Aluminum welding is a popular way to join different pieces of metal. With the rise of aluminum production, there has been an increase in the various welding techniques and processes available for aluminum. According to Statista, in 2020 global aluminum production amounted to around 63 million metric tons.
Given its corrosion-resistant properties, lightweight strength and low cost, it’s no wonder why aluminum is in such high demand. But, the main question is, what kind of welding is used for aluminum?
In this article, we will answer that question and explore the different types of welding for aluminum.
What Type Of Welding Is Used For Aluminum?Aluminum is one of the most versatile materials used in the construction industry, with its strong yet lightweight properties often being put to use in multiple applications. When it comes to welding aluminum, the most common methods used are MIG, TIG, and flux-cored arc welding.
Each method of aluminum welding has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to consider what welding process is best for your particular application.
MIG WeldingMIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding is the easiest and most common type of welding for aluminum, since it is relatively inexpensive and simple to use.
This process uses an electrical arc that is fed from a spool of solid wire welded to a workpiece. MIG welding is typically used on applications that require strength, durability and a good finish. It’s also commonly used in auto body and furniture fabrication.
Advantages of MIG Welding
- MIG welding is fast, easy and efficient.
- The process does not require any additional post-welding treatment.
- The process produces very little fumes and is relatively quite.
- The weld has a neat, smooth finish.
Disadvantages of MIG Welding
- It is not suitable for welding thick metals.
- Slightly more expensive than other welding methods.
- Requires frequent cleaning due to spatter.
TIG WeldingTIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is a specialized welding process that uses a tungsten electrode that is held in place with a collet and a welding gun. This process requires higher levels of expertise, as it requires precision and accuracy to produce quality welds. TIG welding is ideal for applications that require little or no post-welding treatment, as well as in situations where the welds need to be very clean and visually appealing.
Advantages of TIG Welding
- High quality welds.
- Very little spatter.
- No post-welding treatment is required.
- TIG welding is suitable for welding thin and thick metals.
- The process is quiet and very versatile.
Disadvantages of TIG Welding
- The equipment is costly.
- The process requires a high level of skill.
- The process is time consuming.
Flux-Cored Arc WeldingFlux-cored arc welding (FCAW) is a more specialized method of welding aluminum. This process uses a wire that is filled with flux and makes use of an automatic wire feeder. FCAW is typically used to join thicker metals and is often used in construction and pipe welding applications.
Advantages of FCAW
- FCAW is fast and efficient.
- The process works well for welding thicker metals.
- The equipment is relatively inexpensive.
- The process does not require a high degree of skill to operate.
Disadvantages of FCAW
- The process produces more spatter than MIG or TIG welding.
- The welds require additional post-welding treatment.
- Fumes from flux-cored welding are more hazardous than other welding methods.