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  • aluminum welding

    I recently purchased a Syncrowave 180 SD, having never tig welded before. While I can tig weld steel reasonably well with my new machine every attempt at aluminum welding has resulted in disaster. The arc wanders badly and leaves a terrible looking yelow and black residue. I have read the pertinent posts on this site as well as several books on the subject. Despite following their guidelines as closely as I could I have had no success. Several of the sources I have consulted have said that high frequency is required to weld aluminum. There is no HF setting on my welder, but the references on this site and the dealer I purchased the welder from said that the 180 is suited to aluminum welding. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    alum . welding

    It could be a number of things. Are you using straight argon, what type of tungston are you using? I have used a syncrowave 250 and the high frequency had to be set on constant.
    Hope this helps .

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    • #3
      I am using pure argon, and have tried flow rates anywhere from 12-20cfm and I am using pure tungsten in 1/16 and 3/32 diameters. Is there is a way to set frequency on the Syncrowave 180? Thanks for the reply.

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      • #4
        aesipila,
        You can tinker with the balance a bit, but the frequency adjustment is just not there. Try setting you balance to the maximum electrode negative. Make sure your aluminum is clean. Brush with a stainless brush and wipe with alcohol or acetone. Make sure the solvents evaporate before welding. You may have done this, but it does not hurt to mention. Try pure tungsten and balling the end. Check your manual. This balling can be done using DCRP and a piece of copper plate or even a copper plumbing fitting. Make sure the amperage is there to melt the base metal. Set your machine to AC and use the amptrol to start the arc. When the arc jumps from the tungsten to the work piece that is the high frequency doing that. Keep your tungsten stick out around 1/8" or less. Once the arc is started swirl the torch above the work piece in a counter clockwise motion until your aluminum begins to melt. At this point add filler and start to advance to run your bead. Use a filler equal to size of your material. Keep your tungsten about 1/8" above the work piece. Let us know and we'll keep trying. Best of luck.

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        • #5
          One thing you might want to check, is what alloy you are practicing on. I have had some extruded scraps that for the life of me, I could never get a bead going on. Just a thought...

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          • #6
            MrXtreme,

            That is an excellent thought! If by chance the alloy being welded is that finicky, the try some 1100 filler. It is 99% commercially pure aluminum. If it won't flow, chances are you need to find something more suitable to welding like a 3000, 5052 or even a 6061 alloy. depending on the circumstamces these can be welded with a 4043 filler. It flows well and it easy to work with. All of these are readily weldable alloys. Also cast alloys can be difficult to weld with standard procedures as they have a lot of impurities in them.

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            • #7
              Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'll keep trying and let you guys know if I make any progress.

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