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Can Air Compressor Tanks Be welded?

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Air compressor tanks have a lot of uses which include replenishing high-pressurized pure air to fill up gas tanks. It provides pure air for buses, etc. However, you have to be sure of how to use this tank and how they are made. This directs us to the question of welding air compressor tanks. “Can air compressor tanks be welded?”

Yes, air compressor tanks can be welded. However, you would have to ensure you are aware of how to carefully weld a compressor tank. There are two types of air compressor tanks which are thin-walled and thick-walled air compressor tanks. A novice welder can weld the thin-walled air compressor tank with the use of hands, while the thick-walled is a pressurized compressor tank and must be welded with the mechanical keyhole TIG (K-TIG) welding technique. K-TIG is usually accessible in most welding firms. 

Broken air compressor tanks can be dangerous, so, you have to heed the safety rules when welding them. The keyhole TIG is an alternative to the gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) system, while the Keyhole-TIG is used for thick-walled – the GTAW is used for thin-walled. The Keyhole TIG offers huge labor, gas, and power conservation for a large span of welding jobs.

How do you pick the right welding method for your air compressor tanks?

When you plan to weld an air compressor tank, you have to consider the thickness, condition, and also pick the right method of welding. In this article, I would be discussing the right welding method for your air compressor tanks. However, there are about 3 welding methods generally utilized to weld compressor tanks.

Below are the methods

  • Keyhole-TIG (K-TIG).
  • Gas tungsten arc welding(GTAW).
  • Plasma.


This welding method is utilized for huge metal substances and can be utilized on air compressor metal cylinder walls. It is about 8× thicker than the GTAW. Although we are yet to discuss the GTAW, this keyhole-TIG is quite equivalent to the gas tungsten but can perform 100× the momentum. 

The keyhole-TIG is a mechanical full penetration method of welding that Pierces all through the connections, conducting the welding without using a backup bar or a filling tool. It offers a complete penetration, sole pass keyhole-TIG welding in equipment up to ½ inch or 12mm for maximum eroding-resistant equipment. Plus, it has about ⅝ inches or 16 mm in some reactive metal equipment.

However, the momentum of this keyhole-TIG is due to the mechanization of welding firms, which some firms use for huge coerced tank welding operations. 

Gas Tungsten arc welding (GTAW)

This technique of welding is very similar to the TIG technique (PS- not K-TIG, It is TIG). The Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) procedure can be accomplished by your hands and it is related to the gas tungsten. These two provide a low amperage weld for thin-walled cylinders and painted or powder-coated cylinders not to obtain an increased rate of heat.

However, the tungsten administers electrodes just to conserve the arc. It enables the operator enormous power over the welding procedure than other techniques, which produces bigger and high-integrity welds.

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Plasma arc welding (PAW)

This method utilizes both keyhole and non-keyhole kinds of welds. The plasma welding can formulate the non-keyhole welds on work portions with 2.5 mm thickness and below. It is a highly technological kind of welding that is incredibly detailed. 

The plasma arc welding must be utilized for a tank width wall of about 10mm. It can also be utilized on thin walls of 2mm with a filling material on the lid of the weld. This preciseness enables versatile welding on delicate metals.

However, there is little difference between the gas tungsten arc and the plasma arc welding which is the position of the electrode on the surface of the torch, the plasma arc is segregated from the protecting gas envelope.  

What are the things to consider before you start welding the air compressor tank?

Before you start welding your air compressor tank, you must consider some things on the tank. This is because some tanks cannot be repaired and can be dangerous if you weld them. Below are some questions you should answer before you proceed with the welding process:

Does the surface of the tank have oxidation?

If there is oxidation on the surface of the tank, this means the air compressor tank is not well maintained. Additionally, oxidation on the surface of the tank can result in interior ruptures which could be further destroyed by welding. You should not use keyhole-TIG and TIG welding techniques on oxidized air compressor tanks. 

Was the gas or oil in the tank dripped routinely?

The gas or other moisture in the tank must be dripped routinely because it builds up in the air compressor tank while used. The accumulated moisture results in oxidation and breaking off from the inner part of the tank. In this case, if you weld this tank, it would not be strong. 

Is the tank leaking on the outer part?

If there is any leakage on the outer part of the tank, then this means the tank has been overused. It can be very hazardous if you intend to weld the spot. Gas or oil can be provoked by welding blazes and can result in an explosion. Do not weld a surface that contains gas or oil without being washed. 

How do you weld the hole in your air compressor tank?

An air compressor tank is multi-tasked and can be utilized for numerous things. If you own a compressor tank, you would be able to do a lot of things at home. However, after some time, the tank would begin to develop some problems like leaking. 

The compressor tank leakage is rampant and you can solve this by following different steps. The leakages are caused by a few things like loosened areas, rusted leaks, hoses, etc. When you notice the compressor leaking, do not just conclude; ensure you find the precise problem.

Before you start welding, there are pieces of equipment you need to have. The pieces of equipment include all of the following;

Below are the steps to follow:

Step 1

Charge the air compressor fully

Switch on the air compressor and let it charge before you proceed with the other steps. When it is fully charged, you would be able to know the leakage. Proceed by using a bottle spray with soapy water, to examine the exact spot of the leakage.  Ensure you spray all over and the leakage spot would bubble up.

Search for the bubbles all around to find the leakage spot. If the issue is from the fittings, use the Spanner to tighten it. However, if the leaking continues after tightening the fittings, then, the fault should be from the tank. You can proceed with the other steps. 

Step 2

Examine the tank with soapy water

Proceed by spraying the soapy water all around the compressor tank. Carefully spray the water, so it would surround the tank well. Just like step 1, look for any sign of bubbles to locate the cracked or rusted leakage and when you find the place, do not spray the water again. 

Step 3

Discharge all the accumulated air in the compressor tank

Once you have seen the leaking spot, ensure you discharge any air in the compressor. Switch off the compressor and disconnect to discharge the air. Through the compressor valve, discharge the air from the spot. Unlock the valve and wait for a few moments for the air to discharge completely. 

Step 4

Crunch the leaking spot

The leaking spot would be rusted for sure, and this is where the use of a disc grinder comes in. Use the disc grinding to crunch the rusted spot till it appears very smooth or flat. After this step, you have to be prepared to close the spot.

Step 5

Utilize the soldering torch 

In this step, you would need both the soldering torch and the soldering rod. Turn on the soldering torch and put the direct heat on the leaking spot. Put the soldering rod for rebuilding while the heat is placed directly on the spot.

Continue heating the spot till the blaze turns blue. Then, compress the hot rod metal so it would melt and set down on the tank. The heat will eliminate extra rust and the leaking area will be coated with metal. After this, you would notice the spot has been welded which evidently makes the tank ready for use.

Can Air Compressor Tanks Be welded – Conclusion 

Can air compressor tanks be welded? After answering this question with a positive answer, there was other information provided for you to know

 However, you must heed the instructions to avoid any risk and also purchase the tools needed if you don’t have them. I hope this article answers all your questions. Kindly put down your comments bel

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