It is common for various machines and metal works to break down or rust. Most of the repairs require welding new pieces of metal or redoing the joints. Some repairs can be simple and straightforward and would require the welder’s skill and availability of the tools to complete the task. However, some welding repairs require more than that. Due to their complexity, you will need to plan, prepare, and execute the repair procedure accurately.
The amount of time it will take you to complete a welding repair project depends on various factors including the size and degree of the damage, the location you will be working, and weather conditions. You, therefore, need to be sure that you move the machine to be repaired to a sheltered ground because you will not want to work with electricity in the rain.
These are the seven simple steps you need to follow to ensure that your welding repair goes on seamlessly.
1. Prepare the Welding Ground
Before you start any welding procedure, you need to be sure that the place you are going to undertake your welding is safe. Be sure that you have enough space to work in and that there are no distracting objects around. You need adequate space for welding tools and electric cables. At the same time, you should be able to move around without knocking things while working.
Do not forget to clean the place to remove any sharp objects that can easily harm you while at work. Remove everything hazardous out of the way. You do not want petrol cylinders near your welding space that could catch fire and become too difficult to put off. As mentioned earlier, your welding ground should be protected from both rain and extreme sunshine.
2. Determine the Material
Metalworks come in various materials. Steel is common, but there are many types of it, and each of the steel offers a different degree of weldability. Other materials include cast iron, aluminum, nickel, and thermoplastics. Some materials are easier to weld than others. The material also determines the welding arc temperature you need to make the job easy.
While some materials are easy to work with, some can crack or break off when you introduce the arc. A general rule is that you should weld different materials according to their recommended temperature setting. If you cannot identify the material immediately, you should postpone the project to avoid damaging the entire system.
3. Inspect the Welding Project
It is common knowledge that you cannot start your welding procedure without analyzing the damage that needs repair. Knowing how the damage happened and its intensity will help you to make the right choices about repairing the surface. For instance, if you realize that the damage has repeatedly been happening on the same spot, you should not carry out ordinary welding. Depending on the size of the object you are repairing, you may need to cut off a section, rebuild it, disassemble it, and begin building it from scratch.
The inspection also helps you to determine the extent of the damage so that you can figure out if you will only need your MIG wire or some metal plate for patching the section. It will also give you a rough idea about the time and the resources you will take for the repair, and you can use that to create your repair invoice to cater to the entire work adequately.
4. Clean the Welding Repair Object
Whatever the item you are repairing, you want to be sure that your work is going to be fruitful. It all starts by cleaning the surfaces to be welded and ensuring that they are free from debris and dust. Steam cleaning is sufficient for preparing most materials before beginning the welding procedure. You can also choose to clean with abrasive or solvent.
Sometimes, cleaning the dust is not sufficient for preparing the welding project at hand. You would want to cut off some sections that cannot join properly or those that are damaged. Then you need to prepare a new plate to join the sections and form a smooth weld.
5. Protect Adjacent Areas
When your repair is about machinery, it is clear that the section you are working on is part of a large system. While some machine parts can be disassembled for individual addressing, there are huge sections that must be welded while in place. Other types of machinery are best welded while intact. You, therefore, need to be sure that, while welding, you protect other delicate parts or adjacent machines from the weld sparks.
You should protect any machines and equipment within five feet from the section you are repairing. Metal sheets are ideal in mist cased, but you can also use asbestos cloth on the surfaces of the machines. Remember to clamp the protective material onto the area you want to protect to prevent it from sliding off and exposing machines to the flame and spatter.
6. Repair the Surface
Once you are sure that everything is safe, you can begin working on the repair section. In case you are working with joints, you may need to clamp it to ensure that the pieces of metal do not slide while you are working. Use the correct welding process when joining the damaged sections or joints. The process you choose largely depends on the type of material you are working with.
7. Cleaning Up and Painting
After welding, you want the repaired surface to look the same as the rest of the whole system. Once you have completed the task, it is ideal to clean up the item you were repairing. Use an anti-spatter liquid to clean the surface. Spray an appropriate paint so that the repaired surface can retain the nature of the entire machine. The painting also helps to prevent rust after a weld repair.
Every metal equipment, machine, or tool we use is bound to undergo degradation. At some point, it will need repair, and you want to be sure that the repair procedure you carry out not only makes the system whole again but also protects it for durability. While there are many ways to repair various materials, you should ensure that you and your tools remain safe and that your work is clean so that you achieve the desirable repair results. That is how planning is essential in the whole process.