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  • Sound Of Tig Welding

    Hello everyone

    I have what might sound like a silly question to some of you but I don't know and I'm new to TIG welding so here goes.

    I have a new tig welder and I'm trying to learn aluminum welding, it's tough. Every time I have ever seen someone tig weld, the process sounded very quiet. When I try to weld aluminum it almost sounds like mig welding, is this normal? It's not quite as loud as mig but louder than I thought it would be.

    T

  • #2
    What kind of equipment are you using? And what are the settings?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Paulyfab
      What kind of equipment are you using? And what are the settings?
      It's a precision tig 185 (shhhh ... Lincoln... )

      I'm practicing on some .050 5054 and experimenting with the heat settings to get it hot enough to puddle. I'm starting out at 60 amps AC.

      Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

      T

      Comment


      • #4
        TwisterT,

        Any TIG machine I have ever used makes noise on AC. The noise more closely resembles a buzzing sound. I am not familiar with one sounding like a MIG (crackling arc?) The higher the amperage the louder the buzz will be. If you increase arc frequency, the sound frequency will also increase.

        What is your torch to work piece angle? Anything over a 20-25 degree angle (the back cap leaning back toward the weld beginning) is too much and may cause a popping sound as well as poor weld quality. Your tungsten should be about 1/8" or a little less off the work piece. Are you cleaning your material and filler with Scotch-Brite and wiping with acetone? Dirty aluminum won't weld. The oxide coating melts at nearly 3 times the temperature of the cleaned material.

        What does the manual recommend for tungsten prep? What type tungsten are you using?

        These ideas may or may not solve your problem. Specific information is needed for a better diagnosis.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HAWK
          TwisterT,

          Any TIG machine I have ever used makes noise on AC. The noise more closely resembles a buzzing sound. I am not familiar with one sounding like a MIG (crackling arc?) The higher the amperage the louder the buzz will be. If you increase arc frequency, the sound frequency will also increase.

          What is your torch to work piece angle? Anything over a 20-25 degree angle (the back cap leaning back toward the weld beginning) is too much and may cause a popping sound as well as poor weld quality. Your tungsten should be about 1/8" or a little less off the work piece. Are you cleaning your material and filler with Scotch-Brite and wiping with acetone? Dirty aluminum won't weld. The oxide coating melts at nearly 3 times the temperature of the cleaned material.

          What does the manual recommend for tungsten prep? What type tungsten are you using?

          These ideas may or may not solve your problem. Specific information is needed for a better diagnosis.
          I guess it sounds like more of a buzz than a crackle. From what you said, I guess it's normal. I remember about ten years ago I had some stainless steel welded and it didn't make a sound. Maybe he was welding in DC?

          I have a feeling that I'm leaning the torch back too far from what you say. I'll try to correct that and keep it at 1/8th inch from the work.

          I haven't been using scotch bright, didn't know it was necessary. I DID clean it with an aluminum cleaner that I got from my welding supply store. I'll try scotch bright too.

          I'm using pure tungsten in 1/16, 3/16, and 1/8", trying to find the right combination. I also have filler rods in the same size, they're 5356.

          It's recommended to let the tungsten create it's own ball on the end.

          Thanks for the help, I need it.

          T

          Comment


          • #6
            TwisterT,

            If the manual recommends balling the tungsten for AC, try using zirconiated tungsten rather than pure or thoriated. It handles the heat much better and gives a cleaner weld. Let me know what happens.


            Stainless is welded on DC and is a quiet process. The zirconiated is for AC only. Try a 1.5% lanthanated tungsten for DC.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HAWK
              TwisterT,

              If the manual recommends balling the tungsten for AC, try using zirconiated tungsten rather than pure or thoriated. It handles the heat much better and gives a cleaner weld. Let me know what happens.


              Stainless is welded on DC and is a quiet process. The zirconiated is for AC only. Try a 1.5% lanthanated tungsten for DC.
              Thanks Hawk! I'll try all the advice and let you know. It'll be tomorrow before I can get to the supply store to get some zirconiated tungsten but I'll sure give it a try!

              You guys are the BEST, thanks big time!!

              T

              Comment


              • #8
                Hawk,

                I cleaned my work with scotch-bright and acetone and tried it again, BAM!!! Best tip I've had so far! It worked great, at least it's starting to resemble a weld.

                Me need much practice, and at least now I know I'm headed in the right direction. Thanks, my friend, you saved me a lot of grief.

                I'm starting to feel good about this aluminum welding afterall.

                Tim

                Comment


                • #9
                  There is a good lesson to be learned from this thread. Worth saying since aluminum welding is the topic of so many posts here.

                  Any time you are welding aluminum, it needs to be clean. Now, if you are used to welding steel, clean may be that nice gray finish on a piece of steel that you bring home from your local steel supply, no rust, it's clean, right? NOT so with aluminum! Aluminum, eveny a nice shiny piece of plate, or an extrusion, will have an aluminum oxide coating on it. That oxide melts, as HAWK pointed out, at a much hotter temperature than the base metal. That is why it is important to remove this for a good weld.

                  You can easily see this "Oxide" when you set your squarwave machine to max cleaning, and watch the oxide float on top of the molten weld puddle.

                  That oxide can be removed with a chemical cleaner, but I think that Scotch Brite is a better answer.

                  Just one of those quirky things that cause so many to think that aluminum welding is more difficult than it really is.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    as one book I have put it "your aluminum should be clean enough to eat off of it."
                    -Tanner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LOL

                      ive eaten off some prity dirty stuff on a job site .gess it better be cleaner than eating standerds LOL.
                      thanks for the help
                      ......or..........
                      hope i helped
                      sigpic
                      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                      summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                      JAMES

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey Guys,

                        I've been learning a fair bit about metallurgy lately and few things don't seem quite right...

                        Firstly, as I understand it, the oxide surface on Aluminium has a melting point of 2000 degrees celcius, your average weld arc sits at around 6000 degrees so therefore the aluminium oxide should burn off, not like in the old days when oxy welding ally was the done thing and the oxide layer had to be removed chemically. The rate at which the oxide "skin" reforms is incredibly quick!! Within a only a few seconds.

                        I do know for a fact that if there are any oils or residues left on the aluminium surface they will burn and contaminate the weld (gotta love cutting oils!!). The dross that you get on the molten pool when ally welding is more likely to be impurities rather than the oxide layer for the reasons I stated above. The oxide layer on the aluminium is a big reason for the amount of ozone that is given off whilst aluminium welding, so yes, we welders are doing something for the environment!!

                        Just a few thoughts...

                        Regards,

                        Andy249
                        "Its the way it spatters that matters!"
                        Andy249
                        "Its the way it spatters that matters!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That is a very interesting comment about the rate of re-forming of the oxide layer on aluminum after it has been cleaned.

                          If it forms so quickly, it is important to clean a shiny sheet of aluminum before welding since the oxide coating will form before the arc can be struck?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I clean all edges before assembly even on new material, first with 3M roloc discs then with acetone. If I have to leave it for a while [more than an hour] I clean with acetone again before I resume welding.

                            Weld well,

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Alot of the aluminium where I worked came on coils, and sometimes we would find that there was a tiny bit of oil residue, or even water damage would cause hassles when it came to getting a good quality weld. Acetone is a good cleaner as it completely evaporates leaving very little residue and good clean area to perform your welding.
                              Andy249
                              "Its the way it spatters that matters!"

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