5 Key Considerations in Selecting the Right Filler Metal for Your Welding Project
When it comes right down to it, the strength, longevity and overall integrity of a weld depends largely upon the filler metal. Failing to select the right filler metal for your welding project promises to compromise the fortitude of your weld. OK, that totally makes sense, right? But how do you select the right filler metal? And what are the key elements you need to keep in mind in order to make the right choice? Good questi
on, I’m so glad you asked!
Selecting the right filler metal for your welding projects breaks down to five key considerations:
Matching the base metal
Number of passes required to complete the weld
Cleanliness of the base metal
So let’s take a closer look at how each of these key elements
relates to the filler metal selection process:
Matching Filler Metal with the Base Metal
The single most important consideration in selecting the right filler metal is matching the filler metal as closely as possible to the base metal.
Whatever type of metal you’re working with –
stainless steel, aluminum, bronze or copper alloys, or any of a host of other possible metals
each possesses its own unique properties, which are unmatched by oth
er metals. It’s really
pretty elementary chemistry if you think about it
dissimilar compositions aren’t going to bond well (or at all).
The monumental importance inherent in the strength and surety created by the bond between the filler and base metals makes this match the most important consideration in your filler metal selection process.
Selecting the right tensile strength is a almost as important as matching filler and base metal type, coming in a close second among key considerations in your filler metal selection process. Basically, you want the tensile strength of your filler metal to equal or exceed the tensile strength of your base metal
if you can’t match the base metal’s tensile strength exactly, it’s better to exceed than settle for a short fall.
The logic here is also pretty elementary
if you’re bonding two pieces of base metal using a filler metal with a
sile strength than that of your base metal, you’re headed for trouble and will definitely end up creating a weld that’s less than secure.
Filler metals designed for flat or horizontal welding positions are generally less prone to porosity and developing other inclusion related issues, in addition to possessing a faster speed of travel. That means nine times out of ten, your best bet with any welding project is welding in a flat position, i.e. on a work bench or welding table, preferable in a welding shop or some similar work environment. But hey, realistically speaking, that's not always possible
what’re you gonna do, right?
When you’re making repairs in the field, however, and you don’t have the luxury of a comfy cozy welding shop
environment, you gotta do what you gotta do. And that means selecting an all welding position filler metal. All position filler metals offer a super solidification rate, ensuring the weld puddle remains intact.