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Aluminum Flooring, welding and all the fun involved.

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  • Aluminum Flooring, welding and all the fun involved.

    Hello, Fellow welders,

    Question of the day,

    I had to rip out part of the floor in a raw meat fridge as the galvalume floor was warping in the seams up and pretty much making a gap in the center of the floor which obviously, is not sanitary. So out went the warped part of the floor, and I put a brand new 3003 diamond plate floor over it and then welded all 16 feet (each plate is 8 ft) of the joining seams together so there was no way in **** it would ever do anything like that again.

    Only problem is the warping in the plates, I held them down with the 4 crates, each crate had 100 pounds of potatoes on them and I brought in my 2 empty bottles of argon as additional weights. One side is perfect and does not move, the other one, not so much. IF you step in the center of the floor, it moves. I spent about 8 or 9 hours in that box yesterday, welding bit by bit, not staying in one area too long and all those things, even brought in a 4x4 and a long 2x4 to hold that area down while welding in it but still, did not prevail.

    Then the seams were all siliconed which is great, except for the area that moves and as I expected, it broke the silicone joint so now I will have to redo it when there is weight on it. So here is my question now that you know what I did all Saturday, how would you keep that floor from moving? Is there even a way? My boss, who did metalwork for 30 years says I did great and it was good in the end but I feel like there's gotta be a way to do this type of thing and somehow, keep it from doing it.

    Oh, and the fun part, managed to break 4 cups for my TIG, 2 of which disconnected mid welding, learned you can't keep welding with only half a cup since your collet will just weld itself together and drop part of itself into the puddle.... Dipping your torch in water is not always a good idea and well, don't rest your boot on top of the cup when its still flaming hot, as it will, burn your boot. A frustrating day indeed but its done, and I have some pictures so you can see what I am talking about.
    if there's a welder, there's a way

  • #2
    The photos.
    if there's a welder, there's a way

    Comment


    • #3
      Not being there and getting to see it. <br />
      Can you weld to the under floor?<br />
      If so could you drill a 1/2 to 3/4" hole with a hole saw bit and plug weld to underfloor. Put as many in as needed to hold down. <br />
      Just a thought.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by gnforge View Post
        Not being there and getting to see it. <br />
        Can you weld to the under floor?<br />
        If so could you drill a 1/2 to 3/4" hole with a hole saw bit and plug weld to underfloor. Put as many in as needed to hold down. <br />
        Just a thought.
        sub floor is "galvalume" steel... isn't it...???

        no welding aluminum sheet to that.....
        .

        *******************************************
        The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

        “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

        Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

        My Blue Stuff:
        Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
        Dynasty 200DX
        Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
        Millermatic 200

        TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

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        • #5
          Missed that... <br />
          Not an option then... <br />
          That's a tough one

          Comment


          • #6
            How thick is the diamondplate...???

            what are your machine settings & setup...?? amps... balance... tungsten... argon... frequency.......?????????????

            plate butt spacing..??
            Last edited by H80N; 08-07-2016, 09:20 PM.
            .

            *******************************************
            The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

            “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

            Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

            My Blue Stuff:
            Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
            Dynasty 200DX
            Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
            Millermatic 200

            TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

            Comment


            • #7
              The galvalume surprisingly welds to the diamond plate flooring, not pretty and perfect but it can run a grimy bead., used it to keep the floor down at the entrance, welded it straight to the lower floor where the lip comes up to meet the threshold.

              I thought about welding to the lower floor, problem was the floor lifting off the foam underneath, if I welded it to the floor and then the lower floor started pulling off the foam in that area, I would be really screwed. I also thought about riveting it to the lower floor but same concern, it might lift off as whatever adhesive under the galvalume floor, holding it to the foam would burn.

              Im running a Dynasty 200 at 120 A, 17 cu. ft/h flow of Argon. 40 pene / 60 clean balance, E3 3/32" tungsten, 100 Hz.

              Butt spacing was nice and flush, complete butt with no gap.
              if there's a welder, there's a way

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Olivero View Post
                The galvalume surprisingly welds to the diamond plate flooring, not pretty and perfect but it can run a grimy bead., used it to keep the floor down at the entrance, welded it straight to the lower floor where the lip comes up to meet the threshold.

                I thought about welding to the lower floor, problem was the floor lifting off the foam underneath, if I welded it to the floor and then the lower floor started pulling off the foam in that area, I would be really screwed. I also thought about riveting it to the lower floor but same concern, it might lift off as whatever adhesive under the galvalume floor, holding it to the foam would burn.

                Im running a Dynasty 200 at 120 A, 17 cu. ft/h flow of Argon. 40 pene / 60 clean balance, E3 3/32" tungsten, 100 Hz.

                Butt spacing was nice and flush, complete butt with no gap.
                Welding galvalume coated steel to aluminum....??? I don't think so... you might be sticking it together in some fashion but it would not be a weld... plus a lot of noxious white smoke.... as you boil the zinc coating off of the steel sheet

                Between that galvalume... foam insulation etc.... this does NOT look like an application for welding at all.... I would be looking at a flexible urathane adhesive like 3M™ Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200 or SIKAFLEX....

                http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...3241623&rt=rud

                http://usa.sika.com/en/automotive/au...me/01a006.html
                Last edited by H80N; 08-08-2016, 08:25 AM.
                .

                *******************************************
                The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                My Blue Stuff:
                Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                Dynasty 200DX
                Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                Millermatic 200

                TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, the floor is specified as galvalume, not sure if it actually is, when I cut it apart it looked a lot more like aluminum than steel. Bally specified it as Galvalume but you never know. Either way, there was no white smoke or albino cob webs forming but it smelled really nasty, even through my respirator but still, did weld in the end so its very possible its not actually galvalume. Its a grimy puddle but its a puddle all-right.

                  And no, welding the original flooring is not feasible at all as its above the foam pad, the section I welded to the plate was raised so it was not a problem as nothing was below it, but it is extremely dirty metal after years of rough use.

                  So I think we can determine that welding the new floor to the old floor is a no-go.
                  if there's a welder, there's a way

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've done a lot of floor plates mostly 1/8" steel diamond plate and a bunch of thin sheet metal. If you don't have a gap between the sheets as you weld them the shrinkage will make the seam pucker up. the thinner the material the worse the warp. For 1/8" Material I would gap it 1/16 to 3/32. On an 8' seam I'd put a 1/4" tack about every 2'. Then come back and put another 1/4" tack centered on the first tacks. Now iI would do 3" welds centered between the tacks but I would jump around. Like first weld at the 6" mark then move 2' weld, move 2' weld, and so on. Then come back to the 18" mark and start again. This spreads the heat and allows the part to cool so you don't have over lapping heat zones. And your boss was right the floor looks good.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hey Oldgrandad,

                      That's what I did, I put a serious amount of tacks on the plate and was jumping around from one end to the other, then changing to the second seam making sure to stay away from previous welds until they cooled. Spend 8 or 9 hours in the room total, let everything cool and settle as much as time allowed for as they needed it back up and running that night.

                      Do you have warpage on the floors you did? Mine was 3/16" with pretty much no gap at all.

                      I guess my question really is if there is always going to be a warp? I can't really imagine anything being welded without changing its physical state slightly and all you can really do is try to reduce the damage as much as possible and end up with as little warping as possible. OR is there a way to make it so there is no warp?
                      if there's a welder, there's a way

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sounds like you did it all correct. we do get a small amount of warp when do the floors. The first ones we did, we butted the sheets with no gap. It was bad. After the first one we started gaping the plates before tacking and reduced the warp by 90%.

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                        • #13
                          Okay, guess I will keep that lesson in mind for next time.

                          Thank you.
                          if there's a welder, there's a way

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