Do’s and Don’ts of Pin Welding

Welding pins allow two metal components to be joined securely without the need for extra hardware or fasteners. The process relies on skilled technique to heat and fuse the pin effectively for a lasting bond. However, taking shortcuts or using improper methods can undermine the quality and durability of the weld. To help ensure success when working with weld pins, we’ve compiled some key do’s and don’ts to follow.


Selecting the right weld pin

There are many alloys, diameters, and pin styles available for welding. Make sure to use a pin designed for the target metals being joined and suited to the service environment. More corrosion resistant grades may be needed for outdoor applications, for example. The pin gauge should also match the pre-drilled hole size. Mismatches can prevent the molten metal from dispersing correctly through the gap. Some common pin options include:


– Carbon and alloy steels

– Stainless steels  

– Copper and copper alloys

– Nickel alloys


Different head styles like tapered, flattened, or threaded are also available where clearance or pull-out resistance is important. Consulting manufacturers’ guidelines takes the guesswork out of pin selection.


Proper welder settings and tip maintenance

If the welding equipment isn’t dialed in correctly, achieving an ideal pin weld becomes difficult. Make sure the amperage, pulse speed, and pin timing align with recommendations for the pin alloy and diameter. A worn electrode tip can also hinder pin fusion within the joint. Regular dressing and replacements help the welder operate in peak form for uniform pin welds.


Surface prep and fit-up

Even quality welding pins can’t overcome poor joint preparation. The interfacing metal surfaces must be clean of rust, paint, and grime for the molten filler to penetrate effectively. Gaps should match the pin shank diameter, without tight pinching or excessive play. Tack welding can temporarily hold awkward assemblies. But excessive tack points must get removed so as not to obstruct free pin melting into the joint.


Steady hands and correct angles

Shaky hands make for irregular contact and heat input when welding. Bracing yourself and the gun ensures the arc hits uniformly. The gun nozzle should also be positioned straight on rather than at an angle that could direct heat to one side. Manipulating or dragging the pin as it melts should be avoided. Finding a comfortable stance is key for keeping the pin still during fusion.  


Let it cool!

Once a weld pin is fully fused, many technicians hastily try removing the gun. But pulling away too quickly risks bonded metal getting drawn out of the joint. Instead, hold the gun steadily in place while residual heat dissipates – typically for 1 to 3 seconds. This brief pause allows the fresh weld to “set up” with full pin fusion inside the drilled hole. After cooling for 20 to 30 seconds, test the joint stability.


Inspecting your work

Passing a visual test alone doesn’t guarantee proper tie-in of the melted pin. Instead, use tools like an air hammer to check weld soundness. Solid pin welds shouldn’t exhibit cracks or be easily dislodged from cross-sections. If failures occur, review potential issues like surface deposits, air gaps, or off-center alignments. Then adjust your welding process accordingly. Implementing minor corrections leads to exceptional pin connections over time.

By avoiding rookie pin welding errors and refining technique with experience, durable and long-lasting assemblies are possible. Always go through welding essentials – from quality pin selection to post-weld evaluation and equip yourself with the process and quality weld pins!