Stainless steel alloys usually have a chromium content of a least 10%.

Stainless steel base metals are grouped primarily into three classes depending on their crystal structure; austenitic (such as 302, 304, 308, 316, etc.), martensitic (such as 410, and 416), and ferritic (such as 409, and 430.). Austenitic grades are also available with a lowered carbon content (designated with an "L", such as 304L or 316L.) Below is a basic step by step guide to follow when welding Stainless Steel: #1. Safety First Warning: Protect yourself & others. Read & understand this information. Fumes & Gases can be hazardous to your health. Electric Shock can kill.
• • • • • •

Before use, read & understand the manufacturer's instructions, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) & your employer's safety practices. Keep your head out of the fumes. Use enough ventilation; exhaust at the arc, or both, to keep fumes & gases from your breathing zone & the general area. Wear correct eye, ear, & body protection. Do not touch live electrical parts. See American National Standard Z49.1, Safety in Welding, Cutting, & Allied Processes, published by the American Welding Society, 550 N.W. LeJeune Road, Miami, FL 33126; OSHA Safety & Health Standards, available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402

#2. Select Joint Design & Fit up Start by determining the best manner in which to join your base metals. Correct joint design & fit up are critical steps to insuring a strong bond upon weld completion. Be sure to consider strength required, welding position, metal thickness & joint accessibility. The five basic types of joints are butt, corner, edge, lap & t. These five joints can be arranged in many combinations to create a large variety of welds. Fixtures & jigs are helpful in securing the work pieces in place during the joining procedure. Sheet metal & most fillet & lap joints should be clamped tightly over the entire length of the work. #3. Choose The Welding Process The three most common stainless welding processes are:

SMAW - Shielded Metal Arc Welding or Stick Electrode SMAW is an electric arc welding process in which heat for welding is generated by an electric arc between a covered metal electrode & the base metal. The electrode coating provides shielding. The welding equipment for this process is currently the most inexpensive of the methods described here. However, electrodes do create some inefficiency, such as stub loss & a slag coating, which must be removed.

GTAW - Gas Tungsten Arc Welding-Tig Welding Tig Welding is easily performed on a variety of metals. It generally requires little or no post weld finishing. It is an electric welding process in which heat for welding is generated by an electric arc between the end of a non-consumable tungsten electrode & the base metal. Filler metal may be added, if necessary. An inert shielding gas supplies shielding for the arc. (Inert gas creates a protective atmosphere around the welding in process).

FCAW - Flux Cored Arc Welding-Mig Welding

The two most common types of GMAW are: Short Circuit Transfer . Spray Transfer . select filler metal with a composition similar to that of the base metals. a gas flow rate of 40 cfh is suggested.5% argon. It also works well on thick metal with a large diameter electrode. FCAW . It provides shielding.none required GTAW . Aufhauser flux cored stainless steel wire is formulated to provide all position welding & smooth.98% argon.Flux is contained within the electrode. Set The Parameters SMAW . . AC uses a combination of both straight & reverse polarities. 1% oxygen is predominantly used .90% helium. Additional shielding may be added. • GMAW . In addition.5% CO2 #5. which make them suitable for out of position welding. and compatibility. deoxidization & arc stabilization. (ex: 308-15) use direct current.Gas Metal Arc Welding-Mig Welding Gas metal arc welding is quick & easy on thin-gauge metal as well as heavy plate. argonhelium mixtures or pure helium may be used. Bead appearance is convex. Dissimilar base metal applications require selection based on mechanical properties.Oxygen 99% argon.Metal is transferred across the arc creating a continuous spray of fine droplets of metal. 2. These droplets are projected down to the base metal. #4. Their key characteristic is fast freezing slag.Spray Transfer Ð Use Argon & 1% to 2% . Adjustments can be made. 2% oxygen when welding thinner material. Short Circuiting Transfer . Shielding is obtained from an externally supplied gas or gas mixture. For thicker sections. which is electrode negative or reverse polarity. There are several advantages of DC. It works well at low current settings & with small diameters. Stainless electrodes designated Ð15. #6. which is an unbalance of the magnetic field around the arc causing a bend in the arc. which is electrode positive. The advantages of this current include: less chance of arc blow.The arc is broken or short circuited with each drop of metal & restarted. reverse polarity. It generally calls for little post weld cleanup. Determine appropriate inert Shielding Gas SMAW . The most common tungsten utilized is 2% thoriated. This will ensure the weld has similar properties. A smoke suction nozzle around the gun or fume hood aids in reduction of smoke & fumes. GMAW . Generally. Direct current flows in one direction continuously through the welding circuit. DC uses either straight polarity.uses a direct current (DC) or an alternating current (AC). which alternate in regular cycles. freedom from cracking. Select The Applicable Filler Metal For applications where both pieces are the same alloy. GMAW is an electric arc welding process where heat is produced by an arc between a continuously fed filler metal electrode & the base metal. It is used on smaller. stable arc action.100% CO2 or Argon/CO2 The voltage may be somewhat lower if argon with 20 to 25 percent CO2 mixtures is selected. igniting the arc & maintaining a short arc is easier. depending upon the specifics of the application. Pure helium may also be employed for deeper penetration.Argon is suggested for thicknesses up to approximately 1/2". thinner gauges & produces a shallow weld. 7.

Brush the plate surface & edges with a stainless steel wire brush to remove burrs & oxides. inches Amperage 0. FCAW . Diameter.225 180 . The base metal surface must be free of grease.22 17 . oil. 308-16) use AC or DC. GMAW .500 250 . Electrode Welding Current.035 0. Spray Transfer: Electrode Welding Current.22 Wire Feed Speed. dirt. 60 to 75 degrees.500 220 .80 Settings based on Ar.650 430 .30 24 .29 24 . Flow rate 20cfh.28 24 . etc.430 120 . The parameters for Tig welding are dependent upon plate thickness & welding position.200 Arc Voltage 17 .Stainless electrodes designated Ð16 (ex.240 Settings based on 90He 71/2 Ar. AMPS .32 Wire Feed Speed.Flux cored stainless steel welding wire generally uses direct current. stronger joint.For gas tungsten arc welding use DC current with straight polarity (electrode negative).22 Wire Feed Speed.035 0. They produce a smooth weld bead. The base metal should be brought to room temperature.400 100 . Preheat is necessary when welding ferritic or martensitic grades.030 0. It is also needed when joining metals that are thick or contain a high percentage of carbon.Below are suggested settings for GMAW welding.22 17 . 21/2 CO2 shielding gas. This current type provides better base metal penetration.030 0. ipm 150 .125 75 . Flux cored welding requires a longer wire extension or "stick out.160 100 . Diameter.22 17 .600 Arc Voltage 24 .160 100 . A clean surface will provide a smoother. Short Circuiting Transfer: Electrode Welding Current. reverse polarity (electrode positive). ipm 440 . inches Amperage 0. 21/2 CO2 shielding gas. #8.300 200 .125 75 . #7. 1 to 5 O2 shielding gas.210 50 . Preheat If Applicable Preheat is not required for most 300 austenitic grade stainless steels. inches Amperage 0. Clean The Base Metal Cleaning should be done just prior to welding to prevent the formation of oxides.035 0.32 24 .045 60 . paint.400 100 .The most common settings are: Diameter 1/16 x 12" 5/64 x 12" 3/32 x 12" 1/8 x 14" 5/32 x 14" 3/16 x 14" 1/4 x 14" Amps: 15 – 40 30 – 60 50 – 80 70 – 110 100 – 140 130 – 180 175 – 220 GTAW .22 17 .030 0. ipm 150 .240 Settings based on 90He 71/2 Ar.045 1/16 3/32 160 .400 110 ." Stick out is the distance between the end of the wire and the end of the contact tip. Stick out for stainless steel flux cored wire is typically 5/8" to 3/4". Gloves should be worn to prevent hand oil or dirt from getting on the joining surface.200 Arc Voltage 17 .450 220 .430 120 . .045 60 . with a flat to slightly convex bead appearance. Diameter. Flow rate 20cfh.

Move the torch/gun along the joint at a steady. There are about 15 types . constant speed to maintain uniformity. Postheating aids in slow down of the cooling process to minimize cracking. Welding Technique A good welding technique is developed as a welder gains experience. Heavier gauge sheets & plates may require an edge bevel to assure full penetration. but should not drip into it. These steels do not rust and strongly resist attack by a great many liquids. This is a good procedure to use when joining thick metals. Cooling/Post Weld Cleaning Postheat may be required to relieve internal stresses caused by the concentration of heat in the weld area. All stainless steels contain iron as the main element and chromium in amounts ranging from about 11% to 30%. Remove slag with a chipping hammer or by grinding. Many of the stainless steels have good low-temperature toughness and ductility. and gas metal arc welding. Shielded metal arc and flux cored welding leaves a slag residue on the weld. gas tungsten arc welding. Troubleshooting Look in our Technical Support Index for troubleshooting. gases. gases. corrosion-resisting steels are a family of iron-base alloys having excellent resistance to corrosion. The following are basic welding tips: • • • • • • Use fixtures &/or jigs to help keep work in place. These steels do not rust and strongly resist attack by a great many liquids. to keep work protected. and chemicals. Chromium provides the basic corrosion resistance to stainless steels. and chemicals. Most of them exhibit good strength properties and resistance to scaling at high temperatures. Hold the torch/gun over the weld until gas stops. Stainless steels can be welded using several different procedures such as shielded metal arc welding. Aufhauser Stainless Steel Filler Metals Aufhauser manufactures a complete line of filler metals for stainless steel welding. Most of them exhibit good strength properties and resistance to scaling at high temperatures. #11. Stainless steels or. more precisely. Many of the stainless steels have good low-temperature toughness and ductility. Filler metal should be dipped into the weld puddle. Insure adequate shielding by centering the filler metal in the gas & weld puddle area. corrosion-resisting steels are a family of iron-base alloys having excellent resistance to corrosion. #12.#9. #10. Welding of Stainless Steels Printable Version Abstract: Stainless steels or. A square butt joint is prevalently used for stainless sheets 18 gauge or thinner. more precisely. Butting edges should be squared.

The chromium-nickel steels belong to AISI/SAE 300 series of stainless steels. which are not corrosion resistant. The addition of nickel reduces the thermal conductivity and decreases the electrical conductivity. Any of the distortion reducing techniques such as back-step welding. 8% nickel group. The austenitic stainless steels have about 45% higher thermal coefficient of expansion. and lower thermal conductivity than mild-carbon steels. Austenitic Type. All of the austenitic stainless steels are weldable with most of the welding processes. Tack welds should be twice as often as normal. but they are the same for those having the same microstructure. Higher coefficient of thermal expansion. The AISI/SAE 200 series of stainless steels are the chromium-nickel-manganese series. generally in a two-to-one relationship. These differences are: • • • • Lower melting temperature. Manganese is added to some of the chromium-nickel alloys. which are known as chromium-nickel stainless steel. Nickel is added to certain of the stainless steels. skip welding. They may become slightly magnetic when cold worked or welded.of straight chromium stainless steels. which will reduce heat input and carbide precipitation. welding current is usually lower. The melting point of austenitic stainless steels is slightly lower than melting point of mild-carbon steel. The higher thermal expansion dictates that special precautions should be taken with regard to warping and distortion. and wandering sequence should be used. Usually these steels contain slightly less nickel since the chromium-nickel-manganese alloys were developed originally to conserve nickel. and minimize distortion. and gas metal arc welding. On thin materials it is very difficult to completely avoid buckling and distortion. This helps to identify this class of stainless steels. which contains high sulphur content. All of the ferritic types are considered weldable with the majority of the welding processes except for the free machining grade 430F. Molybdenum is also included in some stainless steel alloys. These steels are slightly more difficult to weld than mild carbon steels. Manganese steels are not hardenable by heat treatment and are nonmagnetic in the annealed condition. The properties are not the same for all stainless steels. with the exception of Type 303. In these alloys. These steels have an austenitic microstructure and they are nonmagnetic. Higher electrical resistance. High travel speed welding is recommended. Because of lower melting temperature and lower thermal conductivity. The ferritic stainless steels are not hardenable by heat treatment and are magnetic. Lower coefficient of thermal conductivity. The physical properties of stainless steel are different from mild steel and this makes it weld differently. gas tungsten arc welding. It will also increase resistance to pitting and corrosion in many applications. They are nonmagnetic and have austenitic microstructure. Regarding this. higher electrical resistance. which contains high sulphur and Type 303Se. Carbon is undesirable particularly in the 18% chromium. a small portion of nickel is replaced by manganese. These stainless steels contain small amounts of carbon because this element has tendency to make chromium carbides. Ferritic Stainless Steels. Stainless steels can be welded using several different procedures such as shielded metal arc welding. The coefficient of . stainless steels from the same metallurgical class have the similar welding characteristics and are grouped according to the metallurgical structure with respect to welding. which contains selenium to improve machinability. Molybdenum is added to improve the creep resistance of the steel at elevated temperatures.

Cr-Ni-Austenitic (AISI No. 309. 309. The titanium-coated electrode with the suffix 16 can be used with alternating current and with direct current electrode positive. A preheat temperature range of 230-290°C is recommended. therefore. and gas metal arc welding with CO2 shielding gas. the filler metal is selected to match the base metal. the type 16 is smoother. To restore full corrosion resistance and improve ductility after welding. Martensitic Stainless Steels. an austenitic stainless steel filler metal should be used. Welding procedures For shielded metal arc welding. preheat and postheat of weldments are required. These are the lime type indicated by the suffix 15 and the titanium type designated by the suffix 16. followed by slow cooling. It is possible to weld several different stainless base metals with the same filler metal alloy. Toughness can be improved only by cold working the weld. This lowers the ductility. If heat treating after welding is not possible and service demands impact resistance. and toughness may be impaired. Postheating should immediately follow welding and be in the range of 650-760°C. 410. the electrodes should be kept in a dry box until used. Otherwise. However. 316. This would include the oxy-fuel gas process.5) times the diameter of the electrode core wire. 317. of low hydrogen type. The lower chromium types show tendencies toward hardening with a resulting martensitic type structure at grain boundaries of the weld area. . there are two basic types of electrode coatings. The low-carbon type can be welded without special precautions. and operates better in the flat position. Both coatings are of the low-hydrogen type and both are used in all positions. Welding processes that tend to increase carbon pickup are not recommended. 502). Increased carbon content increases crack sensitivity in the weld area. has more welder appeal. The lime type electrodes are more crack resistant and are slightly better for out-of-position welding. The lime type electrodes are used only with direct current electrode positive (reverse polarity). The types with over 0. annealing at 760-820°C. Once the electrode box has been opened. These electrode coatings. 430). Welding filler metals The selection of the filler metal alloy for welding the stainless steels is based on the composition of the stainless steel. an austenitic stainless steel filler metal should be used. Filler metal alloy for welding the various stainless steel base metals are: Cr-Ni-Mn (AISI No. For heavier sections preheat of 200°C is beneficial. Recently flux-cored electrode wires have been developed for welding stainless steels. however. Welding processes that tend to increase carbon pickup are not recommended. Covered electrodes for shielded metal arc welding must be stored at normal room temperatures in dry area. carbon arc process. is recommended.thermal expansion is lower than the austenitic types and is about the same as mild steel. followed by a water or air quench. The various stainless steel filler metal alloys are normally available as covered electrodes and as bare solid wires. 410. If preheat and postheat are not possible. 430. Type 416Se is the free-machining composition and should not be welded. Large grain size will still prevail. The width of weaving should be limited to two-and-one-half (2. Cr-Martensitic (AISI No. and corrosion resistance at the weld. 310. The martensitic stainless steels are hardenable by heat treatment and are magnetic. CrFerritic (AISI No. toughness. 347). 308). are susceptible to moisture pickup.15% carbon tend to be air hardenable and.

The oxygen helps producing better wetting action on the edges of the weld. Not required Usually unnecessary as this grade is generally used at high temperatures (b). dirt. In this case. The welding arc should be as short as possible when using any of the arc processes. As for 309 Filler 308L 308L 309 310 316 (a) Cool rapidly from 1060-1150°C if corrosion conditions severe 316L 316L 321 347 410 430 434 3CR12 2205 (a) (a) (a) (c) (c) (c) nil (f) Not required Not required Not required Air cool from 650-760°C Air cool from 650-760°C Air cool from 760-790°C Not required Not generally required 316L 347 347 410 (d) 430 (d) 430 (d) 309 (e) 2209 Notes (a) Unnecessary when the steel is above 15°C. The gas metal arc welding process is widely used for thicker materials since it is a faster welding process. . CO2 shielding or the 25% CO2 plus 75% argon mixture is used. however. The spray transfer mode is used for flat position welding and this requires the use of argon for shielding with 2% or 5% oxygen or special mixtures. paint. the CO2 gas or the CO2-argon mixture should not be used. Grade 304 304L 309 310 Pre-heat (a) (a) (a) (a) Post Weld Heat Treatment Cool rapidly from 1010-1090°C only if corrosion conditions severe. etc. The 2% tungsten is recommended and the electrode should be ground to a taper. This should be related to the service life of the weldment. Argon is normally used for gas shielding. If corrosion resistance is a major factor. oil. The short-circuiting transfer can also be used on thinner materials. For all welding operations. argon-helium mixtures are sometimes used for automatic applications. With extra low-carbon electrode wires and CO2 shielding the amount of carbon pickup will increase slightly.The gas tungsten arc welding process is widely used for thinner sections of stainless steel. the weld area should be cleaned and free from all foreign material. The argon-oxygen mixture can also be used with small-diameter electrode wires.

309MoL.) As Welded With PWHT Min. No.Engineering specifications Reference documents BASE METALS (QW-403) P Grp Type Carbon steel (P1) 1 1 No. Scope Joint . (f) If temperature below 10°C a 50°C pre-heat is recommended. P Grp Welded to Carbon steel (P1) 1 2 No. 309L. No. 309S and 310S (0. Concord. 316L or 308L. (d) May be welded with 308L. P Grp Backing When required 1 Any No. Document Generated by C-spec WeldOffice®Welding Procedure Specification Software DIAMETER RANGE QUALIFIED (in. light gauge sheet is frequently welded without pre-heat. No.Fillet-weld test Joint details for this welding procedure specification are specified in: JOINTS section of this WPS . Max. C-spec Welding Procedure Specification Software PO Box 27604. (c) Pre-heat at 200-320°C. 309 or 310 electrodes without pre-heat if the steel is above 15°C.Without PWHT . California 94527 ASME IX Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) C-spec WeldOffice Software WPS record number Date P1-AT-LhCVN 9/14/00 Revision 0 Qualified to Company name ASME IX C-spec Welding Procedure Specification Software Supporting PQR(s) PQR-100 . with a post weld heat treatment of cooling rapidly from 1120-1180°C. General Welding Standard GWS1 groove .With impacts . (e) May be welded with 309. Max.(b) Where corrosion is a factor. Retainers None Any group number for non impact tested Notes applications.08% Carbon maximum) are used.Rev 0 Reference docs. Min. 309Mo.Production drawings .

1 1 Nominal no no no no pipe size min. THICKNESS RANGE QUALIFIED (in.125 20 .5 ) Maximum heat (kJ/i 32. max.3. no no 1 1 min. insert WELDING PROCEDURE Welding process GTAW Type Manual Preheat temperature (°F) 50 Maximum interpass (°F) 420 temperature Tungsten size (in.FILLER METALS (QW-404) SFA Classification F-no.4 input n.18 Tungsten type ER70S-2 (see notes) Filler metal size (in./ Travel speed min 2 . min. GTAW SMAW 5. no no 8 8 min.) With As Welded Chemical analysis or PHWT Trade name Min. min. max. None SMAW Manual 50 610 5. Min.1 E7018 (see notes) 1/8 All All Uphill DCRP 110 .100 Volts 12 (in.) 5.24 5-6 36 ShieldingGas type Flow Rate TrailingGas type Flow Rate BackingGas type Flow Rate Cons. Max.) DC Pulsing current None Argon (cfh ) 20 None (cfh ) None . Max.1 ER70S-2 (see 6 notes) E7018 (see 4 notes) Ano.18 5. min.) 1/8 Layer number All Position of groove All Weld progression Uphill Current/polarity DCSP Amperes 90 .

pdf file. Spray-Arc Transfer Filler metals for gas metal arc welding stainless steel are specified in AWS . and 0. at least. electrode.125 - Stringer or Weave Multiple passes 0. wire-feed speed. and inductance controls are recommended for the welding of . Click here to view full-size Acrobat . and the characteristics of the welding power supply. A 1or 2% argon-oxygen mixture is recommended for most stainless steel spray arc welding. On thinner metal.25 - MIG Welding Stainless Steel Source: Adapted from The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding. Electrode diameters as great as 1/16-in. DCEP (Direct Current Electrode Positive) is used for most stainless-steel welding. The degree of spatter is dependent upon the composition and flow rate of the shielding gas. Although the operator's hand is exposed to more heat. On square butt welds. however.. When fitup is poor or copper backing cannot be used. 0.035". and thicker. 1994.(cfh ) String or weave Orifice/gas cup size Multi/single pass Maximum pass thickness Weld deposit chemistry Stringer or Weave #5 .045". the weld is apt to be unduly porous. voltage. the metal does have its specific properties that vary from your more common steels. Short-Circuiting Transfer Power supply units with slope. the root and first passes. For welding plate ¼-in. are used with relatively high currents to create the sprayarc transfer. short-circuiting.#8 Multiple passes 0. but usually 0. you usually have three choices of transfer depending on your equipment: spray-arc. or pulsed-arc transfer. The more economical short-circuiting transfer process for thinner material should be used in the overhead and horizontal position for.9-93. Although some operators use a short digging spray arc to control the puddle.A5. depending on the shielding gas and type of stainless wire being used. The Lincoln Electric Company. A current of approximately 300-350 amperes is required for a 1/16-in. better visibility is obtained. a backup strip should be used to prevent weld-metal drop through.030". the gun should be moved back and forth in the direction of the joint and at the same time moved slightly from side to side. drop-through may be minimized by short-circuit welding the first pass. only back and forth motion along the joint is used. Although welding stainless steel may not be as difficult as welding aluminum. Forehand techniques are beneficial when welding with a semiautomatic gun. When MIG welding on stainless.

125-in. 21/2% CO2 show good corrosion resistance and coalescence. lap. penetration without melt-through and excellent operator appeal. Pulsed-Arc Transfer The pulsed arc process is normally a process wherein one small drop of molten metal is transferred across the arc for each high current pulse of weld current. spray transfer can be obtained with a larger wire. The advantage of this is that thin material can be welded in the spray transfer mode which produces a smooth weld with less spatter than the short circuiting mode. in 321.60-in. the time duration at the low current value must be limited otherwise metal would be transferred in the globular mode. Backhand welding is usually easier on fillet welds and will result in a neater weld. There are many advantages with the process including low spatter.5% carbon dioxide. 316. Inductance. and 2. The high current pulse must be of sufficient magnitude and duration to cause at least one small drop of molten metal to form and be propelled by the pinch effect from the end of the wire to the weld puddle. The CO2 in the shielding gas will affect the corrosion resistance of multipass welds made with short-circuiting transfer. the same as used for spray arc welding. 0. Forehand welding should be used for butt welds. Short-circuiting transfer welds on stainless steel made with a shielding gas of 90% He. 7. to . plays an important part in obtaining proper puddle fluidity. and 0. 347. Pulsed MIG welding characteristics are excellent with lower currents. 410. Wire diameters of 0. These and other wire sizes can be welded in the spray transfer mode at lower average current with pulsed current than with continuous weld current.030". 304. in particular.5% argon. Another advantage is that for a given average current. A slight backward and forward motion along the axis of the joint should be used. and single fillet welds in material ranging from 0. and the lower ratio of surface to volume reduces the possibility of weld contamination from surface oxides.045" are most commonly used with this process. The shielding gas recommended for short-circuiting welding of stainless-steel contains 90% helium. Gases for pulsed arc welding are argon plus 1% oxygen. 310. For this reason. but the heat developed is not adequate to transfer metal. During the low current portion of the weld cycle the arc is maintained and the wire is heated. 7-1/2% A. High inductance in the output is beneficial when using this gas mixture. Single-pass welds may also be made by using argon-CO2 gas. Butt. The gas gives the most desirable bead contour while keeping the CO2 level low enough so that it does not influence the corrosion resistance of the metal. Larger diameter wires are less costly than smaller sizes. and similar stainless steels can be successfully made.stainless steel with short-circuiting transfer. Wire extension or stickout should be kept as short as possible.035". . Outside corner welds may be made with a straight motion.

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