MIG welding has a ton of applications, and each comes out with exceptional results. But some welders ask whether MIG welding stainless steel with Argon is possible.
If you’re lost when it comes to MIG welding steel, then it’s a must you get access to correct facts. After all, you’re keen on getting the best welds for your stainless steel. And that’s exactly what you’ll get in this read!
Aside from getting to know whether MIG welding stainless steel with argon is possible or not, we’d also learn more stuff on MIG welding to help you get better at your trade.
What Does Argon Add to a MIG Welding Process?
Argon acts as a shield for various metals to generate the correct amount of heat to melt onto corresponding metal surfaces. For example, if you’re intent on welding stainless steel, you’ll need a stainless steel filler wire fitted to your welder.
Is MIG Welding Stainless Steel With Pure Argon Possible?
Using pure argon will not give you the result you desire in welding up your stainless steel. 100% Argon gas causes a very counterproductive reaction which stifles your base metal’s melting process.
With the melting process of your pure MIG argon gas welder stunted, there’ll be no cohesiveness in your weld. And that’s not all! Using pure argon gas to MIG-weld stainless steel results in;
Low incursion of base metal
Using pure argon as a shielding gas to MIG-weld stainless steel results in the filler wire getting hardened and out of shape. With this, there’s too little reaction between the metals since heat generation is stunted by pure argon.
It’ll make welding stainless steel so difficult, and may result in a frustrating weld operation.
Since there’s virtually no control assured from the pure argon shielding gas, metal splatter from your welds will easily scatter about your stainless steel.
Uncontrolled splatter normally results a lot of holes appearing across your welds. With such holes across your welds, the whole line is good for nothing and you’d have to start over again.
If you’re determined to use pure argon in welding stainless steel, splatter is common. To get such metal splatter off your welds, you’ll need to engage in grinding which wastes time and effort.
Improperly melted filler wire
Using 100% argon as a shielding gas limits heat build-up which not only affects the base metal but the filler wire as well. The welding process still manages to get some filler wire melted, but a ball will regularly form throughout your operation.
What Kind of Argon Gas is perfect for Welding Stainless Steel through MIG?
It’s possible to MIG-weld stainless steel with argon gas, but not in its pure form. Here’re mixtures you can apply in MIG-welding stainless steel with argon gas;
¾ of Argon and ¼ CO2
Most welders refer to this MIG-weld argon mixture as C25 and a lot of companies also produce the gas with this name.
Argon is a good shielding agent but it doesn’t possess the required oxidation to generate heat. That’s where the 25% percent of CO2 accelerates the oxidation process. Stainless steel will become easier to merge with this shielding mixture and porosity won’t be experienced.
With such a mixture, you’ll notice your welds become neater and filler wire gets burnt better onto stainless steel. And if you’ve got the best cheap mig welder with such a gas mixture, your welds will become more professional with every passing operation.
98 ~ 99/100 Argon and 1% Oxygen
Using high-percentage argon gas for welding stainless steel is only possible with an addition of oxygen. When oxygen is added to your argon gas, it creates a spray effect from your filler wire onto the base metal.
Spray welding is mostly required for surfaces in need of a sturdy weld pool, and 98 to 99% argon with 2 to 1% oxygen will easily get the job done.
How to Get the Best MIG Weld for Your Stainless Steel
Use a High-Alloy Steel Filler Wire
High-quality stainless steel resistant to wear-and-tear is only possible when mixed with an alloy. Alloys such as nickel and chromium improve your wire’s durability and cohesiveness, ensuring a proper weld.
So when you’re in the market for a filler wire, ensure a high-alloy option compatible with your welder is what you pick.
Check Your Stainless Steel for Any Bent Parts or Dents
For a proper stainless steel weld, your intended surfaces need to be flush and devoid of any dents.
With a streamlined surface on both stainless steel surfaces, you’ll get much tighter welds that’ll remain joined after cooling.
Use CO2–Based Gas with a High Voltage Welder
If you’re intent on making a switch from high argon shielding gas, your best bet is carbon. But gases with a high carbon percentage need to be used with utmost care and a great amount of skill. It’s a correct choice to make use of shielding gases with +50% CO2 content.
If you make a choice for a CO2–based gas, it’s necessary you make a choice for a high-powered welder. Machines with an amperage range within 220 ~ 230V are ideal for working with a high-carbon gases.
Confirm Your Welder’s Amperage & Compatible Shielding Gas Mix
For a host of welders, having the right amperage is essential for putting together a range of welds. Getting spray transfer and non-porous welds could easily be achieved with a 120V welder. There’re also other machines with more capability to produce even much better results.
MIG welding stainless steel with argon is possible, but with the right steps. And since you’ve made this read your choice, you’ve noticed how detailed every explanation is.
Also, I’ve made a few choices available to you in this read if argon really isn’t working for you. Getting you the right set of alternatives through this read makes welding through varying stainless steel thicknesses more comfortable than you’ve ever imagined!