3 Challenges You Might Face in Your Welding Career, And How to Overcome ThemAugust 15, 2019
Welding is not only an incredibly rewarding field to be part of, but also helps showcase your ability to be strategic and maintain quality control. Like any industry, welding carries its own set of challenges, but they certainly aren’t unmanageable—in fact, they get progressively easier as you go along.
This is a great industry if you love working with your hands and aren’t afraid to tackle challenging situations head-on. If you’re looking for a new career in welding, here are three of the biggest challenges a welder can face, and how they can conquer them.
Welding Aluminum Has a Learning Curve, But it’s Easier Than You Think
Although it’s one of various types of metals you may encounter, aluminum is distinctive in terms of techniques needed to properly weld it. Aluminum has a varied chemical composition, a high thermal conductivity, and a low melting point—meaning that it can be broken, cracked, or warped easily, and burn-through can also happen.
It also runs the risk of discolouration, for which you need to make sure you’re using the correct filler metal to prevent magnesium oxide from building up while welding. With cracking and breaking, it’s best to use a filler metal with less of a heat-sensitive chemical composition, as well as making sure pulse capabilities are part of your gas metal arc welding (GMAW) process.
Welding aluminum comes with its own process
Learning Part Fit-Up Best Practices Throughout Your Welding Career
One of the biggest skills to have as a welder is the ability to problem solve. Furthermore, you will likely be taught how to read specifications and blueprints while studying for your welding diploma, so attention to detail is also essential. Therefore, it’s essential that you maintain quality control by ensuring parts fit with each other according to specifications.
Make sure the pieces are cut and fit proportionately, as it can be tedious to weld successfully if there are major gaps, or the parts don’t fit well enough. You must also be careful in preparing the joints, and you can do this by cleaning all paint, oil, and other matter from the edges, as well as cutting bevels properly and making sure the surfaces of the joint are smoothed out.
Learning How to Weld in Different Positions
In your welding career, you may weld parts in overhead, flat, horizontal, or vertical positions. Each requires a certain technique to do properly. The flat position is arguably the easiest, as it involves welding the uppermost side of the joint while the face remains horizontal and molten metal travels downward. The horizontal position involves welding material on the upper side of a horizontal surface against a vertical one, and vertical welding is where the weld’s axis and plate lie in a vertical position. Overhead welding is considered the most complex position, as it involves welding from the underside of a joint.
You could find yourself welding out of position during your career, such as horizontally
The best ways to tackle the latter three welds are to point the flame up at a 45 degree angle to the plate during a vertical weld, so that the lower parts go against the force of gravity. Horizontal welding needs the tack weld and plates aligned at both ends, so heat can move evenly toward both sides of the joint. As for overhead welding, make sure the weld puddle is small so the deposited metal doesn’t sag or drop on the plate.
Do you want to enroll in welding courses?
Contact North American Trade Schools to learn more about our Welding Technology diploma program!