Welding stainless steel can be challenging for many welders. Knowing these three tips for welding stainless steel tubes and pipe helps prevent corrosion and guarantees increased production while maintaining quality.
Considering stainless steel is temperature-sensitive, joint preparation and appropriate fit-up are critical in regulating the heat and maintaining the material’s attributes. When there are gaps or an unequal fit-up between the pieces, the torch must remain in one location longer, and additional filler metal is necessary to fill the gaps.
This leads to heat accumulation in the afflicted location, which might cause the part to burn. Poor fit-up might also create challenges in bridging gaps and achieving the required weld penetration. The stainless steel must be as close to flawless as possible when you work with it.
Cleanliness is also vital when you’re working with these materials. Tiny quantities of impurities or debris in the weld joint can produce flaws that impair the final product’s durability. Clean the base material with a new stainless-steel brush to eliminate potential hazards.
Using the best filler metal is essential to regulate carbon levels. The better the filler metal, the better the chances are of meeting the appropriate weld specifications.
The magic letter any welder should look for when welding stainless steel is “L.” A metal with “L” in its name implies that it’s lower in carbon, a property which ensures continued corrosion resistance in alloys. Another letter to look for is “H” because it has an elevated amount of carbon. If you use a normal filler metal on a low-carbon base, the risk of corrosion skyrockets.
Controlling sensitization requires you to not only choose the best filler material but also to manage the temperature. When the low carbon (“L”) filler isn’t robust enough, you may have to take it up a notch. Regulating the heat output is paramount when increasing the carbon filler.
Reduce the amount of time you use high temperatures. They can reach as high as 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, so be diligent when controlling the temperature.
Incorporating these three tips for welding stainless steel tubes and pipes will give you the most effective welds on the job. SEC Industrial is the best place for all your industrial tools. You can count on reliable tools like our high torque hydraulic wrench. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.