Corten Steel Welding – Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Corten steel welding is no walk in the park. There are many tips and tricks that you need to know to get the job done right. The good news is that corten steel welding isn’t very different from regular mild steel. The differences lie in the type of weld, thickness of the panels, and some other details. With a little practice, you will be able to weld corten steel like an old hand with no problems at all. Weld corten steel can be quite tricky if you are not careful. Here we will discuss some of the important factors that affect how easy or difficult it will be for you to successfully welding corten steel. So without further ado let’s begin.

Corten Steel Welding

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About Corten Steel

Corten steel is a fairly new type of steel. It is a corten steel welded with mild carbon steel. The main difference between it and normal mild steel is that it has a much higher tensile strength than mild steel. It can be welded with conventional welding methods like gas shielded, and TIG. Due to its high tensile strength, corten steel can be welded by all the types of welding processes including submerged arc, and mig welding. Corten steel is a product of carbon steel blended with a rust-preventing additive. This product gets its name “corten” because of the fact that the steel is produced by a special process that makes it look like a chestnut. Corten steel is a type of manganese steel.

Hardness of Welding Corten Steel

Corten steel has a much higher tensile strength than normal mild steel. This means that the amount of force you will be required to apply to weld the steel will be lesser than that in mild steel. The manufacturer of the Corten steel is not very specific about the ‘type’ of steel that they have used to make the product. So, it is hard to say for sure about the type of steel used to make corten steel. Welders are generally worried about the hardness of the steel while welding.

Since corten steel does not have a specific hardness rating, welders have to use their common sense. If the surface of the steel is covered with paint or primer, it will be somewhat harder than the bare steel. But if the surface is clean, you can be sure that it will be much softer than mild steel.

Equipment required to weld corten steel

The essential equipment for weld corton steel:

  • Gas Safe Registered welding apparatus – Welder Gloves – Welding helmets, welding shields, and face shields are optional but highly recommended.
  • Safety Glasses/Goggles – When welding corten steel, it is highly recommended to wear safety glasses or goggles.
  • Welding Boots – You will be standing on the floor while corten steel welding. You must wear welding boots to avoid injuries due to slipping and tripping.
  • Safety Whistle – You will always have to remember the sound of a safety whistle while corten steel welding. Make sure you have it with you at all times.
  • Welder’s Suit – As we have discussed, welding corten steel is a fairly hot process. You must wear a welder’s suit to avoid being burnt.

Material and surface preparation

The material and surface preparation are very similar in both mild and corten steels. That means that you can follow the same procedures to weld corten steel as you would for normal mild steel. Corten steel has a higher tensile strength than mild steel and therefore you must use a tougher welding rod for welding corten steel. The rods that are used for mild steel must be changed for welding corten steel.

You must use a flux cored welding rod while welding corten steel. Cu and Sn (the main metals found in the flux) are the main constituents of the flux. Welding steel with a flux cored rod is the best way to ensure that you don’t create any kind of weld defects. You can also use a submerged arc welding rod for corten steel welding, but it is not recommended.

Basic safety while welding corten steel

You must never weld corten steel without wearing a welding suit, welding helmet and welding goggles. You must also remember to wear safety glasses or goggles while welding mild steel. That is the mandatory safety gear that you must have while welding any type of metal. During the welding process, you must always remember to use an oxygen-based gas while welding corten steel. This will protect you from burns due to the high heat generated while welding corten steel.

You must also remember never to weld without a shielding gas. Shielding gases are used to protect the welder from the harmful fumes generated during the welding process. You must never weld corten steel if you have any kind of allergy, or if you are allergic to welding fumes. It is always recommended to take your allergy or welding fumes allergy test before you start welding any type of metal.

Tips for a successful corten steel welding

There are some tips for a successful welding:

  • Wear a welder’s suit which protects you against burns and cuts.
  • Wear welding boots to protect yourself from being injured due to trips and falls.
  • Remember to use a welding shield while welding. It protects the welder from burns due to hot metal and fumes.
  • Shield the welding area from any kind of dust/debris while welding.
  • Change the welding rod while welding corten steel after every weld.
  • Ensure that the welding rod is properly covered with filaments while changing the rod.
  • Weld corten steel with the right thickness. Remember that you are required to weld the steel with thickness of ¼ inch or more.
  • Ensure that the welding rod is properly grounded while welding corten steel.
  • Welding corten steel is not as hard as welding mild steel. It is much easier than welding mild steel.
  • Welding corten steel is different from welding mild steel. You must read the welding manual to get better results.

Important things to using plasma welder for welding corten steel

As with any type of welding, safety must be your primary concern while welding corten steel. It is highly recommended to take welding courses to learn about the safe handling of various types of welding equipment. You must also remember that corten steel welding is a fairly new process. The equipment and procedures used for weld corten steel are not well established. You must follow the instructions carefully. It is also very important to understand the different types of shielding gas used while welding corten steel. For example, shielded gas is used while weld corten steel with rods whereas unshielded gas is used while welding corten steel with plasma.

Last but not listed

Welding corten steel can be quite tricky if you’re not careful. Here we will discuss some of the important factors that affect how easy or difficult it will be for you to successfully weld corten steel. If you follow the tips and techniques that we discusses in this article, then you have no problems to welding corten steel.