The Top 4 Welding Metals: Key Properties You Need To Know
To be a successful welder, it’s essential to first understand the different types of welding metals. This is because each metal you use in welding will not only respond differently to the applied heat but also respond differently to how it might be manipulated.
The four most common types of metal used in the U.S. construction industry are stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, and copper. Each metal expands and softens with heat and can be used and applied in a variety of ways to different welding methods.
That being said, consider the following characteristics of each of the metals below to ensure you’re using the right metal you want for your welding.
Four Types Of Welding Metals
Each metal responds differently to the direct heat involved in welding, which is why it’s so important to choose the right metal for your project. Here are four types of welding metals commonly used in the construction industry:
- Carbon steel. Steel is the most popular metal used in welding. It’s a metal alloy made up of iron and 2% of additional elements. The more carbon within the steel, the stronger the metal will be. Steel from local steel suppliers is a popular choice among experienced welders because it’s versatile enough to be used in any welding process needed. However, without proper care steel can rust over time.
- Stainless steel. Stainless steel differs from carbon steel in that 10% to 30% of the metal is chromium. Iron is still a key ingredient and, some cases, nickel alloy is also used. Stainless steel is more resistant to corrosion, but can only be used in arc welding.
- Aluminum. Aluminum is also more resistant to corrosion but is lighter than stainless steel. Tig welding is the welding-type of choice for those who use aluminum in their projects.
- Copper. Copper is also a popular welding metal because of its appearance, corrosion resistance, and heat conductivity. Copper is most often used in Gas Metal Arc Welding as well as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding. Welding grade argon is the shielding gas for copper.
Steel is one of the most popular metals used for welding as well as other types of construction projects. In fact, the U.S. produced a total of 82 million metric tons of steel in 2017 alone. For more information about steel for welding or cold rolled steel sheet piling for construction projects, contact your local steel supplier at JD Fields today.