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welding 16gauge thin aluminum pipe

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  • welding 16gauge thin aluminum pipe

    Been learning/welding aluminum pipe for about 10 hours or so, im trying to perfect my beads specially on thin gauge aluminum pipe. This is some of the work Iv done, not the prettiest. 4043 rod, how can i get nicer beads? Is back purging necessary on aluminum pipe?
    200ac/dc tig, around 80 amps then rest on pedal feed, zirconated 2.6mm tip, around 7 cup.



    thanks
    Last edited by ujku; 01-06-2010, 01:43 PM.

  • #2
    get you a push button on your rig & throw the pedal in the trash......i would not show people that nasty $hit

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    • #3
      What machine & what tungsten?

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      • #4
        Nice aluminum welds come from practice and consistancy...that said for the amount of practice with probably no instruction...not too bad of a start. To get the perfect ripple you must move the torch at a consistent speed and dip the filler at a constant speed. To obtain a tight ripple, dip fast and travel slow. To obtain a more prominent ripple, dip slower and move faster. At the end of the day timing and consistency has alot to do with a nice looking bead. Some people count to obtain consistency in adding their filler.

        keep at it, and it will improve

        kw
        Kirk W.
        Weld Engineer
        Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ujku View Post
          Been learning/welding aluminum pipe for about 10 hours or so, how can i get nicer beads? Is back purging necessary on aluminum pipe?
          thanks
          add a few more 0 to that 10
          Ed Conley
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          • #6
            Originally posted by thunder71 View Post
            get you a push button on your rig & throw the pedal in the trash......i would not show people that nasty $hit

            I find the pedal useful for adding extra amps at start when part is not very hot.

            I know it's not pretty, like I said Im here to learn, and yes i have only been tig welding for around 10 hours used a medium sized bottle, I have read miller tech notes, been mig welding for a few years.

            i find the curvature of the pipe and movement around it challenging to keeping a steady bead, flat surfaces and such I can do fine.

            I use 1.6mm tungsten zirconium and 1.6mm filler wire 4043. The thicker tungsten and wire was not good for such thin wall pipe, was blowing through easy.

            All in all its not pretty but its leak free


            One thing I noticed is that not both lips of the pipe were melting equally requiring to change focus of tungsten, maybe that's why you see the uneven ripples so much, but more heat would result in burn through.
            Last edited by ujku; 01-06-2010, 03:17 PM.

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            • #7
              Practice

              Admirable start. Pipe is tougher than flat sheet (plate). You have to move over a round surface and keep the consistant speed and travel distance of both the torch and the filler rod. Very few welders that I know tried to perfect their TIG sequence and technique by learning on pipe. Most of them welded on flat plate, then vertical and horizontal welds, before ever attempting welds on round pipe.

              That being said, what are is your welding training background? If you have never attended a formal course, you're doing ok. But a good program of TIG welding taught by a competent welding educator would be worth it's cost.

              What is the wall thickness of the pipe your welding on? .093 or less? If it's
              .125 or thicker you can help the lay-in appearance of your bead string by slightly beveling the ends of the pieces to be butted together. What material is this pipe carrying? From the pictures, I'm not sure exactly. But if the pipe is not carrying pressure, then the welds you made, although not expertly made to the proverbial "dime ripple" asthetics, will suffice.

              Don't take the harsh critisism to heart. Every welder had to start somewhere and darn few of them where "experts" to start. They practiced and learned, maybe at different rates, but the had to begin somewhere.

              It's simply time with the arc. Practice. But practice the right things and the correct techniques. A whole lot of BAD practice will eventually end up with BAD welds.
              Mustangs Forever!

              Miller equipment.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by thunder71 View Post
                get you a push button on your rig & throw the pedal in the trash......i would not show people that nasty $hit
                I believe that's a bit rude. Not very constructive. That's not what this forum is about although some may think so. I do not.
                Nick
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                • #9
                  I think beveling should have helped out on this, i did try it on few practice runs and worked well. Its a boost pipe on a car, will see around 40psi of pressure tops.

                  I have no tig training background, only mig hobby experience, miller articles I have read were pretty good but I believe more practice is the way.

                  Pipe thickness is 0.063" or 1.6mm in metric.

                  I might redo it, beveling this time and better fit up.

                  Should I use a larger cup than 7? How much sickout should I have?

                  Thanks

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by monte55 View Post
                    I believe that's a bit rude. Not very constructive. That's not what this forum is about although some may think so. I do not.
                    Good post monte55.

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                    • #11
                      Cup size

                      Your TIG cups are measured in 1/16 of an inch. Hence a 7 cup is 7/16 across the opening (diameter). The cup is all about the shielding gas and the gas envelope that is created aroound the weld pool and arc. Your 7 cup should be just fine for your application. Around 15 cfh on your argon flow meter. As for stick out, Well some like it out to about 3/8". But this is not common unless your welding deep into a crevas or are doing cluster welds on race car frames, etc. I usually keep my tungsten just outside the front edge of the cup.

                      As for your practice, try this: picture an 1/8th of an inch. Work on moving the torch an 1/8th of an inch and wipe in the filler rod. Move another 1/8th inch and repeat. learning to step each time the same amount. You can adjust this depending on the bead appearance you are trying to achieve. But being consistant is what it's all about. Practice moving left to right and right to left. and the same things with your off hand. Field welding does not always allow you to work with one hand and you should be able to make a sound and good appearing weld with either hand.
                      Mustangs Forever!

                      Miller equipment.

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                      • #12
                        Preassure test.

                        How did your pressure test go prior to the installation of the pipe? Where your welds sound?
                        Mustangs Forever!

                        Miller equipment.

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                        • #13
                          I tested the pipe, have 2 blanked ends, one with a tire valve in, compressed air to 50psi no problem, no leaks.

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                          • #14
                            just my thoughts

                            Originally posted by monte55 View Post
                            I believe that's a bit rude. Not very constructive. That's not what this forum is about although some may think so. I do not.

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                            • #15
                              TIG Welding Sample

                              Originally posted by monte55 View Post
                              I believe that's a bit rude. Not very constructive. That's not what this forum is about although some may think so. I do not.
                              Well said! You have the guts to stand up and let the rude poster know that this forum is not the place for such comments. I agree, anyone can be rude, it takes more effort to give constructive criticism.

                              JMHO,
                              Steve

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