How to Start MIG Welding Stainless Steel

If you are a car parts welder in a garage or repairing a broken kitchen sink, it is helpful to know how to MIG welding stainless steel. Stainless steel is known for its sturdiness and durability. It doesn’t sound straightforward, but the basics are relatively simple.

Solid wire works ideal in MIG welding. This method is very effective for welding stainless steel because it does not spatter. Please note that there is a difference between welded stainless steel and welded stainless steel.

Check out our guide on MIG Welding Aluminum.

The latter is known for its corrosion resistance, and it is said to use stainless steel in places with high hygiene requirements and thermal deformation. This material has lower thermal resistance, electrical conductivity, and a feature that reduces heat dissipation during soldering.

Core Factors to Consider for MIG Welding Stainless Steel

Most welders choose to use MIG welding for welding stainless steel. Because of the simple and easy usage, it provides. MIG welding provides a versatile operation capable of operating for many purposes. So, to choose your best one, there are certain factors to consider like the following.

1.      Select the Right MIG Welding Gas

The most crucial task in MIG welding is to select the ideal shielding gas. You don’t want to use an utterly inert shielding gas, such as argon or helium, in the MIG welding stainless steel process.

Remember that the arc in the process also involves the usage of fillers, making a difference from other methods such as TIG. Ignoring this essential factor will harm the efficiency of the welding process.

2.      Bracing of Joints

When welding, the joint is reinforced quickly to prevent the workpiece from slipping and damage the angle of the joint. If not, then you can also use a woodcut block instead of spacers. Wood reinforcement is a process if you create a scaffolding support system that controls deformation.

Remove this debris after welding by creating a template. You can also have bracing of the welding point by making a jig. But before using the equipment for support, it is necessary to determine the amount of sweat required.

3.      Cleaning of the Welding Joint

Working in a clean environment enhances the output. Similarly, MIG welding Stainless Steel requires to proceed on a clean surface. It doesn’t matter how much clean your welding surface is; spatter is inevitable because additives are useful in welding.

But you can still face some weld spatters even if you have modern and high efficient Welders. In some cases, if you continue to weld, the spatters forms a sharper phase, which can cause injuries as well.

Most welders prefer to perform a different method of processing on the welded stainless steel wire. These processes include electrolytic polishing or grinding. Please note that the choice of these secondary processing depends entirely on applying a single metal mould.

4.      Distribution of the Heat

Due to the uniform distribution of heat, the heat is evenly transferred throughout the welding process. Before continuing welding, the weld can be lifted, moved or cooled to achieve uniform heat distribution. If the heat travels unevenly, cracks and burns may occur. So, having a suitable working procedure can provide even heat distribution

How to Weld Stainless Steel with a MIG?

When MIG welding stainless steel, the welder must continuously insert a solid wire into the molten pool. Also, you must have a shielding gas while welding to prevent the weld from being contaminated by contaminants. These are some steps to follow when MIG welding stainless steel.

1.      Setting up the Torch

Let’s start by installing the welding torch. Ensure the filler wire is laid to the coil of your MIG welder until the tip of the welding gun. Make sure that only ¼ inch welding wire is visible at the end of the torch. After setting all that, you need to have a shielding gas to kick start you’re welding.

2.      Try to Keep a Better Angle

In the welding process, the flame must directly hit the welding area. So, to keep it simple and effective, make sure to have an angle of 30 degrees from the welding area. Also, you can change the angle considering what purpose and kind of welding you need.

For example, make sure to have yourself on a proper travel angle of 5-15 degrees. In contrast, make sure to hold your welding gun at a 90-degree angle for optimum performance.

For welding, T-joints, try to have an angle of 45 to 70 degrees. This position can provide efficient results.

3.      You Need to Pull Up the Beads

Turn on the power of your MIG, and carefully pull the weld to the area of welding. Make sure to use moderate strength and speed to avoid splashing.

Most Common Electrodes for MIG Welding Stainless Steel

If you are looking to have MIG welding stainless steel, you should also know that it requires slightly higher gas throughput. We recommend you to have a flow rate of around 14 to 16 litres per minute.

Before dealing with any particular project, remember to let your gas supplier understand your gas needs. Generally, the ER308 L electrode is ideal for welding stainless steel; this electrode uses gas C2 type. A C2 type gas comprises 2.5% carbon dioxide, 7.5% argon and 90% helium.

As you may know, Stainless Steel is very similar to various nickel-based alloys. Before purchasing, please consult your electrode supplier for the types of electrodes available in stock. You can also purchase electrode wires and gas selection tables to help you make the right choice for welding.

Essentials Gears Required for MIG Welding Stainless Steel

There are certain gears required for you to use while welding, like

Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs)
Apparel or Welding Jacket
Safety Glasses
Welding Helmet
Welding Boots OR Safety Boots
Respirator System (If Required)
Knee Pads
Welding Tools
Welding Clamps
Metal Brush
Grinder
Shielding Gas
Electrodes
MIG Welder Machine

Conclusion

Welding stainless steel can be rugged, especially if you do not have the right tools, equipment, skills, and knowledge. So please take some time to research in advance. Well, MIG welding is bound to produce some excellent and valuable results in stainless steel manufacturing.

Hopefully, this blog post will serve as a guide for your superb work. Please leave your queries below.

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