Can You Weld Stainless Steel To Mild Steel?

can you weld stainless steel to mild steel

When it comes to welding stainless steel, we often wonder if it can be mended to mild steel or not. As the composition varies, the confusion arises naturally. While mild steel has carbon in it, stainless steel is made of chromium alloy. This is why people ask whether it is possible to weld stainless steel to mild steel or not. 

In reality, it is possible to weld stainless steel to mild steel. Using the right welding rod can conveniently attach stainless steel to mild steel. Ideally, one should use an E309 electrode for this purpose. However, using E308 or E310 would suffice. 

Though this was a precise answer to the question, I believe you would want to know more. In fact, I have done thorough research to unlock the mystery and found out amazing information. Here, I am going to share it all with you so that you can weld stainless steel to mild steel. 

3 Steps To Weld Stainless Steel To Mild Steel: 

Previously, I have mentioned that welding stainless steel to mild steel is possible if you choose the right electrode. So the very first step is to select the right electrode. 

If I talk short about choosing the right electrode, you have three options to choose from. Here, I am briefly mentioning these three options:

  • E308: This is the electrode used for welding different steels. 
  • E309 or E309L: This is the best one for welding stainless steel to mild steel as designed for this particular purpose. The one with ‘L’ has more carbon in it making the process swifter and easier.
  • E310: If you are a beginner, you may like to use this for its gentle stroke. 

As you can see, E309 or E309L would be the best options for this particular purpose. As they are specially designed for this purpose, they perform the best in this sector. 

Now in this part, I am going to mention the 3 steps to weld stainless steel to mild steel: 

Step 1: Clean The Surface: 

To make the process smooth and risk-free, keeping the welding surface clean is necessary. Especially when you are attaching stainless steel and mild steel together, dirt particles on the surface can make the joint uneven and rough. 

To get a fine finishing, cleaning the welding surface is needed. Any layer of rust or dirt should be cleaned thoroughly before welding. Use sandblasting or a wire brush to clean the surfaces. Using an angle grinder is also a good idea for cleaning the stainless steel and mild steel. 

Step 2: Place A Chamfer At The Welding Joint: 

Keeping the hand steady and welding straight can be difficult. So to keep the weld flowing across the two surfaces, the mild and stainless steel surfaces, you need support. For that, you can use a chamfer. 

Place a chamfer at the center of the two metals where they will link up. This will help the weld to go straight down and melt the steels to attach them. The chamfer also provides support to the welding arc and lets it function better. However, for a better result, you can place a metal piece at the welding joint so that the arc ignites more. This makes the joint more sharp and fine. 

Step 3: Start Welding At Around 60-degree Angle:

Now that you are prepared, you have to decide on an angle and start welding. Set the temperature and you can start. Ideally, you should hold the weld at around a 60-degree angle with a traveling angle of 5 to 10 degrees. Unlike fillet joints, you have to avoid welding at a 45-degree angle as slag addition and unevenness are more in that process. 

Remember that the welding intensity should be more towards the stainless steel. The welding electrode should touch the stainless steel more than it touches the mild steel. With this, the final bead would be even and smooth giving a fine finish. 

Keep the temperature low initially and go slow if you are not an expert. You can increase the temperature in case you struggle to melt the metal. Note the thickness of the steel as well as the electrode matter in this case. 

Related Questions:

What Electrode To Use To Weld Stainless Steel To Mild Steel? 

To weld stainless steel to mild steel, you can use three different types of electrodes: E308, E309/ E309L, and E310. However, there is one option that is specially designed for this purpose. 

E309 and E309L are the best welding rods for welding stainless steel to mild steel. The ‘L’ in the rod name means that the percentage of carbon is more in this. These rods are suitable for welding stainless steel and other base metals. Thus it is the best welding rod to use for this particular purpose. 

Which Welder To Use To Weld Stainless Steel To Mild Steel? 

TIG welding machine is the best welding device for attaching stainless steel to mild steel. It is the most common welding machine for applying stainless steel. 

TIG welding is popularly known for its sturdiness, durability, and versatility. Unlike MIG welding devices, TIG has hard and stable rods. While MIG uses wires, TIG uses strong electrodes to weld joints. Thus to melt stainless steel, the most reliable device is the TIG welding device. 

Can Stainless Steel Be MIG Welded To Mild Steel? 

You just got to know that TIG welding machines perform the best when it comes to attaching stainless steel to mild steel. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t weld with a MIG welding device. 

A real MIG device can weld and attach stainless steel to mild steel. If you choose the right wire type and diameter, you can do the task efficiently. However, the process would take time as the thin wire would consume some time to melt the steel. Note that you should not use any flux-core. This is because the shield gas factor is crucial in welding stainless steel. 

What Gas Is Needed To Weld Stainless Steel To Mild Steel? 

Welding stainless steel always requires using shielding gas. To prevent the harmful fumes from spreading, this gas is needed. Also for the welding purpose itself, shielding gas is necessary.

Generally, welding stainless steel to mild steel requires a combination of argon and carbon dioxide. The common proportion is 75% argon and 25% carbon dioxide. However, this ratio fluctuates depending on the metal diameter and type. Some stainless steels also use helium along with argon and carbon dioxide. 

Is Preheating The Stainless Steel Or Mild Steel Needed? 

For effective welding, you don’t generally need to heat stainless steel or mild steel. They both can be welded instantly as the electrode is heated and placed at the weld joint. 

However, if the temperature is too low and the condition is damp, you may like to preheat at least the stainless steel. In damp conditions, it takes longer to heat the steel with the electrode than in normal times. So if the temperature is down, only then can you think of preheating the stainless steel or mild steel. Otherwise, you can weld directly. 

Final Thoughts:

It is now clear that you can weld stainless steel to mild steel. Creating a smooth joint between the two is easy if you correctly select the rod and use the device. 

So learn welding stainless steel to mild steel today to make smooth and fine joints all by yourself!

You may also want to read :

How To Wire Feed Welding

How To Purge Stainless Steel For Welding

How To Put Leather On Welding Hood

Kaosar Ahmed

This is Kaosar Ahmed. I’m the main publisher of this blog. Welding Leader is a blog where I share welding tips and tricks, reviews, and guides. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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