Welders have a very important job. It’s not fusing metal pieces together as some might think. Sure, that’s a huge part of the job, but another big part of the job is producing high-quality products. And for the most part? It's fighting the enemy of welding - rust and oxidation.
High-quality products are, of course, products that do not generate rust or oxidize. Fortunately, there are many things that both welders and owners of welded products can do to prevent these problems from happening, no matter what the product may happen to be.
When Fighting the Enemy of Welding – Rust and Oxidation, Avoid Moisture of Any Kind
First things first, you should know that one of the most important components in rust and/or oxidation formation is moisture. If moisture is not present, these things cannot and will not be able to form, plain and simple. Thus, avoiding moisture at all stages is key.
If you’re a welder, then this means always welding in a very dry environment. This isn’t difficult if you are welding professionally since most shops are aware of this risk and thus keep their environments very dry.
For owners of welded products, however, this can prove more difficult.
Keeping your welded item dry isn’t always easy, but it is possible. This might mean investing in some kind of cover or being very careful about when and where you use your item, but if you can follow this tip, you’re a lot less likely to find yourself dealing with rust and oxidation problems.
Give Plate Protectors a Try
This tip is for welders, so we are the first to admit that it is a bit technical in jargon.
With that said, though, if you’re a welder, or at least a good one, you will know what we mean when we say that you have to be protective about capillary action when you weld.
When you are welding between two plates, it’s easy to think that you have achieved perfect contact. However, without carefully utilizing protective measures each and every time that you weld, it is all too easy for moisture to find its way in between your plates and to cause a problem later on down the road.
To avoid this, test your plate connection each and every time, and use protective mechanisms each and every time you weld. Yes, it may be a bit of a pain, and it may take extra time, but the improved quality will be worth it for both you and your business.
Wash Off any Salt Exposure
It may surprise you to learn that moisture is not the only thing that can cause rust and oxidation. In fact, shockingly, the very thing that one can use to fight moisture - salt - can actually lead to this same problem.
Thus, if you live in an area where people use salt to combat snow, ice, or rain, be careful to keep your products far from it. Likewise, welders should make sure salt is not the desiccant of choice in their workplace.
Choose Galvanization Whenever Possible
As you can tell, fighting the enemy of welding - rust and oxidation are serious concerns for both welders and for the people who buy welded products.
Fortunately, there is a way to combat these problems, and that “way” is through galvanization.
Galvanization means applying a protective coating to products that protect against rusting and/or oxidation. More often than not, this coating is from zinc, a natural and very safe substance.
People buying welded products should always check to ensure that these products are from galvanized material to ensure quality. Likewise, welders should always galvanize or otherwise protect their products for the same reason.
Check for Exposed Metal Parts
Another feature that can make products prone to rusting and oxidation is any exposed metal parts. Ideally, on any device or product, metal parts should be coated or otherwise protected in some way, as described above.
When buying products that have exposed metal pieces, ask about what has been done to protect them. If the answer is unsatisfactory, you may want to buy elsewhere.
Similarly, to avoid losing business, welders should always take careful strides in order to protect their own metal work.
Fighting the Enemy of Welding – Rust and Oxidation: Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are a great many things that can be done when it comes to fighting the enemy of welding - rust and oxidation.
Whether you are a welder yourself or a buyer whose main concern is about what you are spending your money on, you should take steps to ensure that you are fighting the enemy of welding - rust and oxidation. That may mean being very careful about what you buy, or being very careful about how, when, and where you do your professional welding work.
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