Updated: April 03, 2022
Welding has become as much of an art as it is a science. These workers have become exceptional at using their tools to craft pieces of metal into buildings, bridges, even into art. It is truly remarkable.
What makes the industry even more impressive is the fact that they have been able to find ways to combine almost any kind of metallic material into a durable and seemingly indestructible well. Even many non-metallic substances can be welded to a piece of metal using some of these welding techniques.
Some common types of welding ferrous metals include carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and alloy steel. Carbon steel is versatile and widely used due to its strength and affordability. Stainless steel offers corrosion resistance and is often used in high-stress environments. Cast iron is popular for its heat resistance and durability. Alloy steel is a blend of different metals, providing enhanced strength and versatility in welding applications.
8 Different Types of Welding Metals
While some exceptional work is being done, the reality is that there are some types of metal that are far more regularly used in these processes. While not a comprehensive list, here are some of those that you will find most frequently used.
Aluminum is one of the most commonly welded substances, but it takes a bit of expertise to be successful with this metal. As long as you have the proper knowledge and are using the right techniques, you can create efficient and durable welds no matter the grade of aluminum.
The important part of welding aluminum is to avoid creating cracks in the metal. This is why paying special attention to the grade of the aluminum is essential. If the proper filler material is not used during the welding operation and the right technique is not employed, cracking and a compromise well are quite common as a result.
To help compensate for this problem, there are many aluminum alloys that have been aged so that the strength is increased. To increase the strength, the metal has been heated to a specific temperature over a specified amount of time which increases the strength. Then, when it is welded, there is a far less likely chance that some form of damage will occur to the material or to the weld itself.
Steel is another metal that is commonly to weld. It starts with the fact that steel has a great deal of strength to it, and there are many alloys that can be created, especially those combined with iron.
What makes steel appealing to many looking to build structures is its versatility. Not only is it a material that can be used in a wide array of industries, including automotive and building manufacturing, but there are several different types of welding techniques that can be employed as well. This means that it is easier to find an experienced welder who has worked with steel, maybe more likely than you would find with any other type of material.
While the versatility of steel makes it a great choice, it does, the downside. The two primary problems with using steel is that it is prone to rusting or flaking due to oxidation. Over time, this can become an extremely serious problem.
#3 Stainless Steel
Unlike using traditional steel, stainless steel resist corrosion and creates a healthier weld. This is accomplished by adding anywhere from 10% to 30% of chromium, as well as other elements to the steel. Often this can include adding iron or even nickel alloys. The combination with these other elements and alloys greatly reduces corrosion.
When welding stainless steel, the biggest consideration is the grade that is being welded. There are three major types of stainless steel, which include austenitic, ferritic and martensitic. Ferritc stainless steels are frequently used because it is very easy to use them in welds. This is true for austenitic stainless steel as well but is not so much for martensitic.
This particular type of stainless steel is much harder to weld because of its high degree of hardness as well as its propensity to crack. This is why an extremely experienced welder must be used to create welds using this material.
#4 Carbon Steel
Carbon steel is considered the most weld the bowl metal you will find. This is due to several different factors, beginning with the fact that it has great weld ability and has been used in numerous applications and industries across time.
Because of its large abundance and the fact that many industries are demanding this metal, many within the welding industry have worked to improve techniques for welding carbon steel. This has included such techniques as patented electrical arc waveforms, top-of-the-line welding power sources, and special filler material chemical compositions. This ensures that welders are able to create spectacular welds with these.
One of the properties of carbon steel is that it is quite ductile. What that means is that it can easily be formed in shaped in ways that make it usable in a large number of purposes. This is true primarily because it is prevented from becoming brittle, avoiding such things as cracks and breaks.
Copper is not as widely used as many other metals, but is used in several different alloy forms that make it a good metal to use. Its primary benefit comes from the fact that it is great for electrical conductivity as well as heat conductivity. However, it gives a great look, is resistant to corrosion, and handles weather and the elements well.
Within the industry, there are several different copper alloys that are used. This includes combining with nickel and zinc, silicon, aluminum, 10, among other high copper alloys. Copper is welded using one of two techniques, namely TIG and MIG.
To make welds using copper, it is necessary to preheat the metal plates themselves. This improves the level of thermal conductivity, which creates a better weld.
#6 Cast Iron
Cast iron is far inferior to that of carbon steel, but is still used. The primary concern for welders in using cast-iron is that it is not nearly as ductile as metals using carbon or silicon. In addition, the surface has to be cleaned thoroughly with an ingrained grease and oil before the weld can be conducted. When completed, all cracks need to be grind it out and filled immediately to avoid a compromise in the weld. To conduct a cast-iron weld, oxyacetylene welding is required.
Like copper, nickel requires alloys to get the best possible weld. There are four primary alloys that are used, including 141, 61, nickel-copper alloy 190, and nickel-copper alloy 60. The most common of these is nickel alloy 141, which is used to connect nickel to steel.
the last metal to look at is magnesium. It has alloys are quite lightweight, as much as a third less than that of aluminum. It absorbs vibration extremely well, making it easy to use. It also has a melting temperature similar to that of aluminum, making it easy to create welds.
The concern about magnesium is that this is a flammable substance. The shavings that are created during the welding process can actually catch fire, however, because of the properties of magnesium, water cannot be used to put out the flames. This can actually cause more harm than good. A TIG weld is required to perform this type of weld.