Having the ability to join two pieces of sheet metal together can be beneficial. The welding process provides the option to create a seam, joining sheet metal together to form a cohesive product. In order to ensure that the weld will withstand the test of time, the sheet metal must be properly prepped in advance of the actual welding process.
Here are three simple tips that you can use to properly prepare your sheet metal for welding in the future.
1. Remove all contaminants from the surface of the sheet metal.
In order to ensure that a welded seam is strong, there can't be any contaminants present on the surface of the sheet metal components during welding. Taking the time to properly clean your sheet metal before you begin welding will increase the overall durability of your welds.
You can use a lint-free cloth and some simple acetone or paint thinner to gently wipe the surface of each sheet metal piece being welded together clean. This will eliminate any potential contaminants that could compromise the quality of your weld in the future.
2. Smooth the surface of the sheet metal pieces being welded together.
A strong weld is easier to achieve when the pieces of sheet metal being joined with a welded seam are both smooth. If you notice that the surface of your sheet metal components are jagged or uneven, you should take the time to smooth the pieces prior to beginning the welding process.
The easiest way to smooth out minor imperfections from the surface of sheet metal is to use a small wire wheel connected to a rotary tool. Run the wire wheel gently over the surface you intend to weld, and the sheet metal pieces will be smooth when it's time to create a welded seam.
3. Use backing tape to provide a shield.
If you are worried that your welded seam could expand or drip onto the surface of the sheet metal components, it can be beneficial to pre-join the sheet metal pieces with some backing tape. Backing tape is made from durable fiberglass, which allows it to withstand the heat associated with the welding process.
Firmly press the backing tape onto the backside of the seam you intend to weld. Smooth out any air pocket with your fingernail, then weld the seam. Once the weld has cooled, remove the backing tape to expose a clean weld.
Being able to properly prep your sheet metal will help you eliminate a lot of problems when it comes to welding metal components together during manufacturing.