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  • arch welding aluminum

    I watched a short video last night from Alcoa from the 1940's on welding aluminum.

    they used all kinds of methods, other than the neat mig and tig we have today. i was blown away when I saw them ARC weld aluminum...with a fluxed aluminum rod...

    why isnt that popular today? it has to be cheap, and it you dont have thin aluminum, or need a pretty weld...it seems like it would work fine...

    looks just like regular arc welding.

    I also watched a video on some aluminum flux cored brazing rod.....used with an OA torch...

    does anyone here do that often?


    seem slike it would be perfect for sheet aluminum, when you dont need structural strength


    bob

  • #2
    Arc welding aluminum, is expensive, you have to run super fast, and the weld isn't very pretty. Basically used when nothing else is available.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cruizer View Post
      Arc welding aluminum, is expensive, you have to run super fast, and the weld isn't very pretty. Basically used when nothing else is available.
      Thats prob why they used it in the early 40's right before Tig and Mig caught on...Bob
      Bob Wright

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      • #4
        I o/a al all the time on thinner material u just have to move fast. Looks fine not great. Not sure of the fluxes rod I use but ill check later.
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        • #5
          I have used those electrodes before. I wouldn't want to use them on anything thin, 1/4" would probably be the thinnest I'd try them on. They don't run out of position very well and the welds don't look very good. They will hold up though as I have welded a few things for trucks where I couldn't get a MIG or TIG to the truck. I still have a box of them back in my corner of the shop just for emergency situations.
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          • #6
            I keep some 1/8 and 3/32 alu rod in the shop, i have had good luck with it, especially with the dirtier stuff like hydraulic tanks, it is by far the worst method for welding aluminum, i do not have a tig, so if a customer has some thing that needs to be done correctly, i send him to another shop, but if the job is non critical and a low buck fix, i will use the rod, and inform the customer of just what he will be getting, as far as the aluminum flux coated rod used with o/a, as seen on tv, it is a hot glue type repair, no fusion at all

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kevin View Post
              I keep some 1/8 and 3/32 alu rod in the shop, i have had good luck with it, especially with the dirtier stuff like hydraulic tanks, it is by far the worst method for welding aluminum, i do not have a tig, so if a customer has some thing that needs to be done correctly, i send him to another shop, but if the job is non critical and a low buck fix, i will use the rod, and inform the customer of just what he will be getting, as far as the aluminum flux coated rod used with o/a, as seen on tv, it is a hot glue type repair, no fusion at all
              the video i saw of the OA gas welding, they were using 1100 filler wire....not some gimmck from tv!!

              and they were also using fluxed core brazing rod....which was aluminum as well...

              the beauty with the brazing rod was you didnt have to super clean the weld afterwards...

              with the 1100 wire and flux paste, you need to clean the aluminum thouroghly afterwards or the residual acid from the left behind flux , would eat the material.

              bob

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              • #8
                yea so, thats what i said, no actual fusion, no puddle was created, isnt brazing steel like a hot glue if ya think about, no parent metal hot enough to puddle, if it was, it would be welded

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                • #9
                  yeah for the brazing aspect you are right...but the OA welding is real using 1100 alloy aluminum....it isnt some gimmick hot glue stick like sold on tv or at harbor frieght.

                  on the video i saw, the brazing was being done to help restore cosmetic appearance, and was buffed and polished back down to match the parent material.

                  it has to be similar alloys or it wont look right....

                  the cheap stuff at the auto parts store wont match the parent alloy like real aluminum.

                  bob

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