When we consider welding, we often first imagine the Middle Ages; this is when blacksmiths first developed the basics of the craft as we know it today. The art has evolved and changed over the years, and modern advancements have only improved it. It’s a well-respected trade, and many things we use daily—such as automobiles—would likely not function without it.
Welding is often used to repair various items, specifically ones that would otherwise be rendered unusable if they couldn’t be repaired in this fashion. For damaged cars, as an example, we may use an exhaust manifold repair kit to have the vehicle performing as it did in little to no time. Here, we give a brief overview on the process of repair welding.
The first step, of course, is to procure the equipment required to properly do the job. If you want to know about the tools you may need, we’ve made a thorough list of the supplies required here. Whether an item is welded, soldered, or brazed depends on the metal you work with. When dealing with a thicker metal, such as steel, you should use one of the common arc welders. When welding something thinner, perhaps aluminum or silver, you need a lower temperature, which requires a method such as soldering or brazing.
This is perhaps one of the most important parts of the process, as you can’t make a proper weld on material that hasn’t been adequately prepped. This could lead to a less reliable product.
As you clean and prepare, you need to evaluate why the product initially failed and strategize how not to repeat the mistake. This may depend on the metal used, as the material is what often determines the lifespan of the finished product.
You will then need to clean your metal with a wire brush and non-abrasive chemicals, and you will also need to remove any damaged or excess metal that will not be a part of the finished piece. You can eliminate the offending pieces with a plasma cutter. Once the metal is thoroughly prepared, you can begin the repair welding.
The actual application process is your final step, aside from cleanup. The repair itself could take as little as a few minutes, although this is dependent on the project—some can take hours. In any case, you want to pay attention to the speed at which you move. If you’re too slow, you can create a bead that’s too thick, whereas too fast a pace can create one that’s too thin. It may take a while until you discover the speed that works best.
It’s also important to be careful not to create an undercut as you make your weld. This is another defect caused by an inappropriate speed. This occurs when the base metal becomes overheated and caves in a u-shape, which creates a bulge that sits above the metal’s surface.
The most important factors to know about repair welding are the basics of what it is, as well as the importance of preparation. With enough time spent learning the technicalities behind the art, you’ll soon master the basics and beyond.