Aluminum And Steel Welding

aluminium and steel welding
Source: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

Anyone well versed in the world of welding will understand the ease with which it is to weld aluminum to most other  metals. The problem however, comes when one considers aluminum and steel welding. Characteristics such as porosity and brittleness within the metal are just a few of the many issues one is faced with.

To ensure an effective and successful experience, there are several considerations that one can observe. Of note is the primary method of using bimetallic transition joints. 

Employing Bimetallic Transition Supplements

If ever you have a job that involves aluminum and steel welding, using bimetallic transition inserts is the primary method to optimal results, particularly for structural applications. In this case, one utilizes pieces of aluminum and steel parts, pre-bonded to each other.

There are some points to note though, and the success of the whole project is dependent on how meticulously one follows the requisite precautions.

Some of the common applications that require bimetallic transition inserts include:

  • Bonding deck-houses made of aluminum and steel decks on marine vessels
  • Aluminum and steel welding of tubular steel and tube sheeting on heat exchangers.
  • Production of arc-welded joints for aluminum and steel piping
aluminum and steel welding, heat exchanger
Image source: Wikimedia

Precautions In Aluminum And Steel Welding

In contrast with other relatively simpler welding methods, there are some precautions one needs to take when it comes to aluminum and steel welding.

  1. Aluminum’s state remains unchanged whether hot or cold. This makes it difficult to figure out whether the metal has been recently welded or is still cold. To avoid injury, it’s best to label the different pieces.
  2. There is a risk of electric shock when it comes to aluminum. Coupled with steel, aluminum is a great conductor of electricity. It’s advisable to ensure the welding system is well-insulated.
  3. In aluminum and steel welding, reflected light is of particular concern. Due to the high reflective properties of aluminum, the risk of light-related injuries is elevated. Protective gear is a must, as such.
aluminum and steel welding, protective clothing when welding
Image By: Air National Guard

Ensuring A SUCCESSFUL Welding Job

As complicated as it may seem, with the right equipment and operational steps, aluminum and steel welding can be a breeze. There are a number of methods to get the job done, and by following basic precautions and steps it can be accomplished successfully. To get a favorable outcome one needs to observe the above rules of thumb and safety measures.