To perform your own welding, you need to be experienced, careful, and steady handed, but other than that there are no reasons to seek professional welding help to perform your welding tasks unless they are extremely complicated. One thing that can make you decide to hire a professional welder is when you need to work with complicated materials. To avoid this, you should know the basics about welding different materials. One of the most common materials that come with special considerations is nickel and nickel alloys. To do your own nickel welding, there are a few things you should think about.
Keep it clean
When working with welding metallurgy, different types of alloys are important tools. However, nickel is rather special and needs to be dealt with in a special way. The first thing you need to make sure of is that the material is completely clean before you start welding. This is important with any metal, but even more so when you're working with alloys. An engineering investigation might be necessary to find out exactly what type of alloy your metal is, but as long as you know it is an alloy, these rules apply. The material is already mixed, which means it's more chemically prone to attract new materials. Keeping the material clean and disinfected when you heat it up by welding will decrease the risk of it reacting to any metal particles that might be floating around in your shop. Wipe the nickel alloy off with acetone or some type of disinfectant before welding.
Another thing you should know is that nickel alloys don't harden by being cooled down, they harden by being heated up. It's therefore of vital importance that you don't weld it too hot. One simple way to avoid this is to use a larger nozzle and thereby spread the flame on a larger area than you usually would. However, even with a big nozzle, you need to remember to move around a lot and not concentrate the heat on one single point of the material.
To further avoid the nickel hardening by too much heat, you should also take plenty of breaks. Nickel doesn't conduct heat fast, which means it will heat up slowly and cool down slowly. If you've heated up one spot of the material and the heat stays in the material for too long, there's a risk that you'll get one spot on the material that is hardened and impossible to weld. You can avoid this by constantly moving the nozzle while welding to avoid getting a pinpoint of heat, then turn the flame off and let the material cool down for at least the same time that you've heated it up for before continuing.
For more information on metallurgy, talk to a professional.
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