If you’re a serious welder, then you would have at one point come across pot metal. However, not everyone knows what this type of metal is, talkless of the right pot metal welding techniques. If you’ve come across this type of material, you can’t just go ahead and start welding.
Failure to know what this metal is composed of can compromise the welding quality of your job. While it’s true that welding pot metal is easy, you can however wrongfully weld it, especially when you’re trying to weld it like traditional metal. This is why in this article we will give you some welding pot metal tips and show you what this type of metal is.
As you may have been thinking, pot metal here is not the type used in the kitchen. However, if you are thinking about the kitchen, you are not far away from the real terminology. Meanwhile, pot metal welding does not have anything to do with kitchen utensils.
Pot metal is a term used for an alloy of metals with a low melting point Trusted Source Pot metal - Wikipedia Pot metal (or monkey metal) is an alloy of low-melting point metals that manufacturers use to make fast, inexpensive castings. The term “pot metal” came about due to the practice at automobile factories in the early 20th century of gathering up non-ferrous metal scraps from the manufacturing processes and melting them in one pot to form into cast products. Small amounts of iron often made it into the castings but never in significant quantity because too much iron would raise the melting point too high for simple casting operations. en.wikipedia.org . Pot metal is used by manufacturers to make inexpensive castings quickly.
Perhaps this is where the term comes from. Before now, repair shops gather scrap metals and melt them inside a pot for patch jobs and other small jobs. The scrap metal mix is derived from different metals but melted inside a pot. This is why it is now referred to informally as pot metal.
In summary, pot metal can be colloquially referred to as alloys that consist of inexpensive metals with a low melting point. An alloy, for the sake of beginners, is a metal that is made when metallic elements are mixed so you can have metal that is stronger and resistant to corrosion.
The most common metals used in deriving pot metal are copper, cadmium, tin, lead, zinc, magnesium, aluminum, and iron. However, pot metal may contain different spectrums of metal. The key ingredient mostly is zinc.
Also, for starters who don’t know what low melting point means, what this means is, when the metals are gathered and melted together, the action will alter the metal properties in the pot. This outcome is what is referred to as low-melting. This is why this hybrid of zinc-rich metal can be very weak. It’s therefore referred to as metal with low melting point.
Identifying this type of metal can be a little bit difficult. But you just have to remember that metals known as pot metals are melted alloys of metals.
Pot metal can be identified in many ways. First, it has a relatively low melting point. You can heat a metal sample. Its melting point will tell you what type it is as pot metal is relatively low. If the taken metal melt at a low temperature, chances are you have a pot metal.
Also, as earlier mentioned, pot metals have high zinc content. So, if the sample comes up with white smoke, then that means the metal has a high zinc level and may be pot metal.
Another way to identify pot metal is by simply putting it on a weight scale. Pot metal can look like aluminum sometimes. One of the frequently asked comparison questions involving pot metal keywords is: “is it aluminum or pot metal.”
However, one quick way to know if you’re holding a pot metal is by holding it in hand or weighing it while comparing it to an equivalent mass of aluminum. Pot metal can be a lot heavier than pure aluminum.
Although this metal resembles aluminum a lot, when you check properly, a pot metal will have some patterns that you wouldn’t find on an aluminum sheet.
In most cases, you will find some dark areas on the surface layer. All these are indicators that the metal that you are holding is none other than pot metal.
Yes, of course, you can weld pot metal using various welding processes. TIG weld process is one of the best techniques for this welding process.
Contrary to popular belief, aluminum can be welded. However, the properties of the light metal must be given special consideration as the technique needs a bit of practice and knowledge. Pot metal consists of zinc, a material with a melting point as low as around 420 degrees Celcius or 787 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why the material melts faster than other metals. So, if you are not careful while welding it, the whole place can turn into a metal fluid pool. Therefore, to weld it correctly, you have to let your workpiece cool down without allowing it to overheat.
Pot metal can be used in different applications which don’t need high tensile strength. However, as it contains zinc, a material that contains toxic fumes, you may have a difficult time welding the material.
It is customary to preheat the metal accordingly when welding with oxy-fuel. On the one hand, the benefit here is that the melting point of pot metal is relatively low.
The melting point is almost around 420 °C (786 °F). However, the melting point can deviate from this and be between 580 and 786 degrees, since most of the components are alloys. Depending on the alloy, the melting point is then different.
In the following section, we have created a guide for you in which we go into the various welding processes for welding pot metal.
We hear again and again that welding pot metal requires special welding equipment, that pot metal cannot be welded at all or that only special welding processes can be used. This is absolutely not the case. Various welding processes can all be used when welding pot metal.
TIG welding method is the most common for pot metal. However, you can also make use of other weld processes such as metal inert gas or metal active gas (MIG/MAG). It can also be welded by using the stick welding process, also known as manual metal arc (MMA). For those who have a welder that can handle all these processes, this can be even easier. Let’s get started!
TIG welding involves the use of inert shielding gas. Tungsten plays a role here. In general, one of the most obvious differences between TIG welding and MIG welding is that it consumes less electricity. This means that even thin sheets can be welded much better.
Because when MIG welding very low melting sheets, in particular, it becomes exhausting even for professionals to weld without burning through the sheet, if possible. This is why the TIG welding process is often used on car bodies. The electrode does not burn off during TIG welding; the welding filler is also added manually or automatically (depending on the welding machine).
TIG welding and pot metal go along a lot. However, you have to choose the right TIG welder and consumables. Alternating Current (AC) TIG welders are the best for welding this type of material. This type of welder must also have a high-frequency start.
The welder used must be able to get to 80 amps to ensure that the zinc material restores its natural strength and attractive appearance.
This process involves using an electric arc to generate heat. The heat is then applied between the pot metals you need to join.
The process used for TIG welding aluminum is what is used to weld pot metal. When you begin welding, you have to use a low-temperature setting. Remember that we said the material has a low melting point and the last thing you want is to turn the surrounding into a pool of fluid metal.
Also, you have to spot weld. Don’t weld the material continuously as this can melt the piece. Weld with short intervals of 5 to 10 seconds. This lets the metals to have enough time of cooking down.
MIG welding is a very widespread welding technique. It is often referred to as MIG / MAG welding. This has to do with the protective gas and how it reacts. MIG welding is an inert shielding gas. Without going too deeply into the material: with arc welding without gas, the melt would be directly exposed to the air.
However, this immediately causes oxidation, and the properties of the slag also change. This process is prevented by the arc at the welding point being surrounded by shielding gas. This means that there can be no reaction to the ambient air. Colloquially, this form of welding is therefore also referred to as inert gas welding. The current-carrying electrode burns off during MIG welding.
Stick welding Trusted Source What Is Stick Welding (SMAW) Stick welding also known as manual arc welding, manual electrode welding, manual metal arc welding or shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) is usually the first welding process that welders are taught during training. It is easy to learn, but already offers insights into the way that welding systems work and into the ratio of metals to electrical voltage. www.fronius.com is probably the simplest form of electric welding. A distinction is made between the most varied of versions of the devices, from inverter welding devices to direct current welding devices. The electrode burns down here and also carries current. Compared to the gas-shielded welding process mentioned, electrode welding works without gas from the nozzle and therefore without a gas bottle.
In welding processes for pot metal, as well as for welding other metals, attention must be paid to the composition of the electrodes. A low-temperature aluminum-zinc rod must be chosen. The Blue Demon BDTP-125-01T Triple Play is advertised as a rod for low-temperature welding but it’s not suitable for the job as many users mentioned. A rod set such as the Linkhood Aluminum Welding Rods is a suitable low temperature rod kit that goes well with pot metal and stick welding.
Normally, pot metal should be rich in zinc. However, if the alloy includes higher iron content, you might confuse it for iron. Even if it looks like iron, the metal will not possess the same attribute of the metal. But when pot metal is passed for other types of metal, it can mess up your work.
Therefore, it’s important to be able to know what a pot metal is and how its affect your pot metal welding project.
Pot metal is an alloy of melted low melting point metals which can be used for small jobs. TIG welding process is the best method to use when welding pot metal. This material won’t let everything melt as soon as you start welding.