Can you Weld Stainless to Steel

Can you Weld Stainless to Steel?

There are many instances where we need to weld stainless steel or Mild steel. Welding of Stainless steel to steel of different types can be:

  • Stainless Steel to Mild Steel,
  • Stainless Steel to Carbon Steel,
  • Stainless Steel to Low alloy steel,
  • Stainless Steel to Cast Iron, and
  • Stainless Steel to other Stainless-Steel grades.

As we know both Stainless Steel and carbon steel have different physical, chemical and mechanical properties.

How you will make sure that the weld will be sufficient strong, meet service requirements and loading conditions?

Here, it is very important to use the right filler wire or welding rod, process you can use any ranging from:

  • Stick Welding,
  • TIG Welding
  • MIG Welding,
  • Gasless MIG (FCAW),
  • SAW,
  • Laser Welding, etc.

Best Welding Rod or Filler wire for Stainless steel to Steel Welding

The most common welding rod for welding Stainless steel to Steel Welding is E309L stick welding rod. Don’t confuse between E309L-15 or E309L-16 or E309L-17. All these are same rod but having different usability characteristics.

Check out my one of these articles to know the differences between E309L-15 or E309L-16 or E309L-17.

Now E309L is best for welding stainless steel to mild steel or carbon steel or low alloy steel. You will not face any weldability issue with this rod.

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Are there welding rod other than 309L for Stainless Steel to Steel welding?

Yes, there are other welding rods available that can be used in place of E309L to weld stainless steel to steel. Although they are costly compared to E309L.

Reason: These rods are predominately Nickel base, and we know Nickel is quite costly. Example of these welding rods are:

  • ENiFeCr-3
  • ENiFeCr-2
  • ENiCrMo-3

Above rods have even better weldability than E309L and they can withstand much higher service temperature. E309L is good for temperature up to 600 °F (315 °C).

ENiFeCr-3 can be used for temperature limit up to 1000 °F (540 °C) while ENiFeCr-2 can be used for temperature limit up to 1400 °F (760 °C).

How to Weld Stainless Steel to Steel?

Stainless Steel to Steel welding can be carried out using Stick Welding, TIG Welding, MIG Welding, Gasless MIG and SAW Welding process.

Can you Weld Stainless to Steel

Let us see how we can weld Stainless Steel to Steel using these above welding processes and what are the parameters we need to look for.

Welding Stainless Steel to Steel using Stick Welding

Welding Stainless Steel to Steel using Stick Welding need following items beforehand:

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Start the welding using DCEP (Electrode Positive) polarity. Use a welding amperage of 70 to 100 amps for with 1/8-inch welding rod. The slag is easily removable.

In case you face welding porosity problem, bake the electrode above 225°F as the porosity is mainly due to coating moisture.

Welding Stainless Steel to Steel using TIG Welding

Welding Stainless Steel to Steel (Mild steel or carbon steel or low alloy steel) using TIG Welding is carried out using ER309L welding filler wire. Make sure you have following tools ready before you start the welding:

Compared to Stick welding, for TIG welding Stainless Steel to Steel you need extra welding gas bottle to protect the weld pool from oxidation.

Check out the best welding gases for TIG and MIG Welding of Stainless Steel to Steel.

  • Set the welder on DCEN Polarity.
  • Set welding gas flow to 20- 30 CFH,
  • Use a HF start of scratch start to start the welding arc.
  • Tack welds the materials together,
  • Melt the base metal and slowly add the filler to join both metals,
  • Complete the weld.
See also  Can We Use 309L Welding Rod to Weld 316 Stainless Steel?

Welding Stainless Steel to Steel using MIG Welding

Welding Stainless Steel to Steel using MIG Welding is little different than welding carbon steel. The reason is- sluggish weld pool of stainless steel due to low viscosity.

In MIG welding wire classification is same as TIG welding for welding stainless steel to steel i.e., ER309L but it is in a wire spool form.

For MIG welding stainless steel to steel, you need following tools ready:

Welding Stainless Steel to Steel using Gasless MIG Welding

Welding Stainless Steel to Steel using Gasless MIG Welding is similar to MIG Welding explained above.
Although you don’t need a solid wire here, it is a cored wire spool. Use E309LT-1 welding wire with DCEP Polarity. For best results, use 75-25 welding gas for shielding.


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