Stainless steel MIG Welding

Can you MIG Weld Stainless Steel?

can you MIG weld stainless steel? The answer is Yes, subjected to some important considerations to make when attempting MIG welding stainless steel. In order to weld stainless steel successfully you must understand the properties of the material and how it responds to heat.

Stainless steel is a highly corrosion resistant alloy that has a higher melting point than mild or low carbon steel. This means it takes longer to reach its temperature range when welding and can only be welded with a MIG welder set up properly.

Other issue is the low thermal conductivity and high thermal expansion for stainless steel making it prone to distortion.

When preparing to MIG weld stainless steel, the proper shielding gas must be used in order to prevent oxidation while welding.

It is also important to pay attention to the settings you use on your welder, such as power output and travel speed, in order to get optimal performance from your machine.

What you need for MIG Weld Stainless Steel?

Welding stainless steel is a task that requires precision and skill to achieve the best results. MIG welding stainless steel requires special equipment, welding wire and personal protective equipment’s.

  Welding Helmet
  Welding Gloves
  Safety Shoe
  FRC Clothing
  Respiratory Mask
  Sleeves/ Knee pad
  DC MIG Welder
  Gas Bottle
  Welding Wire
  Angle Grinder
  Welding Clamp
  Wire cutter

Best welding wire for MIG Weld Stainless Steel

Can you MIG Weld Stainless Steel

Whether you are a professional welder or a DIY enthusiast, finding the right welding wire for your job can be tricky as there are many types of different stainless-steel grades.

Below are some of my articles for welding common grades:

When it comes to MIG welding stainless steel, ER308LSi is an excellent choice as it is designed specifically for welding most stainless steels such as 302, 304, 310 and 316 grades. The wire has added extra silicon to provide fluidity to the weld.

Common MIG Welding wires for Stainless-Steel Welding are:

  • ER308
  • ER308L
  • ER308LSi
  • ER316L

This multi-purpose wire has a low carbon content which helps minimize corrosion risks and provides excellent weldability.

It also offers excellent arc stability, low spatter levels and easy feeding characteristics

Best Welding Gas for MIG Welding Stainless Steel

Choosing the best type of MIG welding gas for stainless steel can make all the difference when it comes to successful results.

Common gases used for MIG welding stainless steel are:

  • Argon balance + oxygen (1-2%),
  • Argon balance + CO2 (1-2%),
  • Argon balance + 30% helium + oxygen (1-2%),
  • Argon balance + 30% helium + CO2 (1-2%),

For starters, you’ll need access to an appropriate gas mixture such as 92% argon+8% O2 or pure argon. Below table highlight the most common MIG welding gases for different types of stainless steels.

shielding gases for welding different materials 1 MIG Welding Gases

Welding Amperage Setting for MIG Welding Stainless Steel

The most important factor in welding stainless steel is the amperage setting of the welding machine. A MIG welder will require different settings than other types of welders when working with stainless steel.

It is essential to set the amperage properly when using a MIG welder on stainless steel, as this can directly affect how well the welds are formed and how strong they become afterwards.

It’s best to start with an amperage setting that is lower than what you would use for mild steel, as it could risk burning through if too high.

Generally, starting at around 120- 160 amps and increasing from there depending on thickness can work, but it may be necessary to experiment with different settings until you find one that works best for your work.

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