Stainless Steel Welding
Updated: Jan 10, 2022
Stainless steel has become one of the most widely used metals because of its strength and non-corrosive properties. These properties come from stainless steel being an iron-based alloy, consisting of 11% - 30% chromium. Each variation of stainless steel has differing levels of chromium, which chemically alters how it performs.
Is It Difficult To Weld?
As for whether stainless steel is difficult to weld, its heat retention properties can cause issues. Because stainless steel holds heat so efficiently it can warp during welding or cooling. Scratching is another issue stainless presents because it displays every blemish created.
What Type of Welding Is Best For Stainless Steel?
The answer to this question depends on your purpose. For the best results and cleanest welds, gas tungsten arc welding (TIG) should be used. It should be noted that TIG is a slower welding process.
For the fastest production speeds and greatest efficiency, shielded metal arc welding (MIG) is the best option. MIG welding creates high-quality welds but does lack the finesse TIG welding offers.
Stick welding is also an option when welding stainless, but for most thin sheet metal applications, MIG or TIG is better. At Rapid Metal Fab, we use MIG and TIG daily when welding assemblies, always with exceptional results.
Things To Know When Working With SS:
Stainless steel can rust, but only under extreme conditions. How is this possible? When the chromium oxide layer that is preventing the stainless steel from rusting is removed. This removal can occur during the heating or cooling of the metal during welding.
Make sure to have separate tools when working with carbon and stainless steel. Any trace amounts of carbon that make their way onto your workpiece can cause your final product to rust. Even carbon dust can cause rust on stainless, meaning precaution is key when working with these two metals.
Should you use/weld stainless?
Absolutely! Stainless steel is a great metal and welds beautifully. Its strength and rust/corrosion resistant properties make it the best cost-effective metal to choose in some cases. As long as you are careful with the amount of heat the metal is exposed to, welding should be uncomplicated.
We at Rapid Metal Fab have a great deal of experience welding and working with stainless steel. If you would like custom fabrication of this kind, it would be our pleasure to help. We offer engineering, CNC cutting and forming, as well as welding and surface finishing. To get started on your project, whether it involves singular or mass production, contact us here.