Welding stainless steel compared to carbon steel has two main differences: you must take more care in temperature control, and match the filler metals properly with the material being welded.
The Process of Welding Stainless Steel
There are three most common traditional techniques for welding stainless steel. All of them join metals by applying some form of intense heat to the joint between the two pieces being joined. This heat melts a molten filler metal which cools and solidifies, creating a metallurgical bond.
Because the joining weld is a mix of metals, the joint should have the same strength properties as each of the metal parts. This strength occurs only in welded joints. Non-fusion metal joining techniques like soldering and brazing cannot match the strength of welded joints.
The three most common traditional methods of welding stainless steel are:
Welders need more advanced tools than simple clamps. So they can make certain that stainless welding projects turn out with clean, unflawed welded seams. The most practical tool in this welding line is a jig.
A jig fixture allows you to move the tool and work product simultaneously. When the jig is attached to a welding table, it is known as a frame welding jig. The design of all jigs make work easier. It also gives the welder a steady, unmovable surface to work on.
TIG is an acronym for Tungsten Inert Gas. This is a welding process that uses an electrode to deliver the electrical current to the welding arc. Metalworkers use inert gases like argon to protect and cool the welding seam. TIG welding stainless steel is similar to oxy-acetylene welding. You must use a filler material for the build-up. This method is also called Heli-arc welding. This name derives from the helium gas that shields the arc.
This method provides the welder with the ability to both soft start and stop the heat. Some welders like to use the foot pedal to control the heat. Others however prefer finger-tip remote controls that allow you to control the heat level while you are welding.
In arc welding, an electric arc produces intense heat. This is required to melt metal and join the two metals using a wire or stick electrode. This arc is guided along the joint either manually or mechanically. The electrode carries electric current between the tip and the metal being welded. In some cases, a specially designed wire or rod is used. It also melts and provides the filler metal to the joint being welded.
Advancement of Welding Stainless Steel with Laser Fusion
The traditional methods above are good for many applications like stainless steel profiles. Modern technologies on the other hand have achieved a new welding process called Laser Fusion. Stainless Structurals is an industry leader in laser fused profiles. This process allows for design flexibility, smaller weld seams, and improved productivity. You can read more details on this modern method of welding here.