The Better Fit to Your Welds
There are a lot of occasions when you need to lengthen pieces of metal. These occasions call for welding because it’s one of the best methods of joining two materials to one another. Unfortunately, for our welders, this isn’t always a practical thing without some aide, because the ends of two pieces of metal have a lot of challenges when you’re trying to weld them together effectively.
The good news is the world is a malleable place, and you can do a lot with metal. The thing is you have to be aware of the limitations of both the material itself and the tools that may be available to you. These materials and tools have their issues, and it’s up to you as a fabricator to work around them.
It’s a lesser-known fact that most forms of metal also have grain structures in them, in the same way that wood is possessed of grains. While these grains aren’t the same chemically as they are in wood, they are similar in that they are at their strongest in a lengthwise fashion. Since it’s common to have bars and other objects aligned, so that their longest parts are in line with their grains, putting two end grains together isn’t the strongest foundation on which to weld something.
When you weld two ends of a pipe or bar setup to one another, you have to contend with the potential that their grains may not hold up well together when welded or otherwise joined. This is why the use of a nickel bar on either the outside, or milled to provide a collar of support, can work very well with this kind of joinery.
The Welds and the Heating
It’s a well-known fact that when you weld anything, it heats up considerably. This heating can begin to distort metal, and often, you have to balance between fully welding the entire surface areas of the ends of things together and between keeping what you’re welding aligned and solid. In some cases, you may even accidentally cause the tempers of the metals to be lost. When this happens, your entire piece of the project may have to be redone, and the materials may be taken to get recycled at a considerable cost due to the loss of productivity.
This is why you may want to use nickel bars as internal rods, in much the same way as a dowel rod could be used in wood joinery. This involves some milling or drilling, but allows you to maintain a well-machined balance while you keep the ends joined together firmly. The amount of strength you can actually gain this way is tremendous, so using rods inside of your joints when lengthening pieces of metal can take you a reasonably long way.
The use of metal rods can help you to solve structural integrity problems in a variety of creative ways.