Welding galvanized steel can be a challenge for a beginner. The high corrosion rate of the material complicates things even further. However, with some preparation and a little know-how, you can get up to speed when it comes to welding galvanized steel in no time. Read on to learn more about the challenges posed by welding this type of steel and how you can tackle them successfully.
Why Should You Weld Galvanized Steel?
Galvanized steel is extremely corrosion resistant and durable. This makes it an ideal choice for applications that require long-term usage, such as bridges, boats, and infrastructure. It is also used in the construction of buildings and other structures due to its low maintenance costs and resistance to mildew, condensation, and corrosion. The galvanizing process involves applying zinc vapor to a steel surface to create a coating.
This coating protects the steel from the elements and makes it corrosion-resistant. This corrosion resistant nature of galvanized steel,, makes it difficult to weld with a flux core process. The coating increases the difficulty of welding it due to the high risk of contamination and oxidation.
Challenges in Welder for Welding Galvanized Steel With Flux Core
There are a few challenges you need to be aware of when welding galvanized steel with flux core. These include the following: High Risk of Contamination – The zinc coating on galvanized steel makes it highly susceptible to contamination during the welding process. This means that the metal must be cleaned immediately after welding. High Risk of Oxidation – Another challenge that welding galvanized steel brings is the risk of oxidation. Rust and oxidation are the inevitable consequence of welding galvanized steel. To prevent this, you must, as always, follow all safety guidelines strictly.
You must also use a suitable shielding gas to prevent oxidation from taking place. High Risk of Corrosion – The nature of galvanized steel makes it particularly prone to corrosion. To prevent this, you must use a protective coating when welding galvanized steel.
How to Welding Galvanized Steel With Flux Core?
When welding galvanized steel, you must use a shielding gas to protect it from corrosion while also providing the necessary heat to melt the metal. Shielding gases such as Argon, MAPP, and CO2 are commonly used. You can also use a torch to heat the weld pool or flux core to promote welding. When welding galvanized steel, make sure that you are using an electrode that is ideally suited for the job. You can do this by checking the manufacturer’s specifications. Depending on the type of weld you are doing, you can adjust the current to suit your needs.
A mig welder can be used for vertical seams. This type of weld is typically done on ferrous metals. In this case, you can weld with a mig or stick electrode. A stick welder can be used for horizontal seams. It is typically done on non-ferrous metals. In this case, you can weld with a stick welder using either flux cored wires or gas shielded rods.
How to Avoid the Challenges of Welding Galvanized Steel with Flux Core
Once you are aware of the challenges involved in welding galvanized steel, you can take steps to minimize them. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use a suitable shielding gas. Make sure that the shielding gas you use is right for the type of weld you are performing. A gas that is suitable for welding non-ferrous metals will most likely be unsuitable for welding galvanized steel. Choose the shielding gas carefully. You can do this by following the manufacturer’s specifications. Follow all safety guidelines strictly.
Welding galvanized steel is dangerous business. As with any other welding job, you must wear appropriate safety gear. While welding galvanized steel, make sure that you apply even heat. Otherwise, you will experience high risk of distortion and buckling. You can achieve even heat by using a flux core welder.
Tips for flux core welding galvanized steel
When welding galvanized steel, you must make sure that you use a shielding gas that is right for the job. Inspect areas of the weld frequently to make sure that you have not missed any spots. This is especially important when welding horizontal seams. For best results, you must use a flux core welder. If a stick welder is all you have, you can still get the job done. All you need to do is use thicker welding rods. You can choose to weld galvanized steel with either a mig welder or a stick welder.
Last but not least, remember that welding galvanized steel is dangerous. Make sure that you follow all safety guidelines strictly and that you wear the appropriate safety gear.