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Thread: Welding Stainless Steel and Aluminum

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Posts: 11-20 of 29
2011-04-12 01:44:44
Originally Posted by wildmane
Look, you can weld stainless using regular steel wire, it's just that you're going to change the structure of the weld area and make it prone to corrosion.

Which is fine too, it does kind of negate the reason for getting a SS exhaust. I will be spray painting with exhaust/header paint anything that is not SS anyway.

Though I might get this: Amazon.com: .035" Avesta E309LT0-1 Stainless Steel Flux Cored Wire 5 Spool [Set of 5]: Home Improvement
2011-04-12 01:47:29
Solar flux for welding stainess works nice for the inside of pipes.
2011-04-12 04:37:58
You can weld vrs with stick or mig, I've used both. Used mig on the flanges for my downpipe and stick to put my bungs on.
2011-04-13 17:55:00
That alumi whatever stuff will work on bungs/fittings ( like brass to aluminum) but you might have trouble with tubing. The stuff melts like crayons, so if you finished on side and tube is holding heat on both side the side you already finished will melt on you, it's a big PITA.

They sell it at Harbor freight too called something else though.
2011-12-02 05:48:23
Well I ended up getting a MIG afterall, getting used to it now. My welds where pretty horrible, I thought I was putting the beads on correctly. Today I tried this method and worked out amazingly!

Figured this would be appropriate in this thread
2011-12-02 07:17:01
You can MIG aluminum, but you'll need a spool gun or push/pull gun. Assuming you purchased a machine that is capable of hooking one up anyway.
2011-12-02 15:39:08
Aluminum MIG welding uses a special gun. The spool and feed are on the top of the gun itself. Here's a picture of an aluminum MIG setup. You can the gun in the pic, it uses 1lb spools on the top of the gun

This machine is an ESAB dual process. It has two guns, one for steel and one for alum.

I've seen ppl convert standard steel MIGs to run alum, but it doesn't work well. The alum wire is very soft, so it kinks and jams up easily. You also have to completely clean out the entire machine when switching back and forth. The lining of the steel wire will contaminate the alum weld, and vise versa.

As for TIG welding aluminum and SS. Aluminum requires AC and I've never back purged it, and I've always been fine.

Stainless needs DC negative electrode, and it does need to be back purged. If you don't the backside of the weld gets contaminated and will become weak and crack. The weld will start to turn white and will be brittle.

Back purging is always necessary when enclosing a tube entirely. If you've ever completely sealed something w/o back purging, the air inside will blow out the weld at the very end (usually just a pin-sized hole)

IMO, for fabbing up intakes, exhaust, turbo plumbing, etc. TIG is the only way to go. Also with all TIG process's 100% pure Argon is the only way to go. I've tried to use steel mix to TIG steel, it works, but argon works much much better.
Last edited by zero1dhd on 2011-12-02 at 15-43-30.
2011-12-05 19:18:21
Oxy Ace is a viable option as well and can cost much less to get started with especially used. If you are a professional it's TIG all the way but for an enthusiast that only welds sometimes gas welding is a just as versatile (sometimes more so) in most cases but initially is a much cheaper option $300 or less. Especially if you keep an eye out on craigslist and you don't need the power supply.
2011-12-09 01:37:21

Just picked this up today and I love it. First time TIG welding and started out with aluminum. Tough at first but once you get the cone where it needs to be you're golden. Not pretty enough to advertise yet but I will say that steel and stainless with a TIG are much easier than AL. I still like stick welding whenever I can but you can't beat TIG with argon for cleanliness. Ahhh what the hell, I'll post my first butt weld...

2011-12-09 05:04:26
Man that's very nice! How much did it run you up?
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