Trades: aluminum welding

Self-tutoring about welding: the tutor mentions a fact check.

I took a week of welding during a heavy-duty mechanics pre-app course, a lifetime ago. I learned a tremendous amount during that week of welding, as in pretty much every week of that course. It opened my eyes to a world I’d never known, and expanded my understanding.

We only welded steel that week, as I recall. I was told aluminum is much different to weld: “It melts from the inside out,” someone commented. I didn’t know, of course. However, a guy I often worked with in the course happened to have a year’s welding training from before. He also had a car he needed to keep running. One day he welded something under its hood that was aluminum, and I saw the result. One look told me that aluminum lacks the predictability of steel, when it comes to welding.

After over 20 years of wondering, I finally looked up the idea that aluminum melts from inside out, to find the idea plausible. The reason is that the oxidized coating on aluminum’s surface melts at 3700 degrees Fahrenheit, while the pure aluminum underneath melts at the much lower 1221 degrees Fahrenheit. So, indeed, the concept that it melts “from the inside out” could be true.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Leave a Reply