If you have been keeping up with our recent articles, last week you read about some of the key advantages of stainless steel fabrication. If you skipped over this one, we encourage you to go back and give it a peak. For those pressed for time, here’s the overview: although stainless steel requires a steep initial cost, it has earned a reputation for its long-term benefits—it’s easy to fabricate, durable, resistant to heat and corrosion, long-lasting, and recyclable.
As a full-service fabrication company, aiming to provide the Saratoga Springs area with affordable, yet high-quality fabrication services, welding is something we know quite well. Although we mostly specialize in robotic arc welding—because of its consistent precision and maximum output—we are familiar with all types of welding. In today’s blog, we are going to direct our focus to some of the most common types of welding methods when working with stainless steel.
Depending on the grade, thickness, and finish, the method by which stainless steel is welded varies. While there are a number of welding methods, there are three that are most commonly used. Below are these three types along with a brief description.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
Also known as tungsten inert gas welding (TIG), gas tungsten arc welding is the most common welding process. As the name indicates, a tungsten electrode is used to create a low-heat-input weld. More often than not, this process is used for thin materials like stainless steel as well as with other non-ferrous metals like aluminum, copper, magnesium. One common trick often employed when utilizing this method is to perform a single-sided weld, which creates an inert backing gas protection between interior and exterior welds, thereby bolstering up corrosion and oxidation resistance.
MIG welding, or gas metal arc welding, is a semi-automatic welding process that makes use of argon-rich gas and a solid wire electrode. During this process, an electric arc forms between the wire electrode and the metals—or workpiece—causing the metals to melt and join. Because it offers a strong bond and it allows the welder to weld hard-to-reach spots, many prefer this process. Additionally, to better stabilize the arc and, therefore, improve the quality of the weld, welders will use a variety of gas mixtures—helium, oxygen, and carbon dioxide.
Resistance or spot welding is one of the most popular and economic forms of welding. In the simplest terms, this is the process of joining two metal surfaces through heat created via resistance to electric current. This type of process is often used when welding sheet metal, wire mesh, and other thin materials with low melting points. The automobile manufacturing industry is perhaps the best and most common application of this type of welding. It is an essential part of shaping and forming automobile frames. Spot welding can also be completely automated using robotic welders, which yield reliably great results—check out some of the advantages of robotic welding.
Not Sure What Type of Welding You Need?
If you are trying to choose which method of welding is best for your stainless steel project, don’t go it alone. There are a multitude of factors to take into account. If you need assistance, contact our fabrication shop. Our team can evaluate your project, materials, budget, and help you find the most affordable and effective solution!