Top Ways to Keep Metal from Warping When Welding.
Warped metal when welding is a constant struggle we all deal with regardless of thickness of the material. If you’re welding thinner materials like automotive sheet metal it is more critical that you keep the heat to a minimum when welding. There are a few ways we’ve found that help with this process and we decided to list them below.
- Welding Heat Sink- Applying a heat sink behind the weld or on the surrounding metal of a weld will help keep the the heat from spreading and allows you to weld without damaging the metal surrounding the weld as much. Our copper weld backers help to keep a welds from blowing through the metal and also act as a heat sink. Another alternative is to surround the area you’re welding with an Anti-Heat Compound that will block the heat from spreading to the rest of the panel and potentially reduce warping in the panel. This is especially helpful if you’re welding in an area that is very critical and could lead to “oil canning”.
- Work Hot and Fast- A lot of damage or excessive warping when welding could be from dwelling too long in a small area when welding. As a rule of thumb it’s better to weld as hot and fast as possible to get in and out of the weld as quick as you can. This will limit the exposed heating of the panel that may spread across a larger area and potentially cause damage.
- Stay Consistent- If you’re welding in sections on a panel try and keep your welds about the same length and size so that if the panel does move/warp a little it will all move the same and make it easier to reduce the warping.
- Cool The Panel- If a panel is getting too hot or you want to reduce down time you can gently cool a panel with compressed air to drop the overall temps and allow you to continue welding sooner. “Shocking” a red hot weld with cold air or water may actually cause a weld to become brittle or hard so we suggest waiting until the weld has stabilized in temperature before applying cool shop air across it.
Hopefully these tips have helped you with reducing warping when welding on future projects. You can find all of our favorite Welding Accessories HERE.