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what happens when aluminum filler touches the tungsten

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  • paulrbrown
    replied
    Mada, one more tidbit of info, Pure Aluminum melts at 1220..58 degrees Fahrenheit, it boils at 4566 degrees F., that is why it can cover you electrode so nicely, as it vaporizes [boils]on the electrode which is higher than that temp [as tungsten melts at 6192 F.]and the now the tungsten has a hard time doing its thing, as in passing electrons and all that other science stuff back and forth. If you break the tungsten off, make sure you cut it off, as it may splinter the end by snapping off, [which will give you more headaches]. Final answer, get it all off the tungsten or you will be facing even harder times welding. And keep you bottom dry......

    Hope this Helps, Paul

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  • SundownIII
    replied
    Well,

    If touching the filler to the tungsten in AC welding killed you, I seriously doubt if there'd be any tig welders here responding to your post.

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  • mada
    replied
    cool, thanks guys. Just wanted to know what to expect - staying away from aluminum until I'm totally comfortable on steel. That will be phase II for me when I build up some more confidence.

    Great forum, mostly nice people here.

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  • Keith_J
    replied
    And if the tungsten has aluminum on it, cut off that portion. It will load your grinding wheel and hopelessly contaminate it. Diamond? Even more fun since you cannot dress that out. But you can use water in an ultrasonic cleaner. Aluminum will react with water, only if the oxide/hydroxide layer can be broken. Ultrasonic does this wonderfully.

    Leave a comment:


  • Drf255
    replied
    I did it last week (and I'm typing this with both hands and can still pee standing up).

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  • torch
    replied
    With the alternating current you can get a pretty nice shock..I knew someone who almost fell backwards off the chair , when welding alu. with sweaty gloeves,it locked his arm up too.

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  • dondlhmn
    replied
    Well, if you are a guy that hasn't done it yet, just wait. You will. I absolutely GUARANTEE it! And there will be no doubt in your mind that you just stuck the tungsten in the puddle as it makes a real nice flash and a bunch of pretty green light and smokes up the work. If you hit the tungsten with the filler, it may shock you, but no guarantee on that, though it will most likely also make a flash and a bunch of neat looking green light. It will really only shock you if you have a decent "personal ground" somewhere, such as a wet butt on a steel seat that is connected to the work lead somehow or maybe if you happen to be touching the work or the table, etc. +1 on all the contamination issues.....weld, tungsten, your brain, etc....!!

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  • Helios
    replied
    Originally posted by mada View Post
    what actually happens when this occurs?

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  • hockeyguynick
    replied
    Not sure of a way to check for it at home, but I have failed 1 x-ray for tungsten inclusion. Luckily it was in training, and not on the job. Nice thing about x-ray is you can pretty much tell right where it is, and grind it out and do a repair. As for sticking your filler, I've only done it a couple times that i can remember. It has given me a small shock once, but not every time. I'd imagine with Al it would be a little bigger jolt, being AC

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  • Kevin Meier
    replied
    I am a relative newbie, so take this for what you paid for it...

    When the rod touches the tungsten, you get a bunch of filler stuck to the tungsten which plays havoc with that careful grinding you just did. When I have done it, it usually makes all of the tungsten past the collet body look fuzzy, and the very tip typically as a lump or two on it.

    With aluminum you will also see the same thing that you see when you dip the tungsten into the puddle, which is a big black circle highlighting exactly where the infraction occurred.

    I have read that you typically get tungsten inclusions in your weld at that point, which leads to stress risers, which are the seeds from which cracks grow. I can't verify this because I haven't ever had access to X-ray equipment, and I don't know if there is a lower-tech way to determine if there are inclusions in my weld.

    That is a good follow on for the people who really know what they are doing:

    Are there tests for things like inclusions that are reasonably available to those of us who weld at home?

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  • MMW
    replied
    #1 you will contaminate the tungsten & # 2 you will most likely get a shock if your touching the work pc. or leaning on your table. Don't worry it won't kill ya.
    Last edited by MMW; 10-27-2011, 04:36 PM.

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  • mada
    replied
    having never done it, I wouldn't know. Another welder, in another thread mentioned it would "get your attention" so I figured it would cause a bit of a different effect than when it happens on steel. Possibly something particularly undesirable or unpleasant.

    With being new to welding, I figured it best to learn as much as possible from those with more experience than myself.

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  • fdcmiami
    replied
    you explode. christ figure it out. no wonder we are in the state we are in.

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  • what happens when aluminum filler touches the tungsten

    I keep seeing warning to try and avoid this, but what actually happens when this occurs?
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