Welding aluminum telescopic tube will involve unique welding methods, unique shielding gases, unique requirements, and unique pre-weld and post-weld finalizing than any other steel tube. The welding techniques that is fit to weld both will involve modifications to ensure that they is designed for use to weld aluminum tube.
Aluminum telescopic tube can be welded with relative ease, however and most important, the right welding method has to be determined.
Why Is Welding Aluminum Telescopic Tube Difficult?
In advance of showcasing several welding techniques that are implemented for connecting aluminum telescopic tube, it will be crucial to recognise some of the complications that are inherent to welding aluminum. One area of complexity is filler metal.
Aluminum alloys can’t be welded without using filler materials. Alloys including 6061 will undergo solidification damage if welded without filler metal. Furthermore, the correct filler material must be selected. For illustration, welding a 6061 alloy with a 6061 filler metal will result in weld failing. Instead, a 5356 or 4043 aluminum filler metal need to be applied when welding a 6061 base material.
The next thing must be concern with aluminum filler metal is feeding. If a mechanical wire feeding technique is being used, particular drive platforms will probably be required. This is certainly due to the fact that aluminum features less column strength when compared to steel, and definately will much more than most likely buckle and tangle if particular wire drive systems, such as a push-pull gun, are not used. This is especially accurate for thinner aluminum filler metals.
Aluminum sometimes comes with a greater thermal conductivity when compared to steel. The heat produced when the welding operation is started on aluminum is spread more quickly than when welding an iron-based alloy. As a result, full penetration might not distribute until the weld has progressed quite far from the start. This is referred to as a cold start.
Treatment need to be considered to ensure that cold starts will not happen when welding aluminum. The next effect of the raised thermal conductivity is larger craters. When the finish line of the weld is reached, extra heat is present than at the start. This heat disperses perfectly in aluminum and can generate a significant crater.
Aluminum tube is highly sensitive to crater cracking, so, craters should be filled in so that issues is not going to appear at the end of a weld.
Aluminum also will require unique pre-weld and post-weld finalizing. Aluminum forms an oxide layer that has a higher melting temperature than the actual aluminum on their own. In order to prevent un-melted aluminum oxide particles in the weld, an oxide extraction task, such as wire brushing or chemical cleaning, needs to be implemented to prior welding.
Several aluminum alloys, such as 6061-T6, are artificially aged to increase their strength. The heat from welding ruins the benefits gained by artificial aging, and large reductions in strength will be found in the heat-affected zone. Therefore, post-weld artificial aging may be required for alloys such as these.
What Type of Welding Is Used for Aluminum Telescopic Tube?
The most common type of welding used with aluminum telescopic tubes is gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). This type of welding is preferable because it allows for precise welding and high-quality results. It also creates a strong and consistent weld.
However, it’s important to note that GTAW requires a skilled and experienced welder to achieve the best results. Other types of welding, such as gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), can be used for aluminum telescopic tubes, but the results may not be as precise or consistent.
The following are the proper welding processes that can be used for aluminum:
- Laser Beam Welding and Electron Beam Welding
- Resistance Welding
Welding Processes That Are Not Recommended
There are one or two processes that are not well matched for welding aluminum telescopic tube. Any welding process that utilises a flux, such as stick welding, flux cored arc welding, and submerged arc welding, are completely not the best methods for welding aluminum. Frequently, the welds created by these processes end-up in huge amounts of porosity.
Before welding aluminum telescopic tubes, it’s important to prepare the surfaces of the tubes. This includes cleaning the tubes with a stainless steel brush or similar tool to remove any dirt, oil, or other contaminants. It’s also important to make sure the edges of the tubes are smooth and free of any burrs or debris.
Once the tubes are clean and free of contaminants, it’s important to ensure that the joint is free of gaps or other imperfections. This can be done by using a variety of clamps, jigs, and fixtures to secure the tubes in place before welding.
When welding aluminum telescopic tubes, it’s important to use the right welding technique. For GTAW, the welder should start by preheating the tubes to the appropriate temperature. This helps to ensure that the weld is strong and consistent.
Next, the welder should use a torch to create a small, stable arc between the tube and the welding filler material. The filler material should be a matching alloy of aluminum and should be added slowly and consistently. The welder should then move the torch along the joint in a single, continuous motion.
It’s also important to note that the weld should be done in multiple passes. This helps to ensure that the weld is strong and free of imperfections. Once the weld is complete, it should be allowed to cool slowly to prevent cracking or other damage.
Once the weld is complete, it’s important to inspect the weld for any imperfections or flaws. If there are any imperfections, they should be corrected before the structure is used. Additionally, it’s important to apply a protective coating to the weld to protect it from corrosion and other damage.
In conclusion, proper welding techniques are essential for welding aluminum telescopic tubes. Gas tungsten arc welding is the most common and preferred method, but it’s important to ensure that the joint is prepared properly and the weld is done in multiple passes. Additionally, post-welding inspection and protection are also essential for ensuring a strong and durable weld.