Welding aluminum is an essential skill for any welder. However, most welders are more familiar with welding steel and other types of metal rather than working with aluminum. This is largely because welding aluminum requires a different type of setup and materials to prevent corrosion. Read on to learn more about how to weld aluminum using MIG gas and how you can do the same. Welding with aluminum also requires a special technique that is somewhat different from what you might be used to when working with other metals. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about welding aluminum so that you can get started in your own workshop as soon as possible. Let’s get started!
How To Weld Aluminum With Mig?
1. Aluminum Welding Basics
Before you can go about welding aluminum, you need to understand a few basics. Aluminum is one of the most common metals used in industrial and commercial applications. It is also one of the softest metals on earth, which makes it attractive for various applications. However, it can be difficult to work with aluminum because it tends to react with many other metals and materials. You’ll want to take care when welding aluminum so that you don’t end up doing any additional damage or creating an unsafe environment for yourself.
2. The Equipment You Need
Welding aluminum requires a special type of MIG setup, which you can purchase online or at a local welding supply store. The type of equipment that you use will depend on the size and shape of the project you are working on and your personal preferences. Before buying any equipment, make sure that it is compatible with aluminum welding so that it can withstand the temperatures involved.
3. Aluminum MIG Gas
MIG gas is necessary for aluminum welding because it is designed to handle increased temperatures without breaking down like other gases might. It also prevents contamination from other metals, reducing the risk of corrosion or other problems. You’ll need to use a special MIG gas for welding aluminum, which you can find at most local stores or online retailers. Most types of MIG gas are used for steel but should still be able to handle your aluminum projects just fine if handled correctly. Just make sure that you check with the manufacturer in case there are any compatibility issues between your particular machine and their product before purchasing anything to avoid any unnecessary headaches later on down the line.
4. Safety First!
No matter what metal you’re working with, safety should always be your top priority when setting up a workstation or otherwise doing any kind of metalworking project in your workshop. Before doing anything else, make sure that all safety gear is in place and functioning properly so that nothing gets damaged or injured along the way. If you’re unsure about whether or not you have the right safety gear, you can always ask someone at your local hardware or welding supply store to help you out. They will be able to tell you what kind of safety equipment is necessary for aluminum welding and can help you find the best possible options based on your needs and budget.
5. Aluminum Welding Tip
While aluminum is a soft metal, it can still get hot enough under certain conditions to cause damage to your skin. Make sure that your gloves are in good condition before getting started with any project so that you don’t accidentally burn yourself at a crucial moment. You’ll also want to use eye protection if possible because even though aluminum doesn’t usually produce harmful fumes, there are still small amounts of particles in the air that could irritate your eyes if you don’t take precautions against them.
6. Tips for Successful Aluminum Welding
When welding aluminum, make sure that the metal is clean and free of any dirt or other contaminants before trying to get started with the actual work itself. Dirt, oil or other materials could interfere with the welds and make it more difficult for them to set properly, which might lead to cracks later on down the line as well as a weaker overall structure than what it was supposed to be original when constructed properly in the first place. Make sure that everything is cleaned thoroughly before attempting any kind of welding project so that nothing interferes with your ability to create a safe structure.
7. Keep it Steady!
When you’re working with aluminum and aluminum welding, you’ll need to make sure that your workstation is steady and sturdy at all times. Aluminum is a relatively soft metal, so any kind of movement could cause the welds to crack or break apart entirely. If possible, try to use a stand or other kind of support that will help keep the project stable throughout the entire welding process so that you can get the best possible results without having to worry about anything else getting in your way.
What Is Mig Welding?
- MIG welding is a type of gas metal arc welding (GMAW) that is used to weld together two pieces of metal. MIG stands for “metal inert gas” and refers to the type of shielding gas used during the welding process. The shielding gas is a mixture of argon, helium, and carbon dioxide.
- MIG welding uses an electrode wire that consists of a core wire and a protective coating as well as flux. The flux plays an important role in ensuring that the weld puddle forms properly and that it doesn’t contain any impurities.
- As you can imagine, MIG welding requires an external power source in addition to the welder itself since this type of machine does not have its own power source like other types of welders do. This means that you need to plug your welder into an outlet before you can start working with it!
- In addition to requiring extra equipment, MIG welding also requires extra preparation before you begin working with it especially if you are using aluminum or another type of metal that requires special attention when being welded together with another piece of metal or even when being coated afterward with anything like paint or other types of coatings that are used on finished products made from aluminum or any other kind of metal for that matter!
Equipment You’ll Need To Learn How To Weld Aluminum
1. A good power source
Aluminum is a great metal to weld, but not all power sources are capable of producing the amperage you’ll need to get the job done. A good welder should be able to deliver at least 150 amps. The best welders have a minimum range of 175-200 amps. This will give you an ample amount of power for MIG welding aluminum.
2. Aluminum wire
The aluminum wire used for welding aluminum is coated in flux, which helps prevent oxidation and corrosion as you work. This flux also protects the metal from contamination by impurities in the air or other substances that can affect the quality of your welds. You’ll need 1/16” diameter wire for most jobs, but 1/8” can be used if necessary. You can also use solid wire if you prefer, but this requires more care when handling and storing it as it can be damaged more easily than coated wire. As always, make sure you buy only high-quality wire so that you know it will work well with your setup and produce high-quality welds every time that is free from cracks or other defects that may cause problems later on.
3. Argon gas (optional)
Argon gas is a shielding gas that you can use when welding with aluminum to improve the quality of your welds. It’s an inert gas, which means that it doesn’t react with the metal or add any impurities as you work. Argon is also a dry gas, which means that it doesn’t leave behind any residue on your welds. It has a much lower thermal conductivity rating than CO2, but it can be used to shield your welds from oxygen and other contaminants in the air. While not necessary for every job, using argon will help ensure that you get the best possible results on every project.
4. A MIG welder
While you can weld aluminum using other processes like TIG or stick welding, these are more difficult and time-consuming than MIG welding and require more specialized equipment and training to master. If you want to get started quickly and easily, stick with MIG welding for now so that you can get started right away. You will need a spool gun to connect your wire feeder to the welder hose port in order to use MIG welding with aluminum wire on most models of the welder.
Aluminum is one of the most common non-ferrous metals in the world and it’s used in just about everything. It’s lightweight, strong, and easy to work with. As a result, it’s an excellent choice for automotive parts that need to be lightweight. However, aluminum is also very corrosive and welding aluminum requires special equipment and techniques. If you want to learn more about welding aluminum or if you want to get started on a project, contact us today!