Why Should Metal Be Cleaned Before Welding
Preparation is important in the welding industry. From getting the electrodes ready to inspecting all PPE, welders have to prepare in quite a few ways. One of the essential methods of preparing for a weld is cleaning the base metal.
To ensure the best results, welders must use materials such as wire brushes, acetone, and more to remove contaminants from base metals. Common contaminants include paint, rust, oil, and mill scale. If you’re new to the subject, continue reading to learn the answer to the important question—why should metal be cleaned before welding? Cleaning the base metal is going to add more time to your weld, but it’s time well spent.
The presence of contaminants is more damaging than some beginner welders realize. Refusing to clean your base metals before working with them results in a weaker weld for multiple reasons. For instance, welding base metals that still have contaminants on their surfaces can cause porosity to occur. Porosity is the development of gas pockets within the metal, which hurts its overall structural integrity. Suffice it to say that structural integrity is crucial when it comes to welding.
Plus, porosity makes welds look messy, which can cause problems if you’re welding building materials, home décor, and other structures people will frequently see. Besides porosity, neglecting to clean metals before welds can cause cracking in the workpiece. Cracking is exactly what it sounds like, which is a significant detriment to your weld's visual appeal and structural integrity. Buying good equipment, such as an electric welding machine, is crucial but so is using the proper techniques in the field.
So, why should metal be cleaned before welding? Because consistently and thoroughly cleaning base metals with the proper materials will help you create high-quality workpieces for clients. Porosity and cracking are common problems that are easy to avoid with the right preparation and technique. Although you may be able to repair these damages in some instances, that won’t always be the case.