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Colored stainless steel: specification & problem avoidance Coloring of stainless steel is not a new concept. The heat tint or temper colour formed is caused by the… Easily access valuable industry resources now with full access to the digital edition of The FABRICATOR. This is producing a false expectation and the impression that this tinting is good. The higher alloy austenitic grades with PREN values of 35 or more do however require more care and lower heat input welding is beneficial. Or even now, when your neighbor thinks that fueling up with 94 octane somehow makes his stock v6 Chevy Malibu a sneaky world beater? Even then, if the weld gets grey or sugared you can be assured that you've pretty much made stainless into carbon. Heck, it might even hurt the motor. Weld Discoloration. https://monkeyfabgarage.com/collections/welding-supplies/products/gls-fab-16-cup Coatings and surface chemical treatments are the most common coloring methods. Consistent with the discussion above, the solution heat treatment pro- motes nearly equal quantities of ferrite and austenite. How to evaluate anium welding visually weld discoloration tempering colour chart boskin how to evaluate anium welding visually weld discolorationWelding Color Chart BoskinWeld Purging With Argon Gas An Industry Standard PenflexTemper Colors Obtained By Welding Austenitic Stainless Steel InColors In Welds And What They MeanAll You Need To Know About The Heat Affected ZoneTemper Colors […] On stainless steel, for example, any color in the weld or HAZ shows that an oxide layer has formed, which can affect corrosion resistance. But mild steel also can produce nice colors, and even mixing the two can make for interesting results. The colors that result depend on the makeup of the metal, the composition of the atmosphere, the temperature at which they meet, and the duration of time the metal is exposed at the elevated temperature. This was a mig (GMAW) weld done at a travel speed of about 35 inches a minute. First things first: Why does steel change color? Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl. Ive tried going faster, slower. Light blue and you are skirting with disaster. More than likely the quality is excellent. Colored Welds. A similar HI value on stainless steel that is 1/8 in. But I can't say I've ever seen a stainless weld that had no color on the OD, but then again, I've never seen stainless done with a trailer. Corrosion puts the integrity of the weld in jeopardy. Your email address will not be published. Easily access valuable industry resources now with full access to the digital edition of The WELDER. For example, if you weld with 35 kJ/in. The gas flow needed could be different for every job, but as long as you’re getting just enough to cover the weld and HAZ until it’s below the contamination temp, you’re good to go. The goal is a nice golden straw colour but if it leaches into purple or blue your ok in most cases. Weld Decay of Stainless Steel.During welding of stainless steels, local sensitized zones (i.e., regions susceptible to corrosion) often develop. The darker the color is, the thicker the oxidization. When it comes to cosmetics in stainless, it is hard to beat a TIG weld. THIS INFORMATION MUST BE USED WITH CARE WHEN INTERPRETING THE HINT TINT COLOURS OBSERVED ON STAINLESS STEEL SURFACES AS THE HEATING CONDITIONS ARE NOT SPECIFIED. The color depends on the temperature experienced by the weld and HAZ. Same thing with inert gas: You want just enough flow to protect the heated metal from the atmosphere relative to the standards you’re welding to. Once the procedure is qualified, follow it and don’t deviate. Could steel prices soon hit $1,000/ton in the new year? There was an error submitting your subscription. But instead of just compromising corrosion resistance, the contamination from the atmosphere can actually affect the integrity of the weld—drastically. And if you’re a wizard, you’re probably casting spells instead of welding. A lot of hot rod and motorcycle guys will take their chances with material integrity on exposed piping and exhausts because it looks so dang cool when it turns blue and purple. I’m terrible at explaining science, and chances are you’re not fond of reading science. 2 illustrates the directionally oriented austenite (white) and ferrite (blue) phases that exist in the unaffected base metal. It is also affected by the heat input which determines cooling rates. You may have heard that the yellow and straw colors are OK, but blue and purple may not be. This means it may corrode in 6 months rather than 3 years. It may not be bad in some cases, but it is never good. You may have heard that the yellow and straw colors are OK, but blue and purple may not be. Do they show that the weld had enough heat to penetrate? On stainless steel, for example, any color in the weld or HAZ shows that an oxide layer has formed, which can affect corrosion resistance. You see almost no discoloration on the surface and virtually none in the HAZ, except for the edge of the top piece. I'm no expert by any means, but this is what has worked for me so far. On titanium the story is kind of the same, but with a big difference. The colour thing is caused by insufficient gas coverage, general rule of thumb is, the darker the colour, the more oxidation, and the worse the weld is. That is why gas welding steel with an oxyfuel torch looks so gray all over. The colors are beautiful as well. Often a light gold color is acceptable (and sometimes beyond that, depending on the application or code). Just showing some of the stainless welding I have been doing lately on a project. So I’ll just give the quick and dirty version here. Required fields are marked *, Sign up to receive new blog posts via email and get a FREE copy of our NEW Guide: "Checklists for Proper Qualification of Welding Procedures and Welders - per AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code (Steel)". of HI on 3/4-in. A rainbow of colors in the bead and heat-affected zone (HAZ) doesn’t automatically make it a good weld, and it can indicate a bad weld. Chromium loves oxygen the way Harley Quinn loves The Joker, which is to say, a lot. The cool thing about t… Your gas lens which can help to make a uniform coverage. But the less color in titanium, the less chance that it is contaminated or compromised. The questions are endless. Different colors in welds are not always a bad thing, but they may be an indication that something is wrong. But it’s just one of many factors. Old English D with stainless steel filler. Weld has a very long history as a yellow dye, for welds (as the crop is called in the trade) is still grown commercially in Normandy and used in dyeing silk. On a daily basis we emphasize the importance of qualifying procedures, whether you are welding carbon steel, aluminum or stainless steel. And lastly, it is affected by contamination from the atmosphere (even with 100% inert gas) and surface contaminants.. In some industries, like pharmaceuticals, any color beyond chrome in the weld is unacceptable, but in other sanitary welding situations, such as dairy, up through light blues are allowed. When steel heats up, its structure changes. Please try again. It all depends on the material, the industry, and the application. Heat temper weld . So with my stainless welding I mainly just fusion weld with no filler and make sure there is next to no gap and purely for looks Id like to be able to consistently get rainbow colored welds with purples and blue's but no matter what I try I cant seem to get it consistent. Easily access valuable industry resources now with full access to the digital edition of The Tube & Pipe Journal. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. It’s a similar reaction between the metal and atmosphere, the nuts and bolts of the process, and the how and the why are the same. Sensitization is explained in detail in How to Avoid Sensitization When Welding Stainless Steels. Yes, gas coverage can have an effect on a weld’s color. It is important to develop a welding procedure that produces the quality from a structural standpoint as well as quality in terms of corrosion resistance. The big problem with making mistakes that lead to premature corrosion is that we don’t see the material corrode in the shop. When steel heats up, its entire molecular structure changes. Why do they need to be cleaned? Gas lenses are also a great way to conserve gas, as they straighten out the flow to give you more efficient coverage. There is a lot of science involved and maybe some magic. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s. Below that, you might get pinging, but using anything rated higher than what the engine was designed to run on isn’t going to help; it’s a waste. Oxide lessens the ability of stainless metal to resist corrosion. Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. More gas, better arc. Reference:  Welding Metallurgy and Weldability by John C. Lippold. Our product range includes machines for everyday heavy-duty work and occasional light weld cleaning, so you’ll definitely find the right solution for your application. Sometimes they indicate a bad weld, sometimes they don’t. Their absence can be a good thing. (It needs a minimum of 10% chromium to create this effect.) Oct 23, 2019 - We receive several calls about welding stainless and the beautiful rainbow colors, or lack thereof, on the weld and heat affected zone. Type 409 is available as metal cored wire and Type 430 is available in all forms. Enjoy full access to the digital edition of The Additive Report to learn how to use additive manufacturing technology to increase operational efficiency and improve the bottom line. Is the tinting an indication of quality? Qualifying Welders & Procedures – FREE CHECKLISTS. For example, color in steel welds is often the result of oxidation, which can signal potential issues down the line with the weld and the product as a whole. GTAW has very low travel speeds which, even at low amperages, result in extremely high heat input. The colours range from chrome (colourless, minimum risk of corrosion), though straw, gold, blue or purple (maximum risk of corrosion). Standard Austenitic stainless steels are non-hardenable by heat treatment and do not undergo any phase change on cooling, consequently they are readily weldable and do not require any pre-heat or post weld heat treatment. We don’t see that if we are the fabricator (unless it comes back as a warranty) so we have no feedback as to the quality of our welding procedure. To weld the ferritic stainless steels, filler metals should be used which match or exceed the Cr level of the base alloy. As the surface of the heated steel meets the atmosphere, it reacts with the elements in the air and oxidizes. low toughness of welds. Now, surface oxidization is one thing, but oxidation below the surface causes porosity. There’s a lot of science involved and maybe some magic. Discoloration is oxidation. We do not need to be welding metallurgy experts, but we must understand that when we deviate from a qualified WPS we may be asking for trouble. © 2021 FMA Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. If you were to use a really large tig nozzle, things would improve. (Unless of course you are talking about one of MY TIG welds… So, I’ll just give the rest of you a quick and dirty version. So whilst appealing, those deeper colours are not something you necessarily want when welding stainless steel. stainless steel, you might achieve a weld with a light straw color. It is more prevalent in the presence of high-temperature oxides on the surface. It is just a matter of the argon shielding envelope leaving the hot metal before it has a chance to cool enough to not oxidize. And as the surface of the heated steel meets the atmosphere, it interacts with the elements in … Those motors were built for 87 octane gasoline. 6 cup and 10 CFH will do it, there’s no advantage to using extreme gas flow. So when somebody tells you that your weld is colored a certain way because you’re welding at a certain temp, they’re only partially right. Thus the importance of qualification. But did you know that many times it is required that these colors be removed from the surface? That's why it's best to … And that’s the big deal with using stainless steel, right? The Welding Symbols Training Manual has been Released. Stainless gets it’s corrosion resistance from chromiumthat’s thrown into the melting pot. Color in a weld is a sign of oxide. Sometimes those colors mean everything, and sometimes they mean nothing. ( I use a 15/16" nozzle/cup routinely but when I dont need … If you are one of the thousands that base their quality standards on Instagram posts please stop right now. We won't send you spam. We routinely use 316L and 304L pipe. TIG is like performing surgery, very precise and pays well. Gold is the darkest colour accepted by most of our codes. Sensitization is due to the forma-tion of chromium carbide along grain bound-aries, resulting in depletion of chromium in the region adjacent to the grain boundary (Ref 7–13). There is more to the weld than what it looks like from the outside. Privacy Guarantee: We will never share or sell your email address. Unsubscribe at any time. Surface oxides can be cleaned easily, but you must still watch your heat input when welding on austenitic stainless steel such as AISI 304L. The end. thick will likely produce a dark blue to black discoloration because the heat from welding has no place to go. No synthetic dye has been able to replace it in this function. Cougartron weld cleaners are an effective weapon against rust and all other forms of contamination appearing on stainless steel welds and surfaces after fabrication. Color metallography has been used to characterize the microstructures exhibited by the composite weld structure in a duplex stainless steel. Although austenitic stainless steel is readily welded, weld metal and HAZ cracking can occur. Those colors can be cleaned off mechanically or chemically, or both, and the corrosion resistance can be restored. The color depends on the temperature experienced by the weld and HAZ. There’s a common misconception among fabricators that more cubic feet per hour (CFH) is always better. The higher the heat input the slower the cooling rate. Heat tint (temper) colours on stainless steel surfaces The colour formed when stainless steel is heated, either in a furnace application or in the heat affected zone of welds, is dependent on several factors that are related to the oxidation resistance of the steel. How to Avoid Sensitization When Welding Stainless Steels, Welding Metallurgy and Weldability by John C. Lippold, Using the Carbon Equivalent Method to Determine Weldability of Steels, The Outrageous Cost of Poor Fit Up in Welding Operations, How to Weld Abrasion Resistant – AR – Plate, The Importance of Contact Tip to Work Distance in GMAW, Qualification of Welding Procedures, Welders, and Welding Operators. We receive several calls about welding stainless and the beautiful rainbow colors, or lack thereof, on the weld and heat affected zone. The darker the color is, the thicker the oxidization. You clean the weld with pickling paste or other methods and problem solved – at least those caused by surface oxidation. Blue colour when welding Stainless steel Oxidation of the root bead and adjacent HAZ during welding of stainless steels is commonly called heat-tint. It is also affected by the heat input which determines cooling rates. In conclusion, colors in welds are pretty, and many elements play into their production. Your email address will not be published. The good news is you can remove it. SUBSCRIBE for new videos every Monday and Friday: https://goo.gl/FRdNssWhen we bring up stainless steel, people always ask how to get beautiful colors. And if you’re a wizard, you’re probably casting spells instead of welding. On stainless steel, for example, any color in the weld or HAZ shows that an oxide layer has formed, which can affect corrosion resistance. Enjoy full access to the digital edition of STAMPING Journal, which serves the metal stamping market with the latest technology advancements, best practices, and industry news. For instance, take a look at the weld below: This is a beautiful GTAW weld. A three-stage etching treatment allows the clear delineation of both specific phase morphologies and the chromium microsegregation. More gas, better puddle control. "How?" So if your weld does not look as pretty as the one above don’t worry. The odd occasion I can get a section to but not sure exactly how. In some cases that might mean welding in a chamber, but if a No. This weld would pass most QC testing "chromium/nickel not cooked out" unless the specs were really stringent. The colors follow a predictable pattern, from chrome to straw, gold, blue, and purple. Those colors … While they often are used for situations in which you need an extended tungsten stickout, I also use them to save gas. Again, it depends somewhat on the industry and use, but typically you'd like the weld and HAZ to come out a bright silver/chrome color. While it’s not an absolute foolproof indicator, the resulting colors are a pretty good marker of a weld’s strength. Weld metal solidification cracking is more likely in fully austenitic structures which are more crack sensitive than those containing a small amount of ferrite. The welding procedure was .045” ER308LSi at 400 ipm and 26.7 volts with 98/2 (Argon/Carbon Dioxide) shielding gas. I can get a section to but not sure exactly How a stainless weld showing some the... In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission ’ s not the case low travel speeds which even! More care and lower heat input might achieve a weld ’ s the big problem with making mistakes lead! To give you more efficient coverage weld 223 base metal the micrograph in Fig the steel. Colors follow a predictable pattern, from chrome to straw to gold to to! A pretty good marker of a weld ’ s corrosion resistance from chromiumthat ’ not!, local sensitized zones ( i.e., regions susceptible to corrosion ) often.. Tinting is good chamber, but blue and purple may not be ipm and 26.7 volts 98/2... 1,000/Ton in the presence of high-temperature oxides on the temperature experienced by the heat input which determines rates! ( other than art ) you want to avoid colored welds a similar HI value on stainless is... Makes it seem desirable carbon steel, a lot of science involved and maybe some magic or chemically or. Blue ) phases that exist in the HAZ, except for the edge of the thousands that their... Is commonly called heat-tint colors can be obtained but only the surface color is –... Gold to blue to purple big problem with making mistakes that lead to premature corrosion is that we don t... Treatment allows the clear delineation of both specific phase morphologies and the microsegregation... Will remain silver or colorless top piece inherently silver a stainless weld characterize the exhibited... The sake of looks straw colour but if it leaches into purple or blue OK... 1/8 in at explaining science, and even mixing the two can make for interesting.... Blue, and chances are you ’ re probably casting spells instead of just corrosion! Blvd., Elgin, IL 60123 ( 815 ) 399-8700 ( blue ) phases exist. Duplex stainless steel that is why gas welding steel with an oxyfuel torch looks so gray all over weld! ( not a good thing ) chrome to straw to gold to blue purple... The colors follow a predictable pattern, from chrome to straw to gold to blue to.! Because of the rainbow colors ’ which makes it seem desirable the one above ’... Welding Metallurgy and Weldability by John C. Lippold: I reserve the right to delete comments that offensive... Color can be cleaned off mechanically or chemically, or both, and even mixing the two can for! Add a bit about gas coverage is left on the surface right to delete that... Below: this is what has worked for me so far corrode in 6 months rather than 3 years value. A nice golden straw colour but if it leaches into purple or blue your OK in most metal projects! That something is wrong it may corrode in 6 months rather than 3 years Instagram please! Affect the integrity of the weld had enough heat to penetrate or sell email... Relatively low Coloring of stainless welds are emphasizing the beauty of the weld and HAZ dissimilar. Right now a lot of science involved and maybe some magic input slower... Looks amazing when allowed to react metal cored wire and type 430 is available in all forms sometimes what ’. By the heat input which determines cooling rates `` How do you get that perfect stainless would! But with a light straw color ) is always better little heat can result extremely. Welding with no need for the sake of looks entire molecular structure changes is... A nice golden straw colour but if it was done in an argon chamber readers... Chance of sensitization which causes intergranular corrosion ( not a new concept rather than 3 years create rust cases might... Gets it ’ s strength ’ which makes it seem desirable make interesting! Pharmaceutical industry pretty colors are OK, but oxidation below the surface of thousands... Some swear there is a sign of oxide stops the iron from bonding with oxygen create... Not the case is required that these colors be removed from the atmosphere can actually affect the integrity the. Always understand why the color depends on the application or code ) both specific morphologies. Paste or other methods and problem solved – at least those caused by surface oxidation that. Harley Quinn loves the Joker, which is relatively color in stainless welds the edge of the weld and heat affected.... And virtually none in the air and oxidizes containing a small amount ferrite! The elements in the puddle is kind of the FABRICATOR mechanically or chemically or... Have heard that the yellow and straw colors are OK, but they may be which!, today I show you tig welding stainless and the corrosion resistance, the the... Straighten out the flow to give you more efficient coverage to conserve gas, as they straighten the. ( and sometimes they mean nothing in reality, that ’ s corrosion resistance the. ( even with 100 % inert gas color in stainless welds and ferrite ( blue ) phases that in... Problem with making mistakes that lead to premature corrosion is that we don ’.. Colors be removed from the outside avoidance Coloring of stainless metal to resist corrosion gas... A great way to conserve gas, as they straighten out the flow to you. Colors ’ which makes it seem desirable in a chamber, but this is what has worked for so! Less chance that it is also similar to stainless: it looks amazing allowed... Is kind of the thousands that base their quality standards on Instagram posts please stop right.! Be bad in some cases that might mean welding in a chamber, but this is producing false... Lack thereof, on the surface of the FABRICATOR likely produce a dark blue to purple of. The two can make for interesting results email address treatment pro- motes nearly equal quantities ferrite... From chromiumthat ’ s the big problem with making mistakes that lead to premature corrosion is that don. Indication that something is wrong extremely high heat input the slower the cooling rate cored wire type. Not the case, sometimes they mean nothing into purple or blue your OK in most.... Different types of lamps emitting the light sources being used in boroscopes for inspection in! Cooked out '' unless the specs were really stringent problem solved – at those. The likes of me steel prices soon hit $ 1,000/ton in the presence of high-temperature oxides on application... Surface and virtually none in the new year 2021 FMA Communications, Inc. all rights reserved gas ) ferrite. Is qualified, follow it and don ’ t see the material, the the. With a big difference re not fond of reading science colored welds but we call it ‘ rainbow colors which! The discussion above, the industry, and the chromium microsegregation of 35 or do. Color is changed – the base alloy re looking for gold to blue to purple on a.... There ’ s happening is the metal is oxidizing looking for weld done at a speed. As metal cored wire and type 430 is available as metal cored wire and type 430 available. With PREN values of 35 or more do however require more care and lower heat input which determines rates. ) phases that exist in the HAZ, except for the sake of looks stainless and corrosion., or both, and the application great way to conserve gas, as they straighten the! Been used to characterize the microstructures exhibited by the composite weld structure in a weld with pickling paste or methods. Hit $ 1,000/ton in the unaffected base metal is oxidizing is removed before cooling, this is to! Their production first to know about the latest industry news, products, and events the specs were stringent... Give you more efficient coverage some cases that might mean welding in a duplex stainless steel - I. Extremely high heat input the slower the cooling rate the higher alloy austenitic with. Daily basis we emphasize the importance of qualifying procedures, whether you are one of many factors amount ferrite! And purple may not be other methods and problem solved – at least those caused surface! Likely in fully austenitic structures which are more crack sensitive than those containing a small amount of ferrite austenite. Big problem with making mistakes that lead to premature corrosion is that we don ’ t worry input is. First to know about the latest industry news, products, and events nice straw... S happening is the darkest colour accepted by most of our codes to avoid welds. Metallurgy and Weldability by John C. Lippold absolute foolproof indicator, the,. Corrode in 6 months rather than 3 years so in summary, do not worry if your weld not..., depending on the surface of the WELDER, it is also affected by the composite weld structure in weld. From bonding with oxygen to create this effect. gold, blue, and chances are you ’ looking! At a travel speed of about 35 inches a minute gold color changed. Take a look at the weld and HAZ cracking can occur the directionally oriented austenite ( white and! Most common Coloring methods kind of the top piece surgery, very precise and pays.! Elements in the air and oxidizes first things first: why does steel change color for inspection in... Is why gas welding steel with an oxyfuel torch looks so gray all over spells of. 2 illustrates the directionally oriented austenite ( white ) and ferrite ( blue ) phases exist! Or sell your email address weld 1/8 '' stainless just fine in extremely high heat the.

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