Welding SS with equipment i have?

I have a Lincoln Pro100 Mig set up for stainless and a Lincoln ac/dc arc welder.

Can i i weld ss with either of those machines. I tried last night but it didn't turn out so hot. Tried welding on SS from a beer keg. Abt .04" or so thick.

From everything I've read, it seems TIG is the way to go. However, I

hear thats a pretty big learning curve.

Im pretty fair on arc welding and not yet up to speed on the MIG with argon and 0.023" SS wire.

I eventually want to make my own boilers and brewing containers out of SS. Maybe set up my own brewing deal.



Reply to
Loading thread data ...

To weld SS using MIG process, you will need the correct grade SS wire, there is a chart that tells you what kind of wire you need to use with the stainless steel you have. Example base metal SS 304L requires SS308 Mig welding wire.

also you do not use argon for Mig process. argon is used when you TIG weld SS, mild steel, alu.

to mig weld using SS wire you need a TRI mix gas. If I recall the mixture it was helium argon and oxigen. your gas suplier should be able to tell you. make sure you tell them what grade stainless you are working with.

good luck

Reply to
acrobat ants

Well the welder at Dowling-Bach fabricators here told me that also, but the Air-Gas guy said the Argon wld work and it wld be better than switching ard all the time. He said the Argon wold be the most versatile gas and not near as expensive ast the tri-mixture.

whatcha think?

Reply to

did you tell the guy you are using a MIG process. ? you can mig weld stainless steel using the standard C25 (argon CO2 mix ) you would normally use on mild steel with your MIG machine, with stainless .....your weld will be dull gray , more spatter and the weld bead would not flow in as nice into the base metal. many people use it on stainles if the job does not wothr switching the gas (bottle) to a try mix.

Argon is a no- no for MIG MIG needs C25 = 25% Co2+ 75 % argon or, some people use straight Co2 ,

Reply to
acrobat ants

Hi all

Boehler / Bohler pushing their flux-cored-wire MIG stainless. Not tried it myself but they say

- can get in spray transfer at very low currents

- works ideally with standard Ar/CO2 MIG gas

The latter is really important. Is thought the flux protects the droplets of the stainless steel as they pass through the arc column from wire to workpiece.

So even if FCW more expensive, wouldn't have to buy/rent a bottle of special gas.

OTOH the part-used reel must be kept sealed from moisture, though may be re-baked dry.

Using std. Ar/x%CO2 MIG gas - would get reaction of the CO2 with the liquid stainless, denuding the compostion of the weld bead of Chromium and Nickel. Maybe there is a higher-alloyed MIG wire which leaves you with "something about right" if you MIG stainless with ordinary MIG gas?

Std. disclaimer I am no expert, but tried stainless wire on an ordinary MIG machine, with pure argon "TIG gas". You get *&^$-all penetration and have to bevel sheet and plate metal at just about any thickness. And you have to aim the wire so accurately at the root, else, well, you don't get a joint. And very humped bead. Told I should have been in spray transfer at much higher currents - and voltage. Not likely domestic electric supply MIG machine could get there. But even what I did with about 19V 110A would have been alright for getting the odd job or two done.

Ar / 1%oxygen here used for stainless. The small oxygen content gives some bite to the arc and makes the stainless flow. Get grey weld bead surface.

Will be looking with interest at any advice / comment offered...

Richard Smith

Reply to
Richard Smith


Stainless welds with Argon and 3% CO2 but it will weld good with 100% Argon to 75/25, but the more CO2 the harder it is to get perfect welds.

Any carbon Steel can be welded with 82/18 but it will work with as much as

75/25 down to 100%CO2. Any gas supplier that tells you that you need a little O2/H/He wants to rob you, or else he sold you the wrong filler.

Aluminum with Argon. If you need He in the mix then you are not a Home/Hobby welder anyway.

If you can't do it with these then you can't weld.

Tri-mix's are just a way for the gas suppliers to make money and aren't needed period. The whole deal was invented because the gas suppliers had all this by-product gas that was going to waste, so they decided to create a market for it. Some of the more popular tri-mix gases of the past were out and out frauds put over on the welding market. If sales go down then the salesmen come up with a new mix.that doesn't accomplish anything except get money from your pocket. Tri-mix's weren't available in Europe until the early 90's, they only became available in Eastern Europe recently. They haven't been used that long in Japan and Asia, in fact are just now becoming available in India etc. If any engineer or metallurgist tell you need tri-mix for 99.999999% of welding applications run him off, because he either didn't pay attention in class or he works for a gas supplier.

And you can use any gas with a MIG that you use with a TIG. A MIG is for production work that would take too much time to do by other welding methods. (Home/hobby use of welding equipment doesn't change any thing). Always select your MIG wire just like you would a TIG filler rod.

However if you are running a production line using robot welders then there may be a few applications where the addition of a tri-mix gas may reduce downtime due to stoppages, burn through, etc. But again tri-mix isn't need at the Home/Hobby level. In fact tri-mix's are a lot more expensive any way you measure them. Less gas by weight, less welding time per bottle/cubic foot etc.

Reply to
Diamond Jim

Well I enjoy welding so far. Trying to do the ss with the MIG and am gonna try some small ss rods with the arc machine at low setting.

Maybe I aught to sell both machines and get a TIG machine that can do Arc as well. Since I hope to do ss and then maybe advance to aluminium. Only thing i can think to do with al is build a boat tho.

Appreciate the comments. Sounds like i better get to practicing.

Reply to

Pure argon is too cold of a gas, you need at least C25, and preferably something hotter, like a helium or oxygen tri-mix. Remember that with SS MIG you have to run the machine a little hotter and keep the wire stick-out really short due to SS's lack of conductivity.

You will also have to back-purge all your welds to prevent scorching the backside. Argon is best, but Nitrogen is much cheaper and will work.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

Hello, I agree with You 100%. In my country nobody uses any exotic mix gases, available is 100% CO2, 100% Ar, and 70/30mix. With this You can weld practically everything. In my workshop I have 280A MIG/MAG, 400A AC/DC rod welder and 160A DC TIG, and in past 10 years I had no complaints or any application which I wasn't able to weld... Best regards, TinMan

Reply to

well..... above is your answer . The master has spoken, Ernie is "The Man" ignore the rest :)

Reply to
acrobat ants

that is true, also you have to use a little common sense,

the fab/ welding shop told him to get the tri gas, (they most likely know since the work with the stuff.)

the gas supplier told him to get the argon. well....likely because that is all he had in stock. most gas supplier will not keep small bottles of trimix in stock, they will only have the rental bottles filled with tri gas because that is what the big shops use.

I suggested the trigas , because I used it and it works good, and had the best result using MIG + SS wire. Argon and Argon +co worked but had poor results.

again ...Argon + CO or argon may work for you (if) but the weld will look like crap, lots of spatter, lots of clean up after it.

May be in the UK they don't sell try mix , therefor some may have never experienced with tri mix and don't know how well it works.

please come back and tell us how the argon worked for you on the SS ?

Reply to
acrobat ants

I posted my results earlier today. Guess the moderator has to approve it..

Anyway, one setting on the Pro-Core 100 Mig machine, B-2 to B-3 did fairly well but still lots of pops(globular transfer I guess) and hissing.

Look for my post on my results..

Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.