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April is National Welding Month: LTI Welding School

April 26th, 2018

Here is all you need to know about welding aluminum.

April is National Welding Month, so what better time to take a look at aspects of welding as a career and the big opportunities the field presents heading into the future.

One of the common materials used in that is aluminum. So here’s a breakdown of things you need to know about aluminum when it comes to consider in that process.

Why Aluminum?

Aluminum is a soft, non-magnetic, ductile metal that’s distinct because of its low density and ability to resist corrosion.

The use of aluminum in welding broke through in the 1940s with the introduction of the inert gas process. By using inert gas to protect the molten aluminum during the process, it became possible to make very strong, high-quality welds in a way that was fast, could e done from a variety of positions, and without corrosive fluxes.

Aluminum is a highly popular material to use in the aerospace industry, transportation, and all kinds of construction, from window frames to building facades. Aluminum isn’t as strong as steel, but is a much lighter material, making it the best option for many projects.

The Best Aluminum for Welding

There are a number of distinct aluminum alloys that have different characteristics and, thus, are better for some types of projects than others. In fact, some aluminum alloys can’t even be welded. Here’s a breakdown of various alloys and what they’re best used for:

  • 1XXX Alloys—these are commonly used to conduct electrical currents and corrosion resistance, they’re easily weldable, and they’re typically used with 1100 filler metal.
  • 2XXX Alloys—these are very strong alloys and are popular for use in the aerospace industry; however, most are not weldable because they tend to crack at high temperatures.
  • 3XXX Alloys—these are very formable alloys that have medium strength, are very conducive to that, and are typically found in things like heat exchangers and air conditioners.
  • 4XXX—these are weldable alloys that are commonly used as filler material as well as base metals.
  • 5XXX—these are very strong alloys that usually come in sheets or plates and can be welded with 5356, 5183, or 5556 filler metal.
  • 6XXX—these alloys are known to crack easily in higher temperatures, but can be used in some welding applications when paired with 4043 or 5356 filler metal.
  • 7XXX—these alloys typically aren’t used because they can crack and corrode, but there are a few exceptions. These alloys are commonly used in aerospace applications.

Types of Welding for Aluminum

There are a number of welding processes that take advantage of aluminum. They include:

  • Gas metal arc (GMAW, MIG)
  • Gas tungsten arc (GTAW, TIG)
  • Alternating current
  • Shielded metal arc (SMAW)

 

Celebrate National Welding Month

One way you can celebrate National Welding Month is by taking the first big step towards making welding your career and benefitting from everything it has to offer.

Opportunities heading into the future are looking very bright. According to the AWS, the U.S. will be faced with a shortage of more than 400,000 professional welders by the year 2025.

In South Dakota, O*Net Online reports that the need for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers will grow by 13 percent between the years 2016 and 2026, with a median annual salary of approximately $35,660.

Loenbro Technical Institute is the only school in the region that is accredited by the AWS as an Accredited Test Facility and by the National Center for Construction Education and Research. LTI takes a distinct pride in producing fully trained and educated welders who are ready to hit the ground running on day one.

The Structural and Pipe Welding program at LTI offers six- to 12-week training and education designed to prepare students for a variety of professional welding certifications. Courses in the program include:

  • Structural Welding Technology
  • API 1104 Pipe Welding Technology
  • ASME Pipe Welding Technology

Additionally, the program’s Company Partnership course allows selected students to take part in an 80-hour paid internship with an assigned employer.

At LTI, classes start every two weeks, offering students the most convenient and flexible scheduling options to achieve their professional goals. The program is designed to prepare students for entry into the following fields:

  • Commercial pipe welding
  • Industrial pipe welding
  • Commercial structural welding
  • Industrial structural welding
  • Manufacturing welding

So your next step is to contact LTI and learn more about our program and offerings. As a student here, you’ll enjoy extensive hands-on training using the type of modern equipment that you’ll find in professional job settings, as well as individualized instruction from a faculty of experienced welders.

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