MIG Welding Stainless steel:
MIG Welding is most comamonly used for welding aluminum and other non-ferrous metals, but now it is widely used for welding stainless steel, carbon steel and other nickel based alloys.
The MIG Welding for stainless steel is a simple and straight forward process, particularly if you have practiced welding on carbon steel. Ideally, carbon steel must be this first working metal for all beginner welders and once you master it you can easily move up to tougher metals like stainless steel and nickel alloys.You should be using a Best Miller MIG welder to for the welding process.
MIG Stainless Steel welding—– common issues:
MIG Stainless steel welding is not very different from other MIG Welding procedures, but machine settings, filler metal thickness and inert gas composition varies from metal to metal. The pre-requisites of MIG stainless steel welding are pretty much the same. A clean metal surface, clean electrode, consistent gas and electricity supply and a good welding position are a must have for all kinds of welds. MIG Stainless steel welding generally source two problems.
• Joint Distortion.
• MIG Gun Cord Issues.
The joint distortion issue can be resolved by clamping the joints and letting the heat spread evenly throughout the metal surface. Stainless steel can distort easily hence it is very important to brace each joint that needs welding. The heat spreading method is used particularly for nickel alloys and stainless steel as they tend to heat up too quickly and have the ability to store that heat for a very long time. The heated part of the metal distorts easily and can be noticed even during the welding process. The trick here is to let the heat spread out or give the joint some cooling time in between the welding process.
The stainless steel cord on the MIG Feeding wheel is too stiff to move and it becomes difficult to keep it straight and provide a smooth supply of the cord. For stainless steel, “spool feed guns” or “push pull Wire Feed System” can be used.
MIG Stainless steel welding— shielding gas:
The inert gas composition for MIG Stainless steel welding includes 97.5 % Argon and 2.75% CO2. This composition also varies with different alloys of stainless steel and a mixture of Argon/ Oxygen gas can also be used. The Argon/Oxygen mixture doesn’t always gives a smooth weld as compared to Argon/CO2 mixture.
MIG Stainless steel welding— filler metal:
The filler metal for stainless steel depends on the grade of stainless steel being used. Commonly there are two grades of stainless steel. The 304L, which is welded using 308L filler metal and 316L is welded using 316L filler metal.
MIG Stainless steel welding— machine settings:
Each MIG Welding machine has different settings and it is important to have a deep knowledge of machine settings and properties before welding your actual working metal. Each machine comes with a manual and it is advised to read the manual and test your welding settings on scrap metal first. You may not get the right settings on the very first trial, this is a hit and trial method and you have to find a balance between voltage, feeding wire, speed settings and gas layering.