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Welding of Aluminum Alloys

Semih Genculu, P.E.

With the growth of aluminum within a wide range of industries, and its acceptance as an excellent alternative to steel for many applications, there are increasing requirements for those involved with developing aluminum projects to become more familiar with this group of materials. To fully understand aluminum, it is advisable to start by becoming acquainted with the aluminum identification / designation system, the many aluminum alloys available and their characteristics.

There are numerous welding processes including arc welding, electron beam welding, friction welding, laser welding, and resistance welding. This course will concentrate on arc welding which is the most common technique used to join aluminum alloys. The factors that affect the properties of the alloys once they are welded will be discussed and how to avoid common weld defects will be presented.

Following the rules of thumb offered in this course for selecting the welding process, base material preparation, application of proper technique, and visual inspection of weldments will help ensure high-quality gas-metal-and gas tungsten-arc welds on aluminum alloys. Welding aluminum alloys can present quite a challenge even for those who are experienced in welding steels. Higher thermal conductivity and low melting point of aluminum alloys can easily lead to burn-through unless welders follow prescribed procedures. The natural oxide layer that forms on aluminum, which provides its corrosion resistance, presents a challenge during welding.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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