Aluminum is a metal well known to all of us, if we look around us we are sure to find something made of this metal. But it is also one of the metals, after steel, most used in automobile manufacturing. At Metalcon, especialistas en soldaduras, queremos que conozcas un poco más sobre la soldadura de aluminio y los usos de este metal en el sector del automóvil.


Why do they choose this metal, if welding aluminum is not easy?


METALCON - Soldadura de aluminio

The automotive industry uses metals to manufacture numerous automobile components. One of the latest metals that has been incorporated into the automotive industry is aluminum. In addition, it has become one of the most used in the manufacture of all types of vehicles.

This metal, which is extracted from bauxite and silicates, is widely used by major automobile brands such as Audi, BMW, etc.

Nowadays, automobile manufacturers are looking for materials that allow them to reduce the consumption and emissions of their vehicles. One of the most effective metals for this is aluminum, since it manages to reduce the weight of the vehicle by up to 40% compared to steel.

But not only is its lightness the only favorable characteristic of aluminum, it must also be taken into account that it is resistant to corrosion. In addition, it has many other qualities such as its ease of machining, the ability to dissipate heat, fusibility and low mechanical resistance.

All this allows manufacturers to make elements such as bumpers, brake calipers, gearboxes, pistons, cylinder heads, etc.

Aluminum offers vehicle manufacturers certain advantages such as:

  • Recyclable material: Being recyclable reduces the price of raw materials and also helps conserve the environment.
  • Higher performance and lower consumption: By weighing less the vehicle will consume less fuel. Also achieving greater acceleration and shorter braking distance.
  • It will increase security: Bodies made of aluminum are more rigid and safer.

Professionals specialized in aluminum welding

As we have already mentioned, aluminum stands out for being a light, strong and flexible metal. All this makes it ideal for manufacturing automobile bodies and decorative components. This has led to an increase in the production of trucks and cars made from aluminum alloys.

Manufacturers and workshops have realized that their profesionales necesitaban aprender nuevas técnicas, cFor example, aluminum welding. Over time, they have observed that to carry out safe and quality repairs, the professional had to be trained in aluminum repairs.

If this were not the case, the structure of the vehicle could pose a great danger to its occupants in the event of an accident. For this reason, it is essential that you always keep the following tips in mind when safely welding aluminum.


Tips for welding aluminum

Prepare a work area for aluminum welding

The first thing you will have to do to perform welding on aluminum will be to prepare an exclusive work area for it. Consider that aluminum is vulnerable to galvanic corrosion when in contact with water or other metals.

For that reason, the ideal is to have a different area within your workshop dedicated to aluminum. This way, you will prevent its particles from being contaminated with other steel dust particles that may be present from another job.

Clean the aluminum before welding it

Aluminum meets air and creates a thin coating of aluminum oxide on its surface. You will have to keep in mind that aluminum melts at 650°C, but the aluminum oxide coating melts at 2,051°C. Therefore, if you will leave the rust on the metal it would melt before its coating and you wouldn't have a perfect weld. For that reason, it is best to remove rust with a stainless steel brush or sandpaper. Then clean it with a solvent before welding the aluminum.

Organize your tools before doing aluminum welding

It is essential that you have a set of tools just for welding aluminum.

Don't forget that all abrasives and cutting tools used in aluminum repair and welding must be reserved for carrying out these jobs. In this way, the aluminum will not be contaminated with particles from other steels.

Also, choose a cutting and grinding disc designed for aluminum, these discs do not clog like other discs do for steel.

Choose the right gas

You will have to use a suitable shielding gas. C-25 shielding gas is usually used with steel, composed of 75% of argón and 25% CO₂.

Remember that argon cleans rust from the metal before welding aluminum. That is why it is essential that you use 100% argon in this type of welding.

Use a suitable tip

Soldadura de aluminio - METALCON

When carrying out repairs with an aluminum welding torch, always remember to use a special tip for this. Typically, these tips are marked with an “A” or “AL” and have a large hole.

Likewise, the nozzles to protect the gas will have to be larger than those used with steel. This type of nozzle allows for a higher gas flow rate.

Use the proper technique

A steel weld can be performed by pulling or pushing the weld bead. However, to weld aluminum, only the pushing technique is used.

Use the correct electrode cable

Always remember to use the electrode cable designated by the manufacturer for the aluminum alloy you are welding. The wire should always protrude from the welding torch, and you should keep the torch as far away from the surface you are welding as possible.

Use a push-button sprayer

It is important when welding aluminum to work with a push-button sprayer. With this, the weld bead will break before being sprayed into the molten metal. Unlike steel, where the electrode hits the metal, shorts and breaks.

Aluminum welding technique

Soldar aluminio - METALCON

The last tip we give you is to make sure that the aluminum distributes the heat of the torch throughout the material.

Aluminum, unlike steel, requires a specific welding technique. In this type of welding you have to move the torch slowly and then increase the speed as it travels over the surface.

Also, remember to avoid cold starts when welding aluminum. To do this, use a welding machine that has a preheat setting. Press the trigger so that an exit tab is formed and this will prevent it from forming craters in the aluminum.

As you can see, aluminum welding is not easy to do, which is why we always recommend that you leave it in the hands of professionals. At Metalcon, we are at your disposal to carry out any welding job with the best guarantees and at the best price.

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