How to Monitor the Temperature of Stainless Steel During Fabrication Processes

Stainless steel presents special challenges to fabricators. For instance, welders must ensure that the stainless steel does not exceed the recommended temperature range or else the material may develop defects, such as brittleness. This article discusses some of the options that novice welders can use to monitor the temperature of stainless steel as they weld it.

Temperature Sticks

Temperature indicator sticks are devices that look like pens or crayons. A fabricator uses them to make a mark on the material whose temperature needs to be monitored. That mark will melt once the material reaches the temperature range that the indicator sticks were designed to withstand. The downside of these sticks is that one needs to buy several of them in order to monitor different temperature ranges. However, each is very effective in alerting you that the stainless steel that you are welding has reached a certain temperature.

Infrared Thermometers

Infrared thermometers are electronic. They can sense a change in the temperature of a material from a distance. All that you need to do is to ensure that there is a clear line of sight for the sensor's beam. However, infrared thermometers can give false results if the stainless steel that you are welding has a shiny surface. This is because the shiny surface may affect how effectively the infrared rays can penetrate the material to monitor its temperature. Variations in the distance between the infrared thermometer and the stainless steel may also affect the temperature reading that you get. You therefore need to be very observant so that you avoid varying the conditions under which you use this electronic thermometer.

Temperature Probes

Temperature probes are rods with handles and an electronic thermometer. The probe has a handle so it is possible for you to place the probe on the surface of the hot stainless steel in order to take a temperature reading. Some models of temperature probes can be mounted onto the work-piece so that a fabricator can continuously monitor the temperature changes that occur during the welding process.

Outstanding welders never leave any aspect of the welding process to chance. They monitor the temperature, gas purity and material cleanliness so that no extraneous factor compromises the quality of their welds. Borrow a leaf from their book and acquire a tool to help you to monitor the temperature of any stainless steel that you weld. Consult experienced fabricators for help in case you encounter any challenges during sheet metal fabrication.