April 24, 2003
Is there a way to weld 1018 cold-rolled steel to cast iron? If so, how?
Owings Mills, Md.
You can weld 1018 low-carbon steel to cast iron using shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and a nickel-based ENiFe electrode.
Clean the surfaces before you start. If the joint is highly restrained or if the casting is thick, you might need to preheat the casting. Preheating reduces the cooling rate, residual stress, distortion, and the tendency for cracking.
Use short stringer beads. Don't overheat the base metal. The maximum interpass temperature is 600 degrees F. Peening sometimes is used to relieve stress if cracking is a problem. Peening is a mechanical working of metals using impact blows. Peening while the weld deposit is still warm (or as it cools) can help to improve the properties of the deposit and help refine the metallurgical structure.
It also assists in relieving shrinkage stresses and in correcting distortion. Peening works the metal and expands it, which counteracts the shrinkage (which causes the cracking) that occurs or may occur during the cooling.