Stainless steel is one of the best alloys for fabrication but it isn’t as easy to bend, form, or weld as mild steel. We often get asked by customers how they can weld a stainless part together. We decided to help those questions below.
MIG welding on stainless steel is a good option for someone that wants to join stainless together but doesn’t have a TIG welder available. TIG welding takes a lot more skill to master and is harder to use in tight areas. Generally MIG welding is chose when a TIG isn’t available, or you need to get into a tight area where a TIG torch couldn’t reach. This will still produce spatter and sparks, so be mindful if welding stainless in an area where sparks could damage or aren’t allowed due to regulations. When MIG welding stainless you also must try to use stainless welding wire that closely matches the metal you’re welding.
TIG welding stainless is the most common and preferred method. It will give you a weld with no sparks or debris and also will allow you to control the heat and weld puddle more accurately. TIG welding does require more experience and skill to successfully weld with but it can provide a superior finish. TIG welding is mandatory for most sanitary and food grade stainless welding situations. Some situations may require purging or shielding the backside of the weld as to avoid contamination. Stainless filler rod should be used and match the base material as close as possible.
Stainless steel can be fickle when welding it gets more difficult when using a traditional Oxy-Acetylene torch. You’ll need to change your flame from a normal neutral flame to a carburizing flame with more acetylene and a flux paste on your filler rod and weld seam. This will require more clean up in the end, but can successfully be done if you prepared correctly. We suggest this method if you have no other form of welder on hand as most shops now have a MIG or TIG welder available.
All Eastwood MIG and TIG welders can help you weld stainless steel like a pro and are very affordable. Find all Eastwood welders HERE.