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  • paulrbrown
    replied
    That black SMUT, yes that is the correct term, is actually aluminum oxide which is so dense, it does not reflect light, you will also get this when welding the 5000 series or using 5000 electrode, as you also get Magnesium Oxide along with the Al Oxide. I have also fought this and it has something to do with the electrode vaporizing part of itself as it jumps across the arc and depositing these very small molecules which accounts for the very dense, light absorbing SMUT, TIG does not get this problem due to the electrode not being shot thru the arc. I do know that pulling will guarentee you getting a smutty weld. Like some of the others suggested, try a different gun manipulation. Hope this makes some sense and is helpful, I would also like to find out how to get rid of the problem for ever. BTW, using a paper towel to clean with is better than a new rag, the detergents to clean the rag used can sometime contaminate the material. Paul

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  • Canuck
    replied
    I'm not sure what amperage that 268 inches per minute will give you but that sounds like not enough wire for 28 volts. If you have better results without the optima than don't use it. try 26 volts and 300-350 inches per minute and go from there. That is about all I can tell you because I have never used 0.35 wire and welded something that small out of aluminum with Mig.

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  • dyn88
    replied
    the feed rate was 268 inches per minute if this translates into amperage than yea that is a bit high, and yes it is much easier to weld in gmaw mode than in pmaw.And I think arc lenth adjusts frequency between pulses to en

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  • Canuck
    replied
    dyn88 have you tried without the optima if so what are the results? Also 28 volts and 268 amps sounds a little to hot for the size of material you are welding and the 0.35 wire maybe it is different when using the optima?

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  • dyn88
    replied
    my flowmeter regulater like all that ive ever seen is set at 50 psi but you can change the flow cubic feet per minute. and is set at 15 cfm. I have cured the conamination problem with the technique mentioned before but the wire just burns through the base material after a few beads. This doesnt happen in regular mig mode but bead apearance is not attractive. It seems as though I now have a problem with using the optima pusing pendant, which is set at program 8 .035 al 4043 Ar adaptive arc length 28 with the wire feed at 268. If I change the arc length it increases or decreases the temp of the arc, So I then speed up or slow down the wire accordingly. This seems to be the best setting any colder and the wire just lumpsup and doesnt penetrate any hotter and the puddle as soon as it establishes falls through the base. It realy seems to me that I need a class on how to use the optima pendant.

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  • RHutch
    replied
    Has anyone ran another type of wire (other than Aluminum) through this feeder/ gun system ??... If steel wire has been run through the gun the de-oxidizing coatings on the surface of the steel wire will adhere to the inside of the wire conduit in the gun and contaminate the aluminum wire as it is run through the gun.
    It is also possible that the drawing compounds used in the extrusion process in sizing down steel or stainless steel weld wire could cause contamination in the same way.

    One other thing, I had an argon cyl 100% that had a similar sooty appearance and it had a bit of a sputter sound when welding 6061 T6 with .035 4043 wire. I changed the cyl out to one with a different batch number and the problem went away. I had the Cyl lab tested and the results were gas ok but the moisture content was 2 parts per million high at a dew point of –40 deg
    This is a very slight difference but in this particular instance it caused a problem.

    I hope this is helpful
    Richard

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  • Canuck
    replied
    Hawk

    The New job is going great! My AL. Welding is getting better every day so each day I get to do a little bit more welding. Today I even did some TIG welding on some parts. They have asked me to come back in 10 months when I finish school. I love the XR system it knocks the socks off of the old cobramatics that we have. Thanks for asking.

    dyn88
    Could you give us some of your machine parameters it might help. 50 psi sounds alright but you also don't want too much gas. For some reason my machine at work had full line pressure from the manifold system and I got similar problems try to get it down to 35-40 if you can.

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  • dyn88
    replied
    Well I tried the forward pause technique and it went well for about 2 movements then when i paused the third time the wire went through the puddle(not the puddle fell through the material) arced out on the other side of the tube and caused a few choice words from youres truly.I think I need to get formal training in this field. I have been mig welding professonaly for 7 years and tig for 5 and picked both up without much agrevation. Does anyone know of a school in the hartford area that does synergic training?

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  • HAWK
    replied
    Canuck,

    So how's the trailer welding going at work? It sounds like all is great? You are getting some good experience quick. Congratulations on the new job and keep up the good posts! The XR system is killer in my book. What do you think?

    dyn88,

    as Canuck and Scott mentioned the straight line motion works well in most cases. I do like the swirls when the arc is bordering on short arc/spray otherwise I just push the gun with the XR.

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  • dyn88
    replied
    my flowmeter is preset at 50psi but I will try different manipulation and see what happens. thanks

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  • Canuck
    replied
    Scott V has got it alomst bang on with the manipulation. Just Move forward pause and let the bead fill out and then move and pause and move and pause and so on. When you move in circles you draw air in to the weld. Also I think you should turn up your gas at work I run 35-40psi and I don't get dirty welds but I use 3/4" nozzles try it and see.

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  • dyn88
    replied
    the gas valve on an xra gun is a rubber diaphram at the gun itself and it flows at a position before the wire is actually "live". I did take xtra care this time in insuring a clean surface. Against my better judgement i did this bare handed, with a new rag,my acetone may have been dirty but this problem has been ongoing for quite some time now.I read that pulse mode is still d/c only, working like the acen side of advance squarewave).Id really like to cure this as I cant send unpainted products out the door looking like this(just about all the black comes off but still stains the beads themselves). This appearance is the best I could achieve, after testing several different torch angles.(just imagine what the test pieces look like)

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  • Steved
    replied
    Further to the gas valve sticking.

    If you look at the welds, the contamination gets progressively worse from the start of the weld to the end of the weld, implying that the atmosphere is worsening from start to end. I base this on the observation that the black 'plume' gets larger as the bead progresses.

    If it was the wire/gloves/SS brush/acetone/machine then the contamination would be constant. If the machine gas valve opened and then slowly closed it may cause this problem.

    Can a flow meter be placed after the machine to double check? I am not sure if the flow meter at the regulator would show an immediate loss of flow, especially if the cables are long.

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  • Scott V
    replied
    Originally posted by dyn88
    here are the photos as you can see I have a problem with al mig, I also included a photo of my al tig and steel mig to retain some integrity. Yes I can weld. Just not al mig for dome reason. Please help
    Did you try using a straight ahead torch movement with no circles? Maybe a straight move and a little pause. Also a slight wiggle side to side works pretty well sometimes. This is from owning a powermig 300 and watching a new MM350p in action with the right operator.

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  • Steved
    replied
    Frustrating problem as it seems that you know what you are doing. It does look like contamination problem.

    You mentioned that you have switched over everything, wire, feeder, torch and the argon has been certified to be pure.

    The only common element that has not been inspected or changed is the acetone, SS brush and gloves. What are the chances that one of these items is contaminated?

    Secondly, is the gas flow constant when you are welding? If there is an automatic gas valve and if it is intermittent then you would not have the atmosphere required.

    Thirdly, does this contamination only occur on Al or do you see evidence of it on other metals as well?

    Finally, as a long shot, are you 100% sure that the machine is working correctly in AC mode? Can you put a scope on it to verify? If one of the diodes are blown or working incorrectly then the cleaning cycle may not be operating correctly. If the machine is similar to a TIG welder then if you switch the ground and electrode do you get the same results? (On a TIG I would expect that if diodes were blown then the tungsten would melt as a check, if everything is working correctly then there should be no difference)

    I am not all that experienced in welding and I am not familiar with MIG at all but hopefully these suggestions will help.

    Cheers,

    Steve

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