Learning how to aluminum weld can be challenging because it is more difficult to work with than steel. Why do we want to work with aluminum anyways? Well, aluminum does not break even after turning rock-solid.
Whether it be alloys that are non-heat-treatable like the ones containing small amount of manganese (Mn) or magnesium (Mg), or heat-treatable alloys containing magnesium zinc, silicon copper and aluminum having 99% transparency.
Aluminum can be incorporated into many different allows and the welding process is different according to the type of aluminum that you are welding.
Workpieces of aluminum that contain copper or lead additives are always harder to weld because they have a tendency to crack during the welding process.
How To Aluminum Weld – MIG and TIG Welding
Apart from the other types of welding – plasma welding, gas welding and resistance welding, aluminum welding can be done using MIG welding and TIG welding.
MIG or Metal Inert Gas welding is a subtype of Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), whereas TIG welding is another name for Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). TIG welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to weld the metal. In MIG welding, a consumable wire and shielding gas is fed through a welding gun.
TIG vs MIG Aluminum Welding
The question arises, when to TIG weld aluminum and when to MIG weld it. TIG welding is used when you want a high quality finish and in cases where you can only weld from one side. For example, you will only weld from one side when you are working with pipes or repairing castings.
MIG welding process is used more for thicker aluminum pieces. It also works at a faster pace, which is another factor that makes it popular. MIG welding is also useful in making extensive, non-stop welds. MIG welding applies much less heat to the metal than TIG welding, which means there is reduced potential deformation of the metal when MIG welding is used.
But the most advanced method of welding is the one where you use pulse arc in conjunction with MIG welding; this method gives the best results. It increases the control over the molten pool for slim materials, stabilizes the arc, reduces spatters and decreases the risk of harm from the welding process. This process is sometimes referred to as aluminum arc welding.