There are many processes that can join aluminum, but, in thin metal, the most visually appealing and mechanically strong process is aluminum TIG welding, also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW).
The TIG process is similar to welding with an oxy-acetylene torch - with the torch in one hand and the other hand feeding a filler rod. In order to create clean connections, a shielding gas (argon or helium) is used in the surrounding area. It is most often used to weld lightweight metals that need a lighter touch to avoid destroying the integrity of the metal object or sheet.
The gas-shielded arc welding process developed slowly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and continues to develop today. In 1941, Russell Meredith of Northrop Aircraft perfected the process, using a tungsten electrode arc and an inert gas (helium) as a shielding gas, for the purpose of welding light weight materials. His welding process was originally called Heliarc.
The electrode was prone to overheating, however, and the buildup of heat could not be controlled until alternating current units were developed. Further improvements were made through the decades and, today, there are a variety of useful methods, including tot wire, dabber, and pulsed-current TIG welding.
Aluminum and its alloys are easily weldable; however, there are several issues unique to aluminum that must be considered, such as:
After welding, heat treatable alloys can be heated to restore strength lost during welding. Cold working or strain hardening can increase the strength in non-heat treatable alloys.
Hydro Extrusion is the world’s leading soft alloy aluminum extruder. We offer the industry’s broadest product capabilities in press sizes and tonnages (direct and indirect extrusion), alloy selection, circle sizes, profile types and “green” billet.”
In addition, we provide a comprehensive suite of services for clients in virtually all commercial, industrial and consumer markets. We have extensive experience in joining technologies, including aluminum TIG welding, MIG welding, and Friction Stir welding (FSW), and can satisfy your most challenging requirements.