Sometimes this question may arise in your mind can you weld pot metal if you are a pro welder or a newbie? Welding this metal is a rigorous process that requires a pro-level of knowledge and equipment for repairing and restoration of pot metal. you also need technical knowledge because failure to have the result can severely compromise the quality of the welding. You might easily weld the metal traditionally but it requires a special procedure to deal with instead of a traditional one.
Today we are here to look deep down carefully so you can genuinely observe yourself if it is hard work, or it is just the mentality of some welders.
What is Pot Metal?
Pot Metal also refers to “monkey metal” or even “die-cast zinc”. The leftover scrap metal is gathered from automotive repair shops and melted in a pot for small patch jobs. Pot metal is a colloquial term referring to a super-mix of different metals.
The pot metal is consist of a broad spectrum of metals like aluminum, tin, lead, copper, and some other additional elements found in pot metals are zinc, iron, cadmium, and magnesium. These types of metals are inexpensive and of low quality. The properties of all these metals get changed after melting together. This is what gives the end product that comes out of it, with a low melting point.
Identifying Pot Metal
Before thinking of welding pot metal you have to identify it by sheer looking or by feeling its surface. There’s a possibility that it will look like another metal but it will not have the exact attributes that’s why you can easily confuse with it and mess up your work. If you want to detect it wisely there are plenty of methods you can use.
The first and simplest method to identify pot metal is to check its unique properties so that you can weld it easily.
In addition, weighing is another way of identifying pot metal. Through weight, you can easily infer if a metal is a die-cast or not. Remember that pot metal possesses a heavier weight than aluminum if you are an aluminum welder you can easily differentiate between them.
And the other way is heating a sample. By heating, you check the melting point of the metal you are using. As now we know that pot metal has a relatively low melting point so if the sample is melting at a low temperature, then there is probably a high chance that you got what you need.
Importance of Pot Metal
There are many occasions when you need might need to make items finished in a mold. In such cases, pot metal is the best and handy method available. Pot metal is inexpensive and the casting is also very easy and fast. This is the reason that welders find it more beneficial when they require a metal that has these characteristics. Although the benefits the pot metal include are;
- It is one of the best ways of preserving scrap metal
- Mixture of alloy materials is lightweight and portable
- A range of items can be welded with the help of mixed metal
- Welding pot metal makes the conversion of items into molds easier
- Pot metals have low volatility, which means that they require low heat and also oxidize faster
- No need of having complex tools to weld or repair pot metal
Uses Of Pot Metal
Pot metal actually doesn’t age well that’s why it is used to make items that are not exposed to the elements as much. But there are still several useful purposes and applications for it.
It is used for a variety of purposes around the household. For instance, you will see many things in the kitchen made up of pot metal such as cookie cutters. Toy boxes and many other toys are usually made from pot metal. The reason for using this metal is that it helps to lower the cost of these inexpensive toys. It is also useful for cheap furniture fittings as well.
Electronics and Accessories
Before modern electronic windows, it was used to make automotive window cranks. Due to its low cost, it ensured the manufacturing costs remained low. It is also a very popular metal for making jewelry as many artists and jewelry makers found it easy to shape it in jewelry in a quick way.
Challenges of Using Pot Metal
Now after highlighting the uses, benefits, and identifying methods of pot metal it’s not as easy to weld as it seems. It is a challenging task so to get a satisfactory result you need both time and talent as well. Most of the problem that occurs with this metal is that it’s an alloy and a mixture of metals. The first thing you should consider is the type of metal you are going to work with before start welding. For instance, you cannot weld some metal such as zinc as it produces toxic fumes. Similarly, if the pot metal contains some high amount of aluminum, the welding is going to be tough.
How to Weld Pot Metal
Due to its mixed nature, pot metal will not be like the usual metals you used to weld in your everyday life. It has a quite fair share of problems that occur during welding. Even a wrong move can mess up your entire project.
Although this metal has a low melting point and might contain zinc, but still you can achieve your project in a tricky way. The first thing you need is to Tig weld the pot metal. If you have fine experience in aluminum welding, then Tig welding will not be such a big challenge for you because the pot metal is quite similar to aluminum.
Thus, the approach will be the same for pot metal as you use for welding aluminum.
Pot metal is a mixture of different alloys. It can’t be used for serious work but on certain occasions, someone may think about it. If you are equipped with the right and necessary tools this will make your work easier. Also, knowing the metal you are welding, and its properties will add extra precision.