature settings, so that any possible adverse effects of the heat generated by the welding process are minimised.
Always Test Weld
Some welding defects arise because the hobbyist isn't aware of the specific way in which a metal will react during the welding process, such as by folding along the weld seam. This makes it necessary to get bits of the same metal so that you test weld them in order to observe how they react to the process. You can use the waste material that was left after you cut the component that you wish to weld. This test weld will prepare you to take steps, such as reducing how much you preheat the base material, before you start welding the component that you are fabricating.
Clamp the Material
Another way to prevent distortion is to clamp the base material on the worktable. Clamping will prevent parts of the metal from lifting during the welding process. This lifting may be due to the difference in temperature between the different parts of the sheet metal placed on the worktable. Clamping also helps to maintain the desired shape, such as a square, of the base material.
Use a Gas Lens
The quality of the weld may be affected by how well the shield glass is directed onto the weld zone. A gas lens helps to direct the shield gas onto the weld seam so that the resultant weld joint is flawless. The impact of the gas lens can be compared to how an aerator helps to spread water coming from a shower faucet. Buy this device and you will have better results.
Use the tips above and you will notice a gradual improvement in the quality of your welds during different DIY projects. You can consult metal fabrication experts in case you need to weld a rare metal, such as titanium, that requires special techniques that you may not know.Share
2 August 2016
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