Aluminium is a common material to use for a variety of items, and is also the metal of choice for many people doing their own metal fabrication. It's light, soft and easy to work with and can therefore be handled also by amateurs quite easily. A main part of many aluminium fabrication projects is welding, as it's often needed to shape the aluminium properly. In order to weld aluminium the right way, there are a few things you need to think about regarding the special qualities that aluminium has.
The first thing you need to be aware of when you wish to weld aluminium is that it won't, like most other metals, change colour when it's starting to reach its melting point. This can complicate the welding process and cause you to burn the aluminium and ruin it by melting it more than is actually needed. If the aluminium starts changing colour, it's most likely going to turn into a dull red, meaning that it has become overheated and already reached its melting point. To avoid this, you should practice on a piece of aluminium that isn't essential for your project to calculate how much time it takes for it to reach its melting point. You could also ask your aluminium suppliers at what temperature it melts.
As you purchase aluminium to use for an aluminium fabrication project, you should also examine it for oxidation. If aluminium has become oxidised, it forms a coating that is much harder than the aluminium itself, meaning you have to weld it for much longer to get it to melt. This makes the fabrication process more difficult and also makes it take longer. You'll know it has oxidised if the surface of the aluminium has turned dull. If you have gotten a oxidised piece of aluminium by accident, you can still use it, but remember to consider the special qualities of oxidised aluminium.
You should also be more careful with moisture when it comes to welding aluminium than you would be welding other materials. Aluminium can oxidise by the surface absorbing oxygen from water or other sources of moisture nearby as you're welding. Wipe the aluminium absolutely clean and dry before you attempt to start welding, and consider working in an environment equipped with a dehumidifier to avoid the aluminium getting moisture from the air. Make sure that the welded aluminium gets to cool off in a cool, dry place after you're done welding your project.Share