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Stainless steel welding

Welding methods

Manual arc welding is usually used if the material thickness does not exceed 1.5 mm. Tungsten inert gas arc welding is suitable for joining pipes and thin sheets. For sheets with a thickness of 0.8 mm, pulsed arc welding with a fusion electrode in inert gas is suitable. Sheets with a thickness of 0.8 - 3 mm should be joined by spray arc welding. Arc welding with a melting electrode in an inert gas is characterized by high productivity. Sheets thicker than 3 mm are best joined by this method. Submerged arc welding is used to weld constructions that are more than 10 mm thick. Plasma welding is considered to be universal and is used very widely.

Seam processing

If I may say so, welding "foams" the metal, forming a porous oxide layer on the surface of the seam, depleted in chromium. It is because of the friability of such a layer makes the material vulnerable to corrosion. To avoid this, you need to treat the weld after welding. In our case, heat treating is the dissolution of the friable layer at temperatures above 1000 °C. The weld is then smooth and less susceptible to corrosion.

Finishing methods

Work accessories include grinding wheels, belts, and brushes, which are used for machining stainless steel. It is worth noting that carbon steel should not be machined with sand or steel grit.


This is the most effective way to treat welds on stainless steel. If done properly, pickling removes the loose oxide layer, which is depleted of chromium. The etching process is performed by either applying a paste or by immersing the steel in a special solution. In most cases, a mixture of acids is used for etching: 8 to 20% nitric acid and 0.5 to 5% hydrofluoric acid. How long it takes to pickle austenitic stainless steel depends on the acid concentration, scale thickness and temperature. Grinding or polishing is additionally required for the weld to be of high quality, which greatly increases the resistance to corrosion.


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