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Welding doesn’t only have to occur between two pieces of the same metal. Dissimilar metal welding isn’t rare in the industry, but this process requires immense care and preparation. Without the right prep, welding different metals together can yield cracks instead of stability. Anyone unaware of this process can start understanding the basics of dissimilar metal welding by reading the guide below.
Welding dissimilar metals means you’re combining two metals with different properties from one another. Examples of this include welding steel with aluminum and aluminum with copper. As you can see, the concept is fairly straightforward, but you’re likely wondering what exactly the benefits of welding dissimilar metals are. Successfully welding two dissimilar metals can give your final product key benefits of both materials. Aluminum, steel, copper, and other weldable metals have their pros and cons depending on the specific application, so the aforementioned benefits will vary.
Most dissimilar metals will have different melting points, which can cause some issues during welds if you don’t prepare adequately. To successfully melt two dissimilar metals together, use welding techniques capable of melting both metals successfully. The specific methods you use for the solution will vary depending on the metals you’re welding together. Don’t worry—if you need new gear for a dissimilar metal weld, we have a wide selection of reliable but cheap welding supplies to choose from.
Before welding dissimilar metals, another factor to consider is the thermal expansion properties of each individual workpiece. In the presence of heat, metals display unique expansion and contraction properties. Welding metals with different thermal expansion properties can result in an overall weaker weld.
Another key factor to consider is the environment in which you’ll store the finished weld. The presence of moisture and humidity can produce galvanic corrosion on dissimilar metals, as can many other contaminants. Drastically changing temperatures can also hurt dissimilar metals, so keep your finished product in a comfortable, clean, and stable environment.
Although there’s more to learn about the subject, understanding the basics of dissimilar metal welding is essential before trying the process yourself. As you can see, a lot can go wrong when welding dissimilar metals if you don’t execute the right preparation procedures. However, under the right conditions, this welding method can yield strong, reliable products.