Damaged cast iron, cast aluminum, cast steel


We weld damaged cast, cast iron, cast aluminum, cast steel in shop and on customer site. We weld also large or difficult to be removed damaged cast saving you cost of removal, transportation, and installation. Welding damaged cast, cast iron, cast aluminum, cast steel requires

  1. good welding machine,
  2. advanced welding rods or wires,
  3. knowledge of metallurgy,
  4. heating monitoring devices or cast stove,
  5. excellent welding skills, and
  6. patience.
All casts, cast iron, cast steel and cast aluminum are exposed to vibration, heat and impact when they are part of machines, tools, and equipment. And damages to cast happen often.

Damaged cast happens due to many reasons

The risk of fracturing or cracking, cast iron, cast steel and cast aluminum increases when the cast is joint with a structural elements or bolts. Many casts form bases for machines and tools. The machine's or tool's structural steel elements, or steel bolts interact with casts eventually cracking, braking, and fracturing them. The most skilled mechanics broke, cast iron, cast steel or cast aluminum either tightening the bolts, impacting it by inserting pin or bearing, or when exposing it to unbalanced forces. Also, excessive heat can damage cast exposing cracks and radical cooling causes fractures. Impact during car accidents can fracture engine block in areas where the brackets are attached. Once one realizes that cast iron, cast aluminum or cast steel is broken, then we hear “OH ….., ……, ……,”. After cooling down period the first logical thought appears “What now?”.  The answer is very simple. You either replace the part or repair it.

Replacing the damaged cast, cast iron, cast aluminum, or cast steel element.

Everybody knows that casts are expensive and casts with extensive machining are very expensive. When you see more machining on the cast  then it is going to be more expensive to replace it. Also, size of the cast matters. Large and heavy casts are very expensive, especially if they are custom made for your unique machine. Additional, difficulty arises when your cast is made offshore in short production series and it is not available for purchase off the shelf. It must be custom ordered. Looking for an used element is an attractive option. And sometimes it is beneficial to take some time searching the internet for your damaged cast replacement. This option is very attractive to owners of custom made casts that are expensive to repair. Most casts are rather small, but because they are casting element, their repair will be rather costly. Therefore, if you can find them used, replacement makes more sense. Larger casts are much more difficult to obtain even in secondary market or used. Thus, repair of larger and custom casts is sometimes the only option that makes sense.

Can you weld cast iron, cast steel, cast aluminum?

We weld damaged cast iron, damaged cast steel and damaged cast aluminum in-shop and on-site. Moreover, we perform welding of cast iron, cast steel and cast aluminum elements using either hot or cold methods pending:
  1. alloy material,
  2. size of the cast,
  3. its thickness, and
  4. type of damage.

Welding large damaged casts

JW Portable Welding & Repairs is among a very few companies in Canada that offer welding of large damaged cast iron and cast steel in-place and on-site. Removal of large and damaged cast iron or large cast steel is difficult, expensive, and sometimes impossible. The transportation adds to the risk of additional damages. Finding the shop that will deal with your large damaged cast iron or cast steel is difficult. Since they must have the stove large enough for your element. Then there is a cost of transportation back from the repair shop. And then you have to add the cost of installation in place of  your repaired cast. The cost of such operation is very significant and increases the risk of additional damage to the casting element. Our in-place and on-site repairs of large damaged cast
  1. significantly reduces costs,
  2. shortens shutdown,
  3. minimizes the risk of additional cast damages that occur during transportation to the shop and back and during the casting element removal and installation.
We weld large damaged cast iron, cast steel and cast aluminum elements in controlled temperature environment on-site and in-place. And we do it without removal. However, certain mechanical tasks must be done prior welding. The whole procedure is time consuming and the cost ranges from 10% to 30% of a large cast replacement.

Welding smaller damaged casts

We also repair smaller damaged cast such as damaged cast iron, damaged cast steel and damaged cast aluminum elements. They could also be repaired on-site and in place, but we prefer to take to the shop more complicated repairs of broken casting elements. Furthermore, we tend to take to the shop damaged casts when
  1. some of the broken parts are missing,
  2. we must rebuild the portion of the cast by layering, and
  3. we must weld structural element to the cast.

Factors to consider when welding damaged cast.

When welding damaged cast many factors must considered such as
  1. access to the damage,
  2. multiple fractures and multiple broken parts,
  3. thickness of casting element and alloy composition
  4. structure of casting element, its size and cast layers
The investigative work must be done prior welding since in many situations the visible damage is just a partial damage and the internal damages are much worse.

Access to the fracture or crack

Access to the fracture or crack makes the repair possible, unfortunately, in many casts the internal damage is hidden. And it is not accessible. Sometimes access to the cast fracture is limited or partial and there are major obstacles for proper welding. Repairing such cast is impossible due to obvious reason.

Multiple fractures and multiple broken parts

One consideration regarding welding of cast iron, cast steel and cast aluminum evolves around the way how the cast has broken. The damage sustained can leave the casting element in many pieces, two pieces, or can just be a fracture. Consequently, precise alignment of multiple broken pieces and then welding them could be questionable and probably some machining or grinding will be necessary for proper functionality. Generally, we do not recommend to weld repair damaged cast with multiple broken pieces with extensive machined surfaces.

Thickness of casting element and metal alloy composition

Thickness of the casting element’s walls along with metal alloy composition affects
  1. cost of labour
  2. cost of welding rods or welding wire.
These welding consumables could become very, very expensive. And they can reach multiple thousands of dollars for repair of one cast. But still it is worth to do it if the cast is worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Structure of casting element, cast size and layers inside the wall

Structure of the casting element, its size and possible metal alloy layers of inside the wall affect the way how the damaged cast can be welded. These factors impact the heat distribution during the welding process. Moreover, the improper heat distribution can cause irreversible damages. Even if you use cast stove to preheat the cast, still the welding process can cause heat damage to the broken cast.

Cast structure

Each, cast iron, cast steel and cast aluminum have thicker parts that increase the strength of the cast. These thicker parts can form internal ribs, external ribs and thicker walls. The thermal expansion of thicker parts is much different than thermal expansion of thin parts. If the thermal expansion differentiates too much between thinner and thicker parts of the same cast, then the irreversible damage occurs. Moreover, many aluminum damaged cast have very thin walls and lack of ribbing in places where the element is exposed to vibration or impact forces. In cases, when we see structural deficiencies of cast aluminum element, we try to mitigate these deficiencies by introduction of additional ribbing or changing shapes of existing walls and ribbing.

Welding temperature of cast iron, cast steel and cast aluminum

Cast size impacts the welding temperatures during the welding repair. Without revealing our trade secrets, we perform welding of cast iron, cast steel and cast aluminum in controlled temperature with or without additional heat. Generally speaking, smaller cast iron and cast steel elements are welded without additional heat in controlled temperature environment. However, larger casting elements are preheated prior welding. Although, large aluminum cast elements are slightly preheated, the control temperature during the welding is very rigorous due to lower heat capacity and possible irreversible damage. Welding on cast iron requires stabilization techniques to prevent bending.

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