Aluminium is a popular metal in many home projects. Its versatility allows you to use it for window fittings, door fittings, outdoor furniture and homemade balustrades, among many other projects. In so doing, one of the most important factors to think about is the method you will use to join different pieces of aluminium, where need be. Welding is certainly the oldest trick in the book, but you should be careful because aluminium is quite different from other metals like steel and iron. It is highly workable and soft, meaning that there is a high risk of bending and melting. With the following tips, you will be able to weld aluminium pipes and successfully when working on your projects at home. Here you go:
Choose an Appropriate Welding Tool
Whether you are working with aluminium pipes or sheets, the first step to a successful job is to make sure that you are using the right tool for the job. As mentioned earlier, aluminium is quite soft and very responsive to heat. The best welding tool requires the combination of a welding torch and a blowtorch. You need the blowtorch for pre-heating the aluminium so that there are lesser chances of distorting it in the process. After pre-heating, you can use the welding torch for the actual weld joints.
Clean the Aluminium
If you want to get a nice weld with aluminium, keeping the surface clean and polished is essential. Dirt, grime and impurities affect the structural integrity of the welded joint. You should thus use steel wool to polish the surface you want to work on before starting welding.
Use the Right Welding Technique
Having the right tool is not good enough if you cannot nail the technique. The secret to welding aluminium is to move the welding torch constantly to distribute the heat evenly over the surface you are trying to join. If you focus the heat in one spot, aluminium easily develops hotspots and begins to melt. You can also puncture the materials and create tiny holes instead of creating a joint, as desired.
The Pipes and Sheets Must Fit
When working on iron or steel, you have an easier time because you can fill in the gaps with filler materials and still come off with a clean joint. This is not possible with aluminium. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that the pipes or sheets fit perfectly and leave no gaps before you can start the welding process.
Contact a company that specialises in aluminium fabrications to learn more.