Stainless steel is so versatile and durable that it’s not surprising it is so frequently used across numerous industries. It accepts weld readily and can be formed into a near endless array of shapes and serves as a sturdy foundation for structures large and small. Its surface can also be used as an aesthetic choice, so when it is exposed it’s critical that welds are cleaned up for a smooth, visually appealing, and corrosion-resistant finish. While there are a number of common weld cleaning methods, one is the superior choice for most applications: the TIG brush.
Weld Cleaning Methods
Manually grinding down welds is the mechanical method. While it can get the job done for general cleanup, it’s not optimal for applications where the steel will be exposed as an integral part to architectural design. It has a number of drawbacks:
- Unrefined appearance
- Generates hazardous metal dust
- May require additional steps to passivate the weld
Commonly performed with pickling paste, chemical weld cleaning improves on the results of mechanical grinding, but has a huge downside: it’s extremely dangerous! The highly poisonous acids used in pickling paste are hydrofluoric, nitric, and sulfur. All have been shown to pose significant health threats to the skin, lungs, bones, and internal organs. The process is therefore subject to extensive regulations:
- Chemical weld cleaning operators must be certified
- Full-body protective gear is required
- Waste disposal is complex
Electrochemical (TIG Brush)
Improving on the previous methods is electrochemical weld cleaning using a TIG brush. This approach is fast and produces much cleaner results than chemical or mechanical methods and is dramatically safer (no pickling acids or metal dust and debris involved). The process cleans up rust, heat discoloration (including burns), and cross-contamination while also passivating the steel to prevent future corrosion. The TIG brush method:
- Is fast and safe
- Is simple, using a conductive weld cleaning brush, electricity, and mild electrolytic cleaning fluids
- Uses equipment that is relatively easy to use and transport
- Produces superior corrosion resistance
TIG brush models are available for light- (TIG only), medium- and heavy-duty (TIG or MIG) weld cleaning at price points to match. We stock the popular Ensitech models, which are feature-rich and super portable. Available in Standard or upgraded Propel kits, each unit enables a metal worker to achieve the best weld cleaning and passivation results with ease and safety.
TIG Brush Models
- Ensitech TBE-440: Standard or Propel
- Ensitech TBE-550: Standard or Propel
- Ensitech TBE-700: Standard or Propel
Improve your weld cleaning process with one of these excellent Ensitech TIG brush models. Need a recommendation or have questions? Give us a call or contact us!