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Welding tips

In welding, there is more than meets the eye when sparks fly.

Do you know the variables that can play a role in determining the type of welding method best suited for your product needs and which ones can make or break the success of your welding projects?

By understanding the many design variables, you and your welder can choose the best welding method for your product to ensure the welds will hold strong for the life of your product.

Welding tips

  • The choice of your joint configuration (e.g. t-joint, lap, corner or edge) depends on material thickness, accessibility to the welding spot, technical requirements and the tolerance specifications of your product.
  • Ensure your welding supplier works in a contamination-free work area to minimize airborne particles and avoid surface defects.
  • When welding aluminum components, make sure your welder cleans the weld areas properly to break up the naturally occurring surface oxide that develops when aluminum is exposed to air.
  • Work with your supplier to develop mock-up welds for testing to determine if your welding choices will work with your product design and end-use application
  • Incorporate mechanical strength testing in your welding processes to ensure the weld is strong and will not crack or separate under pressure.
  • Consider the effect tooling can have on fabrication imperfections, as holding fixtures may cause surface defects during the welding process. Welders that have access to in-house tooling capabilities may have more flexibility in design set-up and real-time design collaboration.
  • Confirm your welding supplier uses high quality filler rods and wires of the correct diameter and alloy specification.
  • Ensure your supplier preserves the purity of the gas all the way to the arc. Any leaks in the welding equipment can contaminate the gas.

Value in single-sourcing

There is value in involving your welding supplier early in the design stage. They can evaluate your component’s essential functions and the impact welding can have on other parts. Their expertise can bring attention to the design factors that can make a difference in your overall product quality and reliability.

Sourcing your component needs from one supplier can bring value that many may not consider. If your aluminum extruder is also your welder, you can be sure they have fully considered the proper aluminum alloy, temper, and the effect your extrusion design will have on welding.