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  • Tungsten type

    I'm using the Miller 180 Diversion what Tungsten is use for welding aluminum oil pans, some say green stripe (pure tungsten) some say orange stripe i'm confuse ….Thaxs for the help.

  • #2
    Tungsten is alloyed with other materials to enhance properties or characteristics during different welding scenarios. The pure, green band was used for it's ability to hold a balled end while being blasted with unbalanced sine wave AC current. I perfer the Zirconiated with my Syncrowave 250.

    New inverter technology with balanced wave, wave adjustment, adjustable frequencies minimize or prevent those occurrences and requirements, so the alloy enhances the tungsten for these new conditions.

    https://www.thefabricator.com/articl...ten-electrodes

    That said, some have a favorite, but a Tungsten is a Tungsten and all will do the same thing with in given limits, carry current and transfer electrons. But for best results, you match it to the power source, material, and expected use.

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    • #3
      Not all tungsten types perform the same, especially on the inverter machines. Pure (green) is no longer recommended for use on AC with an inverter welder.

      I’ve used as many as I could find out there, tungsten color tip wise. I’m sure there are some I haven’t used, but I prefer the 2% lanthanated (blue) or the E3 (purple). I really like the E3.

      I find the thoriated (red) gets strange nodules on the top every time and don’t seem to last as long. Those little modules get to quivering and eventually end up in the weld puddle.

      I also have started to use 1/8” for everything. I just dress it down for thinner stuff. I find the tungsten is more stable that way. But I do have a good bit of other sizes and colors to work through. I want to end up with one tungsten for everything.

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      • #4
        Click image for larger version

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        About this GTAW picture...isn't it close to perfect. One of my favorites when it comes to welding. I'm sure one of the things I'd wonder about is the tungsten, just not the first.


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        This image. No matter the tungsten type, I've always found the profile making a bigger difference. It's profile dictates the resistance to melting.

        Click image for larger version

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        Some how or another, this is part of the picture. In my mind, boing, boing boing, it what does it look like when it's raised or lowered in conjunction with shielding gas type.
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        They are colorful and banded with a color for a reason, the alloy and what it does, how it's addition enhances the function of the tungsten electrode. That includes the design of the power source.

        So, the green isn't suitable because it's old tech favorable and you have new. The orange isn't favorable because it's a new no radioactive material modern. You want the brown for the Aluminum welding you mentioned and with what you have for a welder, in my opinion. But think about the other stuff as well.

        Interesting enough, devil is in the details. Reading.
        Zirconiated (Color Code: Brown)

        Zirconiated tungsten electrodes (AWS classification EWZr-1) contain a minimum of 99.10 percent tungsten and 0.15 to 0.40 percent zirconium. A zirconiated tungsten electrode produces an
        extremely stable arc and resists tungsten spitting
        . It is
        ideal for AC welding because it retains a balled tip and has a high resistance to contamination
        . Its current-carrying capability is equal to or greater than that of thoriated tungsten.
        Under no circumstances is zirconiated recommended for DC welding.

        Interesting enough, the green when running higher currents tends to split. It could also have something to do with inverter power but that is pure conjecture on my part lol.

        And this no Zee on DC. Well, what do you suppose that's all about? I'm not sure if it's the truth or I'm making it up but tungsten particle erosion comes to mind? One way to find out.


        Click image for larger version

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ID:	601928 That's right, go nuts and give it a try.


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        • #5
          start with what you have. tungsten only gets you so far in the beginning. it's not perfect. pure tungsten is a great starting point. different machines perform better with certain types. heat input is slow due to the thermal conductivity in aluminum so no matter how good they say the tungsten performs it's only as good as the operator is patient. DGP online. should be a PDF there somewhere. I think Cruizer posted the link somewhere. its sticky worthy.

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          • #6
            In my shop we now have only two colors Blue and Purple. I like Purple for steel and stainless and blue for Aluminum. The blue holds the ball real well and is resistant to mild contamination. On Aluminum I use 3/32 for 3/16 and thinner, 1/8 for the thicker stuff. As Electric4Life says be patient, wait for it to melt BEFORE you add rod. Wait for it to mirror then add rod and go go go. Have fun, welding aluminum isn't harder than welding steel it's just different.

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            • #7
              I don’t really notice much difference between any of them on DC. I ran the purple for a good while today welding up an aluminum fuel cell for drag car. I really like that purple on AC.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the response Gent's I can't seem to get a stable arc with the purple, tried the green it was better, but could not really put it though the test due to tank running out of argon going to replace that 20 lbs. bottle with a 80.think ill pickup a 2pc. pack of the blue while I'm there…..

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by racerx View Post
                  Thanks for the response Gent's I can't seem to get a stable arc with the purple, tried the green it was better, but could not really put it though the test due to tank running out of argon going to replace that 20 lbs. bottle with a 80.think ill pickup a 2pc. pack of the blue while I'm there…..
                  I have to ask, how would you describe a unstable arc? This seems to be what's at issue and if you describe that, it could indicate if the balance is off, current is to high, arc is to long, or gas shield was to low to be effective? A picture surely wouldn't hurt.

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                  • #10
                    Generally speaking, on AC and as far as I can tell, the way the tip decomposes effects the arc quality. The decomposition of the tip is much more evident at higher amps. When the tip gets those strange nodules on the end, and you’re running at the higher end of that tungsten size amperage, those little nodules get to quivering and eventually pop off and into your weld.

                    Might I ask, how are you preparing your tungsten for AC welding? It will not hold a point, so you can forget about that. But you may consider grinding your tungsten to a blunt, steep angled tip, then balling that tip a bit. If you can get a nice little ball on the end of your tungsten then your arc will be much better off.

                    Arc starting on AC is always a bit wonky, especially on low amps.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Noel View Post

                      I have to ask, how would you describe a unstable arc? This seems to be what's at issue and if you describe that, it could indicate if the balance is off, current is to high, arc is to long, or gas shield was to low to be effective? A picture surely wouldn't hurt.
                      Sorry for the slow response …….

                      To me an unstable arc is when the actual arc is use to form a pupal to add filler material, with that said the actual arc it self jumps around. When I look at videos there seems to be a very stable arc.

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                      • #12
                        I watched a video explanation of a distributor cap and rotor, with an explanation that accounted for the deposit that accumulates on the post of the cap. I don't remember it well, but it had to do with temperature, arc plasma, and voltage over time. I mention this because when your welding with GTAW, pretty much the same thing results.

                        Discussing unstable arcs, and tungsten types, those pure tungsten and the forming of a balled end, not only does the ball radiate electrons, it lack a point to direct them. Unstable until the voltage over comes the effect. Contamination and self cleaning, again, unstable arc, but also as mentioned with the cap and rotor, if the tungsten doesn't dispel the particles of plasma contamination accumulation, that leads to an unstable arc. To much current, over heating the tungsten and things again become unstable. Erosion and splitting, plasma particle contamination increase, then add in arc length?
                        So all that particle stuff behind the ball or the pointed end...or what collects on the surface, a component of that making is the power source, wave form and balance.
                        You recognize unstable, the choice is to find a tungsten that for your needs is less likely to be unstable.
                        Going back to the Miller Diversion 180 and your choice for tungsten. Good luck with that selection. They all do the same thing just better or worse under different conditions.

                        Getting back to the cap and rotor. Moisture was a big factor for accumulation. Cold air and hot spark. When you weld aluminum, cold surface hot arc. I'm seeing something in all this. It may be the tungsten is of less importance then you think? I'm not say it is, just that you also have to think of how the welding gets done.

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