Aluminium has several applications in industrial manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, medical and other niches. Its light weight characteristics make it suitable for several applications and hence aluminium welding is an important activity. However certain characteristics of aluminium make this process quite challenging.
CHALLENGES IN ALUMINIUM WELDING
Because aluminium is light weight and has high thermal conductivity, it is crucial that the welding process is ‘hot and fast’. If the travel speed of the welding component is too slow, the material may just burn through.
There are several grades of aluminium and each one demands a different kind of aluminium welding treatment depending on its specific alloy composition. For instance 1xxx series (which is 99% pure aluminium) and 3xxx and 4xxxx aluminium alloy series are low strength materials and can be welded with relative ease. Medium strength aluminium alloys like the 5xxx and 6xxx are more difficult to weld, but it is possible with the right techniques.
The 2xxx and 7xxx series aluminium alloys are high strength aerospace alloys and very difficult to weld.
Another challenge is aluminium welding is the formation of an oxide layer on the surface, which melts at a higher temperature than aluminium. Not removing this oxide layer before welding can damage the underlying aluminium.
METHODS OF ALUMINIUM WELDING
Aluminium may be welded using metal inert gas (MIG) welding or by Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding. The latter is a preferred method as it makes fine and intricate welding possible and it more power efficient. TIG welding however is more time consuming.3D Welding Works is at your service to cater to any and all of your aluminium welding requirements.