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Welding is always the best and most durable technique for joining metals or filling holes in metals in case of damage, accident, wear-and-tear, or a rust hole. However, welding can be a very expensive and risky method of filling holes in metals.
This is because of the nature of the material involved and the high voltage required which is capable of electrocution and therefore demands utmost care and professionalism.
Aside from the technicalities of welding, some sheet metal tear situations don’t require welding. In this instance, they require the use of a non-weld joining method.
Further, the combination of the high cost, risk, and professionalism involved in welding makes an alternative approach to welding very necessary.
This alternative method is referred to as non-weld hole fixing. It is a do-it-yourself method that is a less expensive, more accessible, and less risky method of filling holes in metal without having to weld. What does this require?
In this article, we are going to explore all you need to know about how to fill holes in metals without welding.
Conditions Likely To Lead To Holes In Your Metals
Metals in our households, industries, automobiles, farms, and even schools can sustain holes due to accidents, length of use, wear-and-tear, and most commonly, rust.
When these happen, the surface or body of the affected metal becomes either effaced or weakened.
These can lead to leakages in auto fuel tanks, holes in radiators, mufflers, industrial pipes, tanks, agricultural elevator trunks, grain bins, and other grain handling bins; garage doors at home, metal sidings, gutter, yard pipes, and even rooftops.
Materials Needed In Non-Weld Hole Fixing And Their Uses
To get the holes in your metal refilled, thicker and stronger again, you need to have and be knowledgeable about the following materials and their uses.
This is a professional adhesive glue that is used to patch metals and steal. It is one of the commonest non-weld hole fixing materials and comes in different makes such as aluminum foil tapes, double-sided tapes, heavy-duty mountain tapes, metal hanger strap, galvanized hanger strap, feet roll copper hanger tape, etc. This adhesive, especially aluminum, is good for filling holes in automobile body damage.
This is also used to patch metals and steals. Specialty epoxy provides special glue in liquid forms.
This is used to heat the damaged section until it turns luminous red in preparation for filling up.
Molten base metal: the molten metal serves as a filling agent and creates a solid bond with the parent metal. Once the damaged area is heated red, the molten base metal is poured into the hole. This is used for filling pure metals.
Paints are applied to the spot filled up to be able to conceal or camouflage it to look the same as the body of the parent metal (as a body filler).
With the above materials, one can carry out some non-weld hole fixing methods which we are about to highlight below.
Ultimate Guide On How To Fill Metal Holes Without Welding
Depending on the nature of the metal and the hole sustained in it, different methods and
approaches can be used.
Epoxy Putty And Tape
To use the epoxy and tape method, the damage has to be relatively small. It is best for the patching of steel and metal and is the two common no-weld hole fixing methods. The coat of primer should be applied to the patched portion to seal the epoxy and disallow it from reforming.
Ultraviolet Repair Patch
This method is best when dealing with rust repair and small holes and it is long-lasting. To use the UV method, first, apply the patch to the hole and allow it to actuate by the sun or a lamp if you are working in a dark area.
UVI Repair Patches
The use of Ultraviolet Instant repair patches is different from the UVRP in that it is compatible with several products and surfaces and offers a versatile solution for immediate metal repair. It can be used to fix metals around the home, automobile body repairs, and industrial equipment.
Soldering is also the process of joining two metals together by melting them so that they form an inseparable bond. Soldered joints are weaker than welded ones because they have lower mechanical strength, thermal capacity, shear strength, and are less able to withstand vibration or impact.
Brazing is a process of melting and joining two metal parts together by using a filler metal which is heated and added to the joint. There are many different ways of brazing including (but not limited to):
- Gas brazing
- Hot air brazing
Gas or electric heat can be used to heat the base material from underneath by means of induction heating. Brazed joints are strong with good mechanical properties as well as relatively low thermal conductivity.
Procedures For Filling Holes In Metals Without Using Welding
This is a step-by-step procedure of filling holes in metals without welding. This guide will assist you to achieve a do-it-yourself implementation of the non-weld hole fixing in your home, farm, schools, and industries.
- The first procedure is to ensure safety measures such as wearing hand gloves to prevent contact with the adhesives or bruises. Wearing a face or nose mask is also advisable to prevent inhaling rust. The use of goggles is equally advised to prevent particles from entering the eyes.
- Use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean off rusts and paints on and around the affected areas.
- Spray or rub a primer converter over the cleaned affected area. Then allow time as recommended on the primer to dry. You can recoat the affected area with another layer if still exposed to avoid reforming.
- Select the patch type that best matches the parent metal. A fiberglass patch can serve if you are unsure of the suitable patch to use for the affected metal. The fiberglass bonds like a general-purpose material.
- Trim the patch material used to the exact shape of the affected area. Several layers of the material can be applied to level out the hole. This material may be molten metal, depending on what is used.
- Sandpaper the surface until uniform smoothness is achieved, dust the particles on the surface, and then apply the appropriate paint which will bring it to a match with the rest of the surface of the metal.
- Congratulations! This is done and you are good to go. You will have saved yourself the risk and cost of welding.
In conclusion, there are numerous ways in which you can successfully fill holes without welding. Although none will be as strong as a well-done weld, welding can be a challenging task for those who are unaware of how to use a MIG welder.
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