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Some welding processes require filler metals. Before purchasing filler metals, there are several key factors to consider. As you’ll learn below, fillers can literally make or break your weld. With the help of a guide to selecting the right filler metal, you can consistently produce high-quality welds.
Your filler choice can boost or hinder your weld’s crack resistance, corrosion resistance, color matching, tensile strength, and ductility. Think carefully about which aforementioned factors matter the most to your project; you’ll sometimes have to sacrifice one for another.
For instance, 4043 is a great go-to filler metal for various alloys, providing impeccable crack resistance to welds. However, 4043 doesn’t provide the same strength filler metals such as 4943 or 5XXX series metals provide to your finished product.
Likewise, 5356 filler metal pairs perfectly with 3XXX, 6XXX, and several 5XXX alloys. 5356 excels in terms of tensile strength, cracking resistance, and ductility. Unfortunately, where 5356 doesn’t excel is handling post-weld heating and temperatures greater than 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Even if a filler is advantageous to your weld, it might not be good enough to meet specific industry requirements. For instance, some industries have to abide by structural codes that dictate the tensile strength of welds, so choosing the right filler is key. Additionally, not all fillers will react the same way to environmental conditions like freezing temperatures; using certain fillers in certain locations is crucial to ensuring structural integrity.
Although 4043 and 5356 are great filler metals, they won’t react the same way after anodizing. 5356 will color-match after anodizing excellently, but 4043 will consistently turn grey after going through the same process. Welders also have to consider post-weld heat treatment. As mentioned above, if your project calls for post-weld heating, 5356 won’t be able to endure this process. On the other hand, 4043 can handle post-weld heating without issue.
A guide to selecting the right filler metal will come in handy because, as you can see, shopping for these materials requires juggling quite a few factors. Although shopping for them requires immense planning, finding discount welding supplies online, including fillers, isn’t very difficult. Once you have the right fillers by your side, you can put together strong, attractive, and reliable welds without worry.