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Each type of metal has a unique welding process based on the finish and thickness of the material and what the finished product will be. There are a variety of different welding types that work for stainless steel but three most common options. The most common welding methods for stainless steel are MIG welding, TIG welding and resistance welding. 

Stainless steel is an alloy metal that is iron-based and contains chromium. The chromium makes stainless steel more resistant to corrosion and most stainless steel has between 11% and 30% chromium. The unique chemical attributes of each metal type require unique welding methods and techniques. Stainless steel is very strong and can resist chemical corrosion as well as many different liquids and gasses. The strength and resistance to contaminants is what make stainless steel such a popular metal for fabrication. Stainless steel is very durable and doesn’t tarnish easily. Stainless steel comes with a hefty price tag often costing 5x more than mild steel. 

MIG welding or Gas Metal AC welding is a semi-automatic process that creates a strong joint between two pieces of stainless steel when executed correctly. When performing a MIG weld you need argon-rich shielding gas and a solid wire electrode. This method is popular because of the pulsed current supply that is utilized by the welder. This method can get into tough-to-reach spots and is great for more intricate welds. Gas mixtures like carbon dioxide, oxygen and helium are used to help stabilize the arc and improve the quality of the weld. 

TIG welding or gas tungsten arc welding is a great welding option for longevity and versatility. The TIG method is the most common option when welding stainless steel. The quality of this weld is very good and creates a strong bond. Thin material is an ideal candidate for this type of weld because of the low heat input. Argon gas is mixed with other gasses based on the project to create the right combination. The argon gas can be mixed with nitrogen, helium and hydrogen. If oxidation and corrosion resistance are a priority a single-sided welding process can be utilized to create an inert backing gas protection between the exterior and interior welds. 

Resistance or spot welding is a great stainless steel welding option and is the most economical welding option for stainless steel. Resistance welding equipment can be used on a variety of jobs ranging from small to large. This welding method uses an electrical current to heat the edges of the metal and seal them together. This technique works especially well for metal that has a lower melting point and the heat can be adjusted to prevent distortion. 

Choosing the correct welding method for your stainless steel job depends on the unique characteristics of your project. If you are looking for a cheaper welding option spot welding is a great option, if you have thin sheets of stainless steel you may choose TIG but if you have thicker sheets MIG may be your best option. 

The team at Jack’s Metal works can help determine the best welding option for a stainless steel project. The years of experience that the Jack’s Metal Works team brings can ensure the proper welding technique is utilized and done properly. Like any project, the quality of the work is not just in the process chosen but also in the technician’s ability. Jack’s Metal Works can weld all types of metals not just stainless steel. If you need help with a welding project no matter how big or small we are here to help. 

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