Aluminum is one of the “youngest” metals used in the construction and fabrication industry. It wasn’t produced as a usable material until 1825 and it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that the first production process for aluminum welding was developed. Aluminum makes up about eight percent of the earth’s crust weight and is the third most abundant element, and most abundant metal.
Aluminum is 100% recyclable, and due to its low cost and strength, it has an application as an alloy in the steel fabrication industry. It also produces a thin layer of aluminum oxide on the surface when exposed to air that prevents corrosion and rusting. Because of this, it is a desirable element to use in the construction of power lines and house siding.
The Difficulties of Aluminum Welding
Because of aluminum’s unique qualities, extra safety measures need to be taken to ensure a safe workplace. Aluminum alloy is one of the most challenging metals to welding because of its lower melting point and higher conductivity. According to the American Welding Society, it is hard to tell the difference between hot and cold aluminum, because its appearance does not change when heated.
Because aluminum is so reflective, it poses a more significant threat than steel of work-related injuries while welding. Also, due to the material having a lower melting point and higher conductivity than steel, the risk of burn-through is greater. When welding aluminum, you must take extensive care in cleaning the metal even if it is a new piece because, unlike new steel, it is not clean.
Benefits of Aluminum Welding
Aluminum has become a staple in all industries, from aerospace to shipbuilding. The lightweight, sturdy material makes it easier to use in thousands of products from cars to baseball bats. Another benefit of welding with aluminum is its corrosion and rust resistance. These characteristics make welding with aluminum so desirable across multiple fields.
With its beneficial features, it makes sense that 25% of the aluminum produced in the world is used in the construction industry. It is also a material that is non-toxic and durable and can take on almost any shape. Aluminum also becomes stronger in colder temperatures and does not lose its properties in temperatures ranging from -80 degrees Celsius to +300 degrees Celsius.
Vic’s Welding Co., LLC. is a licensed, insured welding and steel fabrication company that is “U” and “R” Stamp shop certified through ASME/National Board. Our company has been serving residential and commercial clients in the Valley since 1996. We offer emergency and scheduled maintenance, fabrication, repairs, and modernization. We supply all consumables, including welding rod, oxygen, and acetylene. Contact us today for more information on aluminum welding or to schedule an appointment with one of our A.W.S and ASME Certified welders at (623) 925-5696.