Can You Weld Pot Metal?

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The answer is yes, you can weld pot metal, but you need the right TIG equipment to perfectly achieve it.

Welding this metal is a rigorous process that requires an advanced level of welding knowledge, especially in pot metal repair. You will need technical knowledge to handle the high volatility and oxidation of the constituent metals. 

Before you think of welding pot metal, you have to identify it just by mere looking or having a feel of its surface. In this article, you will discover how to identify pot metal, procedures to follow to weld pot metals and other vital information about welding this particular metal. 

How To Identify Pot Metal?

Pot metal is scrap metal leftover from automobile repair shops. It is melted in a pot and used as a patch. Melting these scrap metals is easily achievable because of their low melting points. Although it is challenging in the sense that welding stainless steel is, it is so in a different way.

This pot metal is made up of materials such as:

  • Lead
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Aluminum
  • Cadmium
  • Zinc (which is usually the metal that constitutes the most part.)

Identifying pot metal can be a challenging task to accomplish because pot metal carries the physical nature of its constituent that is of the highest composition when it comes to measurement.

When you spot a pot metal, there’s a possibility that it will look like another metal, mainly when it contains a very high percentage of a particular component. If you want to detect it effectively, you need to check its unique properties. That’s the simplest way to do that so that you can weld it easily.

In addition, another way to detect pot metal is to weigh the metal. Weighing metals is a way through which you can deduce if a metal is a die-cast or not. Note that pot metal typically possesses a heavier weight than aluminum, so you can easily know the difference between the two if you know aluminum.

Even though pot metal has some close qualities to aluminum, the finishing usually leaves some pattern on it that is not present in aluminum. In other cases, look out for some darker areas in its finishing.

These darker areas are good indicators that the metal you are using or want to weld is pot metal.

Is Pot Metal The Same As Cast Iron?

Many people think of cast iron and pot metal as the same thing, but there is a difference. Pot metal is more malleable and can be shaped more easily than cast iron. It is similar to cast iron in that it is both made from molten metals. It’s also cheaper than the latter, but that’s not to say that pot metal doesn’t have its own set of advantages over cast iron. For instance, pot metal has a lower melting point which makes it easier to manipulate when being heated (which also makes it tough to weld).

Things To Know Before Welding Pot Metal

Before you embark on the tedious task of welding a pot metal, you need to understand the rigorous processes and the risks involved, which makes some welders not try it.

Pot Metal Is A Die-Cast Metal

The first thing you should note is that pot metal is die-cast metal, and pot metal welding such metals requires the right approach, else the outcome will turn out to be a catastrophe!

It Has High Volatility

Secondly, note that the pot metal has high volatility due to the fast rate at which its oxidation and corrosion take place. More often than not, it gets saturated with bubbles which directly makes it weak.

You Need A TIG Welding Equipment To Weld Effectively

Thirdly, make sure to choose the right TIG welding equipment to help you weld the pot metal effectively. The A/C TIG welder looks well suited to this task and offers high-frequency starting to guarantee an efficient operation.

How To Weld Pot Metal

Welding pot metal is extremely difficult, and it is challenging to do it perfectly. You need to use the TIG welding process, although the process requires some level of knowledge and expertise because the main constituent, zinc, has a very low melting point of 419.5°C. When heated, pot metal’s unique properties can cause it to melt within seconds.

To weld, it correctly, do not heat your workpiece to a high level or allow it to cool down before you begin the process. Note that because it’s an alloy of various metals, which comprises zinc, it emits some toxic fumes that might give you a hard time when welding it.

Procedures To Follow When Welding Pot Metal

Before you go ahead to weld a pot metal, here are some guidelines that can be helpful:

  • Set the welding table and prepare the steel metal.
  • Ensure that you’re wearing a covering such as your welding coat, TIG gloves, and a your affordable welding helmet.
  • Make use of the correct alloy welding rod.
  • Grind the tungsten super alloy rod to make the tip pointed to give a small and directed arc.
  • Put the electrode into the medium by removing the screw on the electrode holder’s rear.
  • Ensure to use the correct electricity and penetrating options.
  • Set the air settings to about five seconds to prevent rusting or oxidation of the weld.
  • Set your amps at about 80 max to enable the die-cast zinc to restore its strength and attractive appearance.
  • Turn on the gas.
  • Make sure that the electrode is moving freely.
  • Begin to weld and ensure that the electrode is close to an inch from the metal’s surface. 

Can Pot Metal Be Cleaned?

Yes, pot metal can be cleaned using light grinding, or you can use a ball of steel wool to remove the hard dirt from the surface.

Avoid using a towel or an abrasive cleaner to clean it because it will dull and scratch its finish, making it look unattractive.

Remember to polish it to get a clean and shiny surface.

As a welder, this material comes in handy in some cases when you will need some items finished in a mold. They cast extremely well, and their process of casting is super fast and easy.

Can You Solder Pot Metal?

The answer to this question is that it is possible, but not a good idea. Pot metal can be easily welded with a torch or solder, but this process could potentially ruin the pot or pan if it isn’t done properly. As stated previously, the problem with working with this material is that there isn’t any way of knowing what metals were added into the mix during manufacturing,

In Conclusion

Welding pot metal is not that much of a big challenge once you know the right thing to do and you are equipped with the right and necessary tools needed. Also, knowing the metal you are welding, and its properties will be an added advantage.

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