If you asked people if it would be possible to weld aluminum with a stick welder, most of them would say that it is probably not possible. If you would research more about it and try to learn as many details as you can, you will begin to realize that there is a big chance that this can be done, but it would need some explanation. The explanation will help people know how they should do it and what they can expect.
There are a lot of methods that can be done to weld aluminum, but one of the most popular is to weld with the use of TIG. Some would use MIG because this can work for thicker materials and deliver the results that people may expect to get. MIG can also be done in a faster manner, although the quality of TIG welds is considered better.
Some Facts to Know About Welding Aluminum with Stick Welding
People are starting to become bolder and more creative. They would like to try different combinations that have not been tried before. This explains why welding aluminum with stick welding is slowly gaining popularity. It may not be everyone’s favorite, but people are willing to try it with the right resources.
- Stick welding will have the ability to join two pieces together with the use of an electric arc. The electric arc will usually have a lot of heat and will have the ability to melt different metal pieces.
- Stick welding may sometimes use coated electrodes, which means that it will also come with some fillers. An aluminum-coated electrode may be the best choice for you if you plan on welding aluminum with stick welding.
- The welding process will not take up a lot of time. If the aluminum is exposed to too much heat or it becomes too close, the aluminum might melt. This will be harder to fix.
- You can only do this welding method with a DC reverse polarity.
- The flux coating of the electrode will act as a shield for the arc and the aluminum. This can also be effective in removing the aluminum oxide so that welding can be less complicated.
You should realize that the main challenge that you will go through while doing this type of welding is how you are going to control the arc. Once you master this, then it might be easier to do this type of welding whenever you need to do so.
Potential Issues of Stick Welding Aluminum
Stick welding aluminum is not one of the recognized ways to weld. It is also considered to be very expensive compared to the other available welding methods. You are required to purchase aluminum electrodes that can cost a lot of money, especially when compared to the different welding methods.
You may say that you are just going to buy the lowest possible pounds that are available. The smallest quantity of aluminum welds is in 5 lbs. You will spend a lot of money to use aluminum electrodes for about 5 minutes or less.
Another possible issue that may arise is the type of welding aluminum rods that are available. Most of them will tend to become damp. Aluminum rods may not have the ability to maintain the quality of the welds. You also cannot weld aluminum when you are also trying to weld thin materials together. It is also vital to know that this can only be used for DC stick welders and not AC stick welders.
The fast process of welding can be too much, especially for beginners who do not know how to control the welds yet. It can be very confusing, and it may only end up in aluminum electrodes becoming wasted.
Stick Welding Aluminum
Stick welding aluminum is not something that a lot of people like probably because this is something that people only do as a last resort. Most people who do this usually feel that the results are wrong. These are the things that you have to remember:
- Purchase the right aluminum sticks. There are various aluminum sticks that you can purchase online and in some actual stores. Once again, most of the aluminum welds will be about 5 lbs. You can also expect that they will be a bit expensive than most.
- Prepare all of the materials that you will need to make sure that the stick weld will be possible.
- One thing to remember is the brand of the aluminum stick welds that you will choose will make a difference with how effective the welding is going to be. Aluminum will become stronger if it is mixed with certain alloys. The better your choice is, the more effective the welds are also going to be.
The Drawbacks of Using Stick Welder for Aluminum
There are different issues that you may face if you would push through with using a stick welder to weld aluminum. Some of these drawbacks are the following:
- The cost is very expensive. You can weld aluminum with a MIG welder for a much lower price. The speed will be almost the same too.
- Learning how to weld with the use of a stick welder is going to be very complicated. Even those who have been welding for a long time still would not choose this over all the other welding methods that they can do.
- The appearance may not be as smooth as compared to other welding methods. This can be a good option, though, when you do not care a lot about the way that the welds look.
- You need to put in a lot of effort into slag cleaning. It will not be pleasant, but this is something that you have to do.
To have the right skills to do this welding process may take time and effort. Still, it is worth checking out and trying. Who knows, this might turn out to be one of your favorite processes to do in the long run. It may be hard to practice often, especially with the high cost, but if you have perfected the skills, it will not take a lot of effort.