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MIG WIRE BRAND: Crown, Weldcote, Alcotec....? Does it really matter?

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  • ja baudin
    replied
    So from what I gained from the tread if I want to pay for the best mig filler wire (I use aluminum) go with Hobart or Maxal.

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  • shovelon
    replied
    Maxal, a US producer makes some very good alum wire. They supposedly have some proprietary technology which helps feeding through guns.

    I use it exclusively in my CobraMig and 350p and am getting longer liner life.

    They have also developed a variant of 4043 which has higher as welded strength. I think they are calling it 4343.

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  • diamondback
    replied
    I have done several tests to compare the different welidng wires, at least the top 3 brands. I used pulse welding as a transfer and am able to isolate a single pulse to use as a standard. What I found is that there are significant differences in wire consistencies between manufacturers but that some manufacturers can at times have inconsistencies in their ow brands of wire from lot number to lot number. I was also able to identify that older wire will develop arc stability problems possibly due to heavier oxides on the coating if copper coated or on the bare metal surface which really isn't a bare metal due to drawing compounds.

    I was also able to show that a pulsed arc developed on one wire and gas combination will show a different level of arc quality on another wire and that if the wires are consistent that their standard deviations will be comparable, so while the basic composition will be a little different and effect the arc efficiency to a point the deviation from the average will not be dramatic so you can tune the arc to get the transfer you want and expect the arc stability, transfer and weld quality to be consistent.

    So what does all of this mean and why did I keep my answer as vague as possible?

    I kept my answer fairly generic in nature while my testing was quite specific, the reason is I ran my tests in a lab, the temperature is 70 F the lighting is good, there is no wind, the clock ticks the same as the "outside" world but it is laboratory conditions. To say that I would expect anything in the lab to be exactly the same if I was upside down in a hole welding pipe would be at least naive.

    What my testing did show is that there are good wires and there are wires that could possible undergo some improvement. I am not going to share the range of wires I tested but I will say that when I compared the Hobart wire in the group the standard deviation was as good or even better than the next leading wire. The standard deviation being the point where I really found a wire to be "good".

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  • aametalmaster
    replied
    I don't notice any difference between brands of .030 solid wire in my home shop but i do notice a difference at work where i run a robotic welder and burn lots more wire in one day...Bob

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  • MIG WIRE BRAND: Crown, Weldcote, Alcotec....? Does it really matter?

    Does filler wire brand really matter and if it does, which ones are the best?
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