Welding varies in methodology and requirements for each material. For stainless steel, the temperature control and filler material must be modified from the parameters used to weld other metals, such as carbon steel, to ensure a strong and effective weld.
For more than a century, G.E. Mathis Company has been a reputable name in the metalworking industry. Our extensive selection of metal fabrication services includes specialized stainless steel welding for industries ranging from chemical manufacturing and food service to construction and defense.
Welding Process Overview
Stainless steel welding operates under the same basic welding principles as all metals. Just like other welding techniques, heat and sometimes pressure are applied to the base material at the point where you are joining two or more pieces of metal. Depending on the specific project and process, filler material may be melted along the joint and then allowed to cool.
The resultant material is a hard metal bonded to the surface material of each piece that holds them together in a solid joint. In order to prevent weak joints, the filler material must have a level of strength and hardness equal to the component pieces. The strength provided by the joining material is what ultimately provides a stronger bond when compared to other techniques, such as soldering or brazing.
Stainless Steel Welding Methods
Stainless steel welding typically involves some form of arc welding combined with specialized workholding solutions known as fixtures. Fixture welding uses a specialized tool to hold the stainless steel pieces in place. This ensures straight, clean welded seams without inconsistencies. To facilitate numerous clamp and brace configurations, a fixture table is constructed with numerous holes and openings.
This allows the welder to weld a wide range of sizes and shapes from numerous angles without worrying about unwanted movement or shifting. Fixture welding is particularly useful for stainless steel, as it allows a high degree of control over the position of the welding equipment and the component parts.
For the actual welding process, arc welding stainless steel offers the highest level of temperature control, which helps to ensure strong and accurate welds. In addition, a variety of filler materials can be used to improve weld strength when combined with the stainless steel material. The two most common arc welding techniques used with stainless steel include tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding and metal inert gas (MIG) welding. Each method uses a different approach to achieve the desired results.
Tungsten Inert Gas Welding
Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding is a form of arc welding that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create an arc of electrical current. The arc is shielded by an inert gas such as helium or argon and used to heat the filler material to weld multiple pieces together. TIG welding is highly valued for use in stainless steel welding because the level of heat can be easily controlled remotely with a foot pedal or fingertip controls.
Metal Inert Gas Welding
Metal inert gas (MIG) welding uses an electrical current from a consumable or non-consumable electrode. The heat generated by the electrical current is used to melt filler materials to join two or more metal pieces together. This form of arc welding can be automated or performed manually, and the filler material can double as the electrode.
G.E. Mathis Company Welding Solutions
At G.E. Mathis Company, we provide precision MIG welding services using the latest manufacturing technology. We are pleased to serve a broad variety of industries, including the agricultural, aerospace, construction, and defense sectors. Our state-of-the-art facilities allow us to weld an extensive range of metals and specialty alloys, including stainless steel, carbon steel, Hardox®, and Strenx® (formerly Domex®). Our equipment includes Bluco fixture tables, precision tooling equipment, and other varied fixtures to ensure that we can handle weldments of nearly any shape and size.
G.E. Mathis Company is dedicated to providing the highest levels of quality, integrity, and craftsmanship in the industry. We help our customers reach their goals by providing a combination of expertise, rigorous quality assurance, and personalized service. To learn more about G.E. Mathis Company’s stainless steel welding and other metalworking capabilities, contact us or request a quote today.
Specifically designed for use in harsh, demanding applications, Hardox Wear Plate provides an unmatched combination of hardness and toughness, allowing for extended service life and cost savings. This unique material is used across a wide range of industries to provide optimal reliability and wear resistance.
Why Is Hardox So Tough?
Hardox, also known simply as wear plate, is a wear-resistant sheet steel developed by the Swedish company SSAB in 1974. This steel wears slowly, allowing the equipment used in abrasive applications and aggressive-wear environments to last longer, thereby reducing maintenance needs and costs.
Hardox offers a unique combination of hardness, strength, and toughness. The material’s high strength enables thinner metal sheets to be used, meaning products can be made to be simpler and lighter while still carrying high payloads. Hardox Wear Plate also has good impact resistance, even at low temperatures.
Hardox sheets and plates provide ideal welding and machining properties, simplifying production and repair work. To provide this excellent weldability, Hardox Wear Plate steel is manufactured to have a highly accurate chemical composition. Advanced hardening and post-treatment processes also help imbue it with its unique properties. The combination of high payloads, low maintenance costs, good availability, and long service life allows for overall cost savings while ensuring optimal reliability.
Finally, Hardox’s superior wear performance, crack safety, and deformation resistance provide defense against wear, dents, and cracks. To evaluate these properties, Hardox and ordinary high strength structural plates have been compared through comprehensive drop tests; in one test, weights varied between 330 and 1,800 pounds and were dropped from heights of up to 10 feet. The Hardox steel plate showed only moderate deformation, while the structural steel alternative couldn’t withstand the impact.
Advantages of Hardox
Extremely versatile, Hardox provides critical benefits for various industries. Below are some of the key features discussed above.
- Superior hardness — Offering excellent wear resistance, Hardox features all-around hardness that doesn’t impact structural performance.
- Excellent toughness — Hardox is able to resist cracks if subjected to deformation and can withstand heavy blows, allowing it to be easily bent, formed, and welded. Combined with its high yield strength, this durability also allows for the creation of lightweight designs.
- Consistency — Hardox retains its properties and strength even in severe, harsh conditions — and also during precision bending and forming, as well as precision welding and MIG welding — allowing for predictable, reliable results.
- Long service life — Hardox can double, or even triple, equipment wear plate service life, optimizing performance while minimizing the risk of damage.
Common Hardox Applications
Hardox’s unique properties make it well suited to a wide range of industries and applications, such as:
- Construction and demolition — Hardox can be used in various types of construction equipment, from evacuators and demolition tools to fragmentizers, all of which require high reliability and longevity to withstand heavy use and ensure worker safety.
- Mining — In this safety-critical industry, worker’s equipment — such as mining trucks — must be able to stand up to harsh conditions while maintaining a long lifespan; Hardox provides this reliability, cutting down on repair costs and delays.
- Military — Hardox Wear Plate provides the protective strength and reliability required in the military industry and is commonly used in the manufacture of armored vehicles.
Strenx (Domex): High Performance, High Strength Steel
What Is Strenx?
Strenx is a high strength, hot-rolled steel sheet also offered by SSAB; the steel is low-alloy and cold-formed. Previously called Domex, this unique material has been rebranded as Strenx.
The Advantages of Strenx
Extremely versatile, Strenx provides critical advantages for various industries. Some of its unique qualities and benefits include:
- Excellent versatility — This steel has excellent formability and good weldability, meaning it can undergo various manufacturing processes.
- Reduced production costs — Strenx allows for the manufacture of stronger, higher-quality products that require less steel and welding. This also allows for a lighter-weight product less susceptible to damage, saving money on repair and replacement costs in the long run.
Common Strenx (Domex) Applications
The unique properties of Strenx make it well-suited to a wide range of industries and applications, such as:
- Automotive — Designers like to keep structural weight low but strength-handling levels high. With Strenx, products made can be simpler and lighter while still carrying higher payloads.
- Construction and demolition — Strenx can be used in cranes and booms, both of which require high reliability and longevity to withstand heavy use and ensure optimal worker safety.
For over a century, G.E. Mathis Company has been providing top-quality metal fabrication services, from CNC plasma cutting and CNC punching to plate rolling and welding. Through our partnership with SSAB, we’re proud to offer Hardox fabrication services; we supply Hardox in both sheet and plate form and will work with you to meet your specific project needs.
To learn more about the uses and unique properties of Hardox — which is ideal for a wide range of fabrication methods, including welding, cutting, bending, and bending — download our free eBook, “Fabricating Tougher Components with Hardox® Wearparts.”
Welding is instrumental to the success of a construction project. Not only is it a handy repair tool for broken and damaged machine parts, it is the mainstay of production supplying any construction endeavor with the required raw materials to progress at the desired pace.
It is undertaken by skilled operators and has to be performed according to pre-defined mandates and a set of compliance rules in order to ensure that the joints are strong and immune to jostling and rust.
WELDING, ITS IMPORTANCE AND IMPERATIVE IN CONSTRUCTION
All kinds of welding rely on generating an arc that is capable of raising the temperature of the parent material to the melting point. It is then fused with a filler metal which by rule of thumb is chosen to be structurally
stronger than the original base. Ranging from sub-merged arc to metal active gas to manual metal arc, different welding processes are leveraged at construction sites around the world to serve unique needs. Special ventures in the aerospace and naval industries have progressed to laser arc hybrid welding and electron beam technology.
An operation team manipulating welding equipment must be knowledgeable of the nuances of this technique in order to ensure the integrity of welded joints and thus by association created products. A large scale construction project is only as durable as the quality of its individual components.
Also according to the Consumer Justice Group report, welding tasked to untrained labor is an extremely hazardous proposition. Thousands of injuries occur right on-site because of careless handling of equipment or experimentation by unskilled staff.
SOME BEST PRACTICES TO KEEP IN MIND
As far as possible, complicated welding responsibilities must be left to professionals. Construction projects call for the employment of AWS (American Welding Society) certified welders who are cognizant of the involved risks and capable of handling them expertly.
Especially for the frequently used MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding:
- Care should be taken to ensure that welders wear protective gear (including an auto-darkening face shield) to eliminate the riskofcontact burns and blisters
- Cotton is the chosen material because it doesn’t melt like polyester
- Be on the look-out for splatters of molten metal and grinding sparks which can cause a fire
- Avoid using galvanized steel as the parent material since it gives off carcinogenic vapors
G.E. MATHIS COMPANY AND ITS HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE:
G.E. Mathis Company has been an industry renowned name in the field of precision arc and MIG welding. We have perfected our craft over 100 years of rigorous practice assisting construction companies, OEMs, independent projects and manufacturers with their welding and rolling needs. ISO 9001:2015 certified, we are the gold standard in the welding and precision services domain.
Contact us today at 773.586.3800 and we will be glad to discuss how our fabrication and welding capabilities may help with your next project