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  • No penetration on aluminum

    I'm trying to weld a 1" aluminum pipe to 1\4" plate and can't get any penetration. The welds look OK but when I tested it it broke right off the plate. I'm using my new 211 with the SP100 Spoolmate gun. Any ideas? I tried turning up the juice but it burns the tips. Its making the best looking beads set on 5.5\80. Thanks, TW

  • #2
    what type and wire size? what gas? if you turn up the voltage how much did you increase the wire speed? you would need to turn up the wire speed quite a bit. try setting it up on some scrap pieces. I always set up on some scrap aluminum before pulling the trigger on the job.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Redfishtony View Post
      I'm trying to weld a 1" aluminum pipe to 1\4" plate and can't get any penetration. The welds look OK but when I tested it it broke right off the plate. I'm using my new 211 with the SP100 Spoolmate gun. Any ideas? I tried turning up the juice but it burns the tips. Its making the best looking beads set on 5.5\80. Thanks, TW
      Add helium to your argon.

      You should strip the oxides off the parts as well.
      Nothing welded, Nothing gained

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      • #4
        I'm using 5356 wire and pure argon. I'm cleaning both surfaces with my grinder using a new fine sanding disk. Maybe I need to try the 4043 wire and put a taper on the end of the pipe. The pipe is 1" od , 1\8" wall thickness. Could it be the pipe and plate. They both appear to be very hard. The pipe is from some scrap handrail.
        I also tried turning the wire speed up and slowing down. Still no penetration at all. I'm very confused??????? But its a learning experience.
        Also, yes I'm using some scraps to do some trials before I do the pieces that will be on the boat. Thanks, TW

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        • #5
          0.30 wire

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          • #6
            No penetration on aluminum

            5356 is part of your problem with that machine. You could also preheat the 1/4 plate a little with a propane torch

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            • #7
              No penetration on aluminum

              Are you sure that the plate is weldable aluminum?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by traumajunkie View Post
                Are you sure that the plate is weldable aluminum?
                It's probably not getting anywhere near hot enough.

                Ar/He mix or more amperage. 1/4" aluminum is going to take some power to get up to temp.

                Maybe if you preheated the plate in your oven for a bit first?
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                • #9
                  Yup as said above .030 4043 wire and preheat. PM me if you want to cure the tip burning problem...Bob
                  Bob Wright

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                  • #10
                    Bob, I just installed the modified barrel you fixed for me tonight and the tip problem was fixed. I had purchased another barrel just before I sent you the original one. Tried it with the 0.35 tip but still didn't get penetration. I'm thinking it may be the wire and plate being cool. I'm gonna try the preheating and see if that helps. Can I use my propane torch?

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                    • #11
                      I weld aluminum all the time with my 211 .
                      straight argon
                      4043 .030 wire.
                      .035 tip
                      6/100
                      Preheat around 200-300f plate only.
                      And push your weld.& sweep over thinner material.

                      About the tips burning up
                      I solved my problem by swapping over to regular mig tips . Just drill and tap.
                      Last edited by eecervantes83; 12-16-2013, 08:38 PM.
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                      • #12
                        Go with everybodys preheat suggestions, Huge difference on thicker aluminum.

                        I welded to aluminum plates on a 90, outside beveled corner, Plates were over 1/2" thick. Clamped this thing up and put it on top a kerosene heater for a good while.

                        Don't know how hot it got but it was no problem for a 200amp tig, puddled very quick and just kept getting better and had to back off the heat after a couple passes.

                        I bet the spool gun would do the same.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Redfishtony View Post
                          Can I use my propane torch?
                          Thats what i use to warm my parts...Bob
                          Bob Wright

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                          • #14
                            Pics..

                            Could you post some pics of the defective welds??

                            (especially separation detail)

                            lots of good suggestions...

                            but..

                            without a visual... all we are doing is guessing...
                            Last edited by H80N; 12-17-2013, 06:40 AM.
                            .

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                            • #15
                              Have you switched to 4043? Miller recommends 4043 for your 211 in the specs for this machine. I suspect it just won't produce enough heat for 5356.---Meltedmetal
                              ---Meltedmetal

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