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SS filler in carbon steel

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  • SS filler in carbon steel

    I have been lurking on this sight for a while and finally have a question.

    I am a metal sculptor interested in making some carbon steel boxes that can rust but have the weld beads stay bright. My thought was to TIG weld with SS filler. This is an art project so strength is not critical, I just want reasonably nice looking welds that won't rust. My question is can this work or will I get too much base metal in the bead making it rust anyway? If it can work what type of filler would be best in preventing rust in this situation?

    I know you guys are mostly pro welders but I hope you can help an artist with an off the wall question.

    Thank you in advance.

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  • #2
    Maybe consider Mig welding with SS filler, less mixing with the base material. Whichever you do, the SS may still rust (even pure SS itself can rust under the right conditions), but much slower and nowhere near as solid rust as the carbon steel, there should still be plenty of contrast.


    • #3
      The filler most used for joining mild steel to SS is 309. Just give it a try and expose it to the elements for a while to see if it gives you the desired results.
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      • #4
        Somebody in my welding class made a football out of pipe with the ends orange-peel closed and used SS to make the lacing. It still looks shiny and I've been there for 2 years. VIVA LES ARTS!
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        • #5
          i would say yes it will work. i would use a rod that is high in cromium and probably nickle also.


          • #6
            I've welded several carbon steel pipe fittings for the purposes of hydro testing using 308 filler, that was 3 or 4 years ago and they've been sitting around the shop and even sat in a bucket with water in it. The carbon steel rusted but the welds still look pretty good, although they were never polished or even wire brushed after welding. I've also made some repairs on cast iron using 309 filler and the cast around the weld is beginning to rust the weld still looks nice.

            Try using stainless filler on some scraps of the metal you intend to use then set them out and let them weather for awhile and see what happens. Since strength is not an issue try welding a little colder than if you would be welding for strength and this may reduce the amount of base metal drawn into the weld bead. Even stainless will rust given the right conditions and time, I make stainless exhaust systems for cars & trucks and they don't last forever but long enough to make the investment in stainless worth the extra cost, they usually last 3 to 5 times longer than the steel exhaust components.

            Good luck with your project and how about posting some photos of your art work. I'd like to see some of it.

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            • #7

              I am a part time welding instructor, we do it all the time at the school. We use 308 most of the time, occasionaly we use 316. It does leave a shinier finish, and will stay a little shinier than the carbon with a little care. Only thing, if the carbon starts to rust, the chemical reactional of the stainless being in contact with carbon will cause the small amount of rust properties of the stainless to migrate and rust will start on it, but very light.
              Welding Junkie! Love this stuff. Love to hear from the Pros.


              • #8
                I would go with the ss filler 316L and as stated it will still rust in time. But I'm thinking if you coverd the weld area with a clear shilac so to keep air off the weld you can achieve the results your looking for


                • #9

                  use 309L ss rod we use it to connect carbon to stainless in the pressure industry. It will stay silvery compared to the carbon. I would weld some and then spray muratic acid on it to cause the carbon to rust so you can see the results quicker. Ten cover it with clear coat.(make sure you rince the part with lots of water before you clear). Jef


                  • #10
                    For strength most austenitic stainless fillers will do the job. For the best corrosion resistance pick a filler with a high percentage of chromium, and avoid metal dilution as much as possible. 316 has somewhere around 16-18% Cr, 309 has 22-24% Cr, check out the different austenitic filler metal chemical compositions online. Most of the mild steel welding I've done with stainless filler is done with 309, and it stands up to the elements.

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                    • #11
                      309L, It's not an issue of try 309L. It's an issue of 309L is the correct filler rod. As johny tig stated it has high chromium content. Here's an exerpt from lincols website since I'm to tired to draw on my own knoledge at the moment:

                      Use 309L (including ER309LSi) when joining mild steel or low alloy steel to stainless steels, for joining dissimilar stainless steels such as 409 to itself or to 304L stainless, as well as for joining 309 base metal. CG-12 is the cast equivalent of 309. Some 308L applications may be substituted with 309L filler metal, but 316L or 316 applications generally require molybdenum and 309L contains no molybdenum.

                      Hope this helps


                      • #12
                        Preacher, here is a pic of a carbon steel with 308 ss welds, the green is potassium dichromate, this baby has been sitting outside for 6 years, I gave it a Muriatic acid bath to get the rust going, last year it had the potassium dichromate added with a little Ospho, which is phosphoric acid [like Coke only stronger] I need to run a Scotchbrite pad over the SS as it has a slight film of crud on it. Squint your eyes and move back to see the picture that is drawn. Hope this helps out a fellow 'Arteist'

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                        Last edited by paulrbrown; 03-22-2007, 02:03 PM. Reason: need more info
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