As with any welding process, working with aluminium comes with a unique set of challenges and potential hazards which businesses, employees and engineers must consider. Whether you’re an experienced welder or just starting out, it’s crucial to prioritise safety in every aspect of your work.
In this thorough guide, we’ll delve into the essential safety measures, equipment, and best practices to ensure a secure and accident-free aluminium welding experience.
Understanding the challenges of the aluminium welding process
Before diving straight into aluminium welding, it’s important to first understand how and why it differs from other metals and what the process is going to entail.
Read more: Aluminium facts
One of the first things to be aware of is that aluminium has a low melting point and is also recognised as a good thermal conductor. This means the appearance doesn’t always change when heat is applied and it can be difficult to distinguish cold metal from hot. These two properties create a more challenging welding process compared to other metals and also mean you must be extra cautious when it comes to injury and burns.
Secondly, aluminium is also a highly reflective metal. Whether you are welding an aluminium tube or a large beam, it’s essential to understand that radiated light is a common issue as this can pose a threat when it comes to light-related injuries.
Finally, aluminium is also highly reactive with oxygen, causing a possible layer of rust to appear. This layer attaches to the surface of the metal which does offer aluminium corrosion resistance but also heavily interferes with the welding process.
Safety tips for aluminium welding
There are several safety tips that should be followed when welding aluminium including standard cleaning, organisation and first aid measures. Additional measures such as installing light-blocking curtains and overalls can help minimise exposure to light-related injuries and molten metal.
Here are some top safety tips when welding aluminium:
- Ventilation for harmful fumes and gases
- PPE equipment
- Fire safety measures and equipment
- Preparation and cleaning strategies
- Welding skills and appropriate techniques
- Electrical safety
- Training and certification
- First aid
- Maintaining a safe working environment
PPE equipment for aluminium welding
Having the proper equipment is one of the most important and effective ways to avoid injury, damage and hazards to others or the environment. Here are some of the essential items needed for the welding process.
Welding mask or goggles
Like many manufacturing processes, protecting the eyes is a priority. As aluminium is a highly reflective metal, radiated light is a common concern when welding. By investing in a mask or goggles, your eyes will be protected and there will be a reduced risk of light-related injuries. These items will also protect the eyes in case any metal comes loose and flies into the environment.
Safety gloves & respirators
Due to the extreme heat challenges present in the aluminium welding process, it’s critical that you are also equipped with fitting leather gloves, no matter what type of weld you are handling. Respirators are also highly suggested to guarantee that any fumes are not inhaled during long production times.
Wearing leather shoes or boots will help shield your feet from any molten metal that escapes or drips off during the welding process.
Aluminium Bending Services across the UK
So if you’re in search of a material that will stand the test of time, aluminium is that material.
If you’re ready to make your purchase, you can use our build-a-quote service to place your order, Or, if you’d like to speak to our team about your project please give us a call on 01623 392370.