An immense amount of care and consideration goes into preparing metal for welding tasks. One of the key steps in the process is cleaning the base metal, whether you’re a hobbyist at home or an employee in a professional facility. Cleaning the base metal is particularly important when it comes to MIG and TIG welding. To ensure you get the highest quality results, this guide will break down three essential tips for preparing metal before welds.
Collecting the Right Tools
Tools for cleaning your base metal include wire brushes, sandpaper, or angle grinders with a flash disk attachment. Be meticulous with your sandpaper choice, because cleaning with the wrong kind can cause the metal to sustain damage.
Wire brushes are always a great go-to, especially when you have to clean some tight spaces on the metal, but you must store them properly. If you leave a wire brush sitting out, it can accumulate dust that will contaminate the next piece of metal you clean.
Be Careful Brushing Aluminum
It’s always good to have extra wire brushes in storage. You should stock up on brushes that can work with ferrous and nonferrous metals. For example, using the wrong wire brush on an aluminum base metal can do more harm than good. A steel brush on a ferrous metal like aluminum will cause cross-contamination, defeating the whole purpose of the cleaning process.
Always Apply Acetone
TIG welding requires a special amount of care. When cleaning metal for TIG welding, make sure you apply acetone. Wiping down the metal with acetone will help you get rid of any remaining contaminants on the surface.
These tips for preparing metal before welds will help you tackle TIG and MIG welding tasks the right way. Remember, the way you clean the metal ultimately relies on specific factors like its properties and the welding method you use. There are many different types of metals you can weld, each of which features its own properties. Once you find the right cleaning method for your process, achieving high-quality welds will become much easier.