Setting up an aluminum stud welder with the right configuration makes this welding process a breeze. For large types of applications such as fabrication of aluminum enclosures, manufacturing of aluminum trailers and equipment, and even in the construction of residential and industrial HVAC systems, stud welding offers a fast, safe and effective method to mate two components together using a stud as opposed to a traditional nut and bolt fastener.
While aluminum can be thick, as in aluminum plate, bar or tubing, it can also be very thin, such as the aluminum sheet used in HVAC systems or in lightweight types of applications. With the lightweight and thin workpieces, the capacitor discharge (CD) aluminum stud welder has to be correctly configured to ensure limited heat is built up under the weld stud during the process of melting the ignition tip and fusing with the base.
It is possible to use drawn arc stud welding with aluminum workpieces and weld studs. It is more complicated and requires a shielding gas to complete the process. To contain the shielding gas, a ceramic ferrule will also be used with each weld.
What to Consider
When choosing the aluminum stud welder configuration, it is also important to choose the right aluminum weld stud. Look for an aluminum alloy in the stud weld that is the same as the base workpiece. This makes the settings on the power source easier to configure and offers fewer challenges with having to make adjustments when using different stud welds.
While stud welding can be done in any position and any location, including on angles and corners, it is important to ensure the surface of the workpiece is correctly prepped before the process.
For aluminum, this means removing all oils, grease or dirt on the surface. Any paint or other types of contaminants on the surface where the weld studs are located should be cleaned completely, including wiping down with a low or no VOC cleaner to remove any surface residue.