Can a stainless steel nut weld in the form of a carbon steel wire? The short answer would be, yes. But it is not recommended. Read on below to know more:
There is a way that allows you to weld dissimilar metals. Using MIG or TIG welding, you could weld stainless steel such as grade 304 or grade 316 steel to plain carbon steel. In most of such cases, where dissimilar metals are welded, MIG welding is the preferable option because it requires using filler material.
Due to the difference in the electrical conductivity between stainless and carbon steel, resistance welding isn’t a suitable option. It makes the welding process difficult. Carbon steel is preheated before resistance welding as it is more electrically conductive. Compared to stainless steel, it doesn’t heat up fast. If you need a corrosion-resistant wire form, the ideal option for you would be to go with stainless steel wire till the end rather than mixing metals.
Here are the top 5 reasons to avoid welding carbon and stainless steel wire:
To put in simple words, welding dissimilar metals together is difficult. It adds additional challenges to the process. This leads to increased cost, labor, and error rates.
- Hot Cracking
Another problem is that of hot cracking of stainless steel. As stainless steel is more electrically-resistant than carbon steel, stainless heat up a lot faster in the electrical resistance welding compared to carbon steel.
While waiting for the carbon steel to reach weld temperature, the stainless gets overheated and gets cracks on the surface. With the help of filler-based welding or going with preheating the plain steel could amend this issue, but even then, it is not the best option.
- More Bimetallic Corrosion
One of the main reasons you would generally want to use stainless steel is due to its resistance to corrosion. An uncovered weld of plain and stainless steel placed in extremely corrosive conditions such as exposing to saltwater could corrode it.
This is because the protective oxide layer of the stainless steel gets damaged due to a mix of stainless alloy and plain steel particles that leads to rust.
- Thermal Expansion
Welding dissimilar metals could lead to thermal expansion due to a high-temperature environment. Also, thermal expansion from heat impacts each metal differently.
The difference between the two metals could lead to extra strain on the welding joint, which lessens the structural durability of the wire.
- Weak Weld Strength
Another issue with welding dissimilar metals is that it can lead to weaker welds even if you use filler-based welding techniques. The difference in operational tolerance coupled with weld temperatures could easily comprise the strength of the welded piece.
In a nutshell, welding dissimilar metals together is a difficult job to do. Also, it leads to poor results. It is important to consider the impacts of welding them together in the long run.
Having said that, always take protective measures while welding such as clothing, gloves, and welding helmet. Check out Welding Corner for an impressive range of welding helmets.