Selecting the right filler metal - GTAW ER316L
One of the biggest joys and frustrations in TIG welding is welding stainless steel. It can go great or it can go awful. Welds can look smooth as silk or look like burnt sugar. But one of the things that can help ease the process some is having the right filler rod to start with. ER 308 is a common stainless steel filler rod that can be used to join many Stainless metals that are common to restaurants, chemical storage and application equipment and all sorts of tanks and industrial equipment where high quality metal is used. It is used to join many other metals as well. Using the ER 308L will improve the final corrosion resistance as it designates a lower carbon content filler rod. The 308and 308-L are used on 308 stainless steels. In fact it can be used to weld all metals considered an 18-8 steel such as 301,302,302B, 303, 304, 305,308, 302, and 202. As you can see the range is quite large for the 308 series. If budget is a concern, consider just using the 308L. It blends well, and flows easily into the base metals of the metals listed above. When using this one, consider your average potential for use that you may have in restaurant equipment repair or in chemical or certain food grade storage tanks. Also think of the diameter that you will need. Ordinarily, a 3/32 welding rod will get the job done in many other steels, and in aluminum, but with stainless, having a correctly matched diameter filler rod is critical due to the heat conducting properties that make it difficult to wet the rod into the puddle.