Induction heating

Does induction heating work on stainless steel?

Seasoned welders understand that induction welding is a process that uses the resistive heat caused by changing electromagnetic fields, otherwise known as induction, to fuse metal together. There are many benefits of induction welding, a popular process used in construction and heavy industries for pipe fabrication and other works on structures such as tubes and pressure vessels. 

Induction heating’s great flexibility in welding applications plays a huge role in why heat treatment is important and understanding how this works with various metals such as stainless steel will assist in preparation for your upcoming project. 

While stainless steel heats very efficiently, it can be a challenging material to work with due to its retention of excessive heat, causing warping and distortion from the high temperatures and even during the cooling process. 

To understand more about how induction heating works and to answer the question, does induction heating work on stainless steel, read on… 

How induction heating works with stainless steel

Induction heating is a power-driven heating process that quickly brings a component to temperature and retains it, offering advantages for safety, quality and efficiency not found in other heating methods, such as open flame and resistance heating.

When used in construction, fabrication or maintenance applications, induction welding is less dependent on the properties of the materials than alternative welding processes. It can be used to fuse a wide range of materials, even thermoplastics, and for large or irregularly shaped parts that have been moulded, extruded, or thermoformed. 

Welding stainless steel involves considering different variables, including the thickness and finish of the material and the intended use of the finished product. While a challenging metal to weld for some, stainless steel offers unmatched benefits that make it a popular choice in many industries including mining and resources, infrastructure, construction, agriculture and more. This is due to stainless steel’s robustness and resistance to corrosion caused by liquids, chemicals, and gases. 

Does induction heating work on stainless steel? Stainless steel can be heated by induction at low power and in partnership with an effective cooling system. 

Why heat treatment is important

Heat treatment is the process of heating metal without letting it reach its molten stage, then performing controlled cooling to achieve desired mechanical properties. Heat treatment is predominantly used to make metal stronger or increasingly malleable, more resistant to abrasion, or more ductile. 

Heat treatment in welding is known for its time-saving benefits, with the complete heating cycle time for preheating and cooling reduced by hours. Time can be cut even further when other usability factors are combined with induction welding applications, making it possible to save up to 50 per cent on each cycle.

Without heat treatments, temperature gradients within the metal can become detrimental to itself, causing physical warping, structural weakening and lost integrity on weld joints that is needed during fundamental stress relief processes. 

Induction heating

Renteca’s Miller Electric Proheat 35

Renteca offers a selection of induction heating equipment available for hire or sale, including the Miller Electric Proheat 35. The Proheat 35 is all about efficiency, reducing pre-heating time by up to 75 per cent which has been proven to reduce labour output from hours to minutes. 

The specs: 

  • Both water cooled and air cooled available
  • Multiple outputs
  • Built-in temperature control
  • Open output detection
  • Cable identification system
  • Isolation fault protection
  • Optional accessories include probes, cable cover, thermacouple wire, recorders, coolant and more

The benefits:

  • Uniformity and quality – Provides the highest degree of temperature control across the heat affected zone
  • Reduced cycle times – Significantly faster time-to-temperature than resistant methods
  • Cost reduction – No fuel costs and minimal insulation costs, reusable insulation reduces disposal and replacement costs
  • Power efficiency – Operates at 92 per cent efficiency transferring more energy to the part, decreased heating times and improving power efficiency
  • Ease of use – Simple set-up using preheat blankets or flexible heating cables, on-board diagnostics and operator tutoring system
  • Reliability – Induction heating system-components reduce cycle interruptions, simple cabling
  • Versatility – Pipe preheat and stress relief; weldolets, elbows, valves, I-beams, complex shapes
  • Safety – Fewer fumes, eliminates fuel gases, no exposure to flame, gases, or hot elements
  • Environmental – Less airborne particulate and improved work environment results in higher worker productivity

Renteca is a market-leader in supplying performance-ready certified welders and welding equipment to a range of projects across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Asia. Experts in industrial welding for the last 18 years, Renteca has the largest range of premium welders available for hire or sale across Australia. With a sweeping national footprint of branches from the east to the west coast, facilitating your project with Renteca machinery has never been more convenient. Reinforce your worksite with the latest in welding technology by superior manufacturers including Miller Electric and Lincoln Electric, backed by the expert knowledge and unmatched service support that has Renteca leading the way in heavy industries machinery supply. Register for a call-back by submitting your details here