Tips For Metalworking Cold Rolled Steel

If you are an artist who is working on a metal sculpture that requires welding cold rolled steel pieces, then follow these tips to achieve the best possible weld results.

Weld Cold Rolled Steel Using an Electric Arc Welder

Since cold rolled steel has been processed to have strength, heating it with a gas welder will ruin the properties of the steel you are welding. As a gas welder heats the area around the weld, the steel will essentially become hot rolled and this defeats the purpose of using the harder, cold rolled material. While you might believe you could quench the steel in water to re-harden it, this doesn't work. What you will end up with is a hardened outside of the steel parts with softer inner steel. For this reason, you should always weld cold rolled steel with an electric arc welder.

Place a Scrap Piece of Metal Behind Welds to Prevent Scaling

As you weld one side of a piece of cold rolled steel, the other side can have a problem with scale formation. Rather than giving yourself an added step of removing the scaling before you can weld the other side of the metal, simply place a scrap piece of metal behind the area you are welding. The scrap metal will absorb some of the heat from the welding process and prevent oxygen in the air from forming the scale. 

Weld at the Right Temperature and Speed

If you try to weld cold rolled steel at a temperature that is too hot or at a speed that is too slow, then the welds will be more likely to fail and they will also be more prone to scale formation. To prevent problems, use the appropriate temperature for the size of steel you are welding. Also, take care to move at a decent rate of speed so that the weld is complete but the steel is not heated to a temperature that is too hot. 

Always Wear Eye and Hand Protection

Finally, welding can be damaging to your eyes and hot steel can burn your hands. You can avoid eye damage by wearing an appropriately rated welding shield. To protect your hands, you should wear gloves that contain an asbestos layer. The asbestos will keep the heat from the hot metal from burning your hands. Wearing long gloves will also protect your lower arms from burns during and after welding.

For assistance, talk to a professional like A & C Metals - Sawing.