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"Sandy" aluminum Tig welds...wtf is going on here?!

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  • "Sandy" aluminum Tig welds...wtf is going on here?!

    Hey guys, having this annoying issue of getting sandy looking welds in these corner welds I'm doing..but yet I'm getting welds on the outside.. everything is CLEAN..using 5356 rod on 6061..I did a little preheat with a torch..using 2% ceriated (gray) tungsten..tried a #8 gas lens cup as well as a standard #5..gas is set around 40..

    Please check out the pictures and if anyone knows wtf is going wrong please let me know, this is driving me nuts!!

    Thanks
    Chuck
    Charlie S.
    Miller AlumaPower 450 MPa
    Lincoln cv-300
    Miller Dynasty 400

  • #2
    Wiping the rods and parts with Acetone? What does it look like with 4043? maybe bad Argon. I bet 4943 Hobart wire would weld sweet...Bob
    Bob Wright

    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

    Comment


    • #3
      Not that you asked for my opinion, but If you did, I'd say the inside corners are sucking heat like crazy, your balance control could use adjustment, and with Aluminum that heavy, use Helium. 40 anything seems a little high?
      If I was asking questions, I ask what size of tungsten? How far is it sticking out? How's it prepped? How close or far are yoWhat's your frequency? And where is the balance set? Assuming you are running straight Argon, and have a pretty sweet wire feed set up, why not it instead of GTAW?

      Comment


      • #4
        We've talked about the grainy appearance here before and I've inquired about it outside of this forum. Haven't found a solid explanation. I believe it was Galen with Hobart that gave us not so much an answer but insured us the welds are most likely sound, minus the grainy appearance. I notice it more often with inverter machines, but it may just be me looking for a reason why inverter machines aren't as good as the old stuff. I agree with Noel though, 40 of whatever you're reading sounds high to me too, provided we're talking about your flow meter.

        What have you ruled out so far so we don't have to play 20 questions?

        Outside of that, I have no earthly idea what causes the grainy appearance on certain weldments.

        Comment


        • #5


          http://www.fabricatingandmetalworking.com/2011/09/10-common-tig-problems-and-solutions/

          This article should answer most of the questions. Except maybe, what's too hot?
          Once again I'm going to start talking, I'm just saying to those follow along, it might go some where eventually?

          I said the welds looked cold. Not to be mean or anything, but I blew the picture up.
          Toes of those fillets had some problems. Looks like lack of fusion? Mild cold lap in the odd area?
          It doesn't appear as a flowing puddle, it looks, melt, cool in progression and melt again? I'm not saying they're not fused and penetrating...Just saying every drop was well melted?

          Mildly, you were squeezing milk from a dry cow. That heat was sucking away so fast through thermal conductivity, reducing some of that cleaning action would have been a good start putting some heating back into the plate, but it can be confusing?
          While I'm not sure if you understand fully the role it plays, how and why, but it had a hard time melting inside that corner because some of that was due to your vast cleaning action? My opinion? You did weld it..., but it almost wasn't enough being focused to do it?

          So if it's too cold in my opinion and the grainy appearance is because of too hot, what's up with that? Well...your hovering over it for so long spreading heat out that it takes forever for a spot in the middle to actually heat up enough to melt, let alone melt deeply because all that heat is being sucked away. Then you add a drop of filler and it chills that heated surface but you melt it, move ahead and you do it all again. Only thing getting hot is that boiled droplet being re-blended reheated re-blended as you crawl along?

          Now I could be wrong. I could be....?
          That's where we're at, the eventually going somewhere moment. I'm not. Speaking from experience, as I've discovered in pushing limits with my 250Syncrowave? I think I describe that experience to a tee?
          As far as that grainy surface appearance, long arc length is another way to get it. Tungsten extended to far? And at 40 something, well that's a little wind storm? I didn't look close at the specs on the Dynasty400 to see if it had funky wave form and frequency controls? But like they say, no substitute for cubic inches?

          I understand it like this, excessive surface heating introduces hydrogen pulling it from a agitated solution, thus like a pot hold heat keeping the product boiling, the outside surface skims in cooling first before the liquid internal area trapping the gases trying to escape? Something like that? All those little blisters, small gas pockets trying to escape?

          I'm not sure if there is a magic moment in all this typing, but it's how I see it?


          Comment


          • #6
            You haven't told us enough to help.
            One thing for sure that smut on the edge of the cleaning is telling something. I think it's a combination of things.
            Tell us more.
            How big is your filler rod? 1/8th would be good and so would the tungsten (1/8).
            With that dirt you either touched the tungsten and kept on welding or you have bad gas or a contaminated gas lens.
            Also looks like you are not getting correct dilution between base and filler.
            That's about all I got with what you posted up.

            www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
            Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
            MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
            Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
            Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

            Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
            Miller 30-A Spoolgun
            Miller WC-115-A
            Miller Spectrum 300
            Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
            Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

            Comment


            • #7
              Well I definitely got a lot more of response than I expected but here's the gaps in my question I can fill in for you quick..

              First off, yes technically my gas is set high..but my shop has us all piped in together for argon, with an old out dated system and I'm at the end of the line, so keeping it set to 40, gives me results as if they were set more around 30. Also I have no access to a helium mix..

              Tungsten size is 3/32s with 1/16th filler..I need to keep the weld size between 5/32-1/4..
              Also I need to keep it gtaw and with 5356 for customer specs and for anodizing purposes..

              Cleaning with acetone, scotch bright and wire brush

              My balance is set at 75% freq is at 120% and running about 250 amps.
              Charlie S.
              Miller AlumaPower 450 MPa
              Lincoln cv-300
              Miller Dynasty 400

              Comment


              • #8
                It's a wonder it welded at all, let alone that good.
                Gas should be normally around 15 so drop to 20.
                Like I said earlier 1/8th tungsten. Filler should be 1/8th for that too.
                I can tell you are move WAY too slow because your etch line is HUGE for 125 frequency.
                Making those changes and moving faster will help immensely.
                Any time you touch your tungsten you must stop and sharpen it, plus clean the weld if it got touched or the filler rod too.
                You could use those setting and sizes but you would need to be very well experienced to make it happen successfully. Plus the tungsten would simply burn away too fast and you can't feed the rod fast enough. But you also have way too high of gas flow.... unless you are rich. You need to just barely feel it flow when its up to your face. or get a flow checker for your torch.

                www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                Miller WC-115-A
                Miller Spectrum 300
                Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                Comment


                • #9
                  Alright cool, I'll give that a try..gotta say I've never heard of having your gas that low..but I'll definitely be trying it..

                  Some of you guys will have to forgive the ignorance on some these topics..never had much of any formal education in welding, just been learning as I go for years and years now..and I'm certain I've picked up my fair share of bad habits and misinformation. So I truly appreciate any real information I can gather, especially when it's given without a sense of attitude or degradation.

                  Cheers
                  Charlie S.
                  Miller AlumaPower 450 MPa
                  Lincoln cv-300
                  Miller Dynasty 400

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Like FusionKing mentioned try 1/8th tungsten and I would drop your frequency down to 60 to put more heat into the base metal.
                    Pete

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pgk View Post
                      Like FusionKing mentioned try 1/8th tungsten and I would drop your frequency down to 60 to put more heat into the base metal.
                      Pete
                      I believe you have the functions of frequency and balance confused.

                      Griff

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree on dropping the frequency. FusionKing is The Man on aluminum. Charlie, if I was you, I wouldn't do anything else until I made the adjustments he advised and tried it again. Also, are you using a regular ceramic cup or a gas lense?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by griff01 View Post

                          I believe you have the functions of frequency and balance confused.

                          Griff
                          Thanks Griff,
                          But I'm not confused at all, I know exactly what the functions of frequency and balance are.
                          Pete

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Charliebuckets1 View Post
                            Alright cool, I'll give that a try..gotta say I've never heard of having your gas that low..but I'll definitely be trying it..

                            Some of you guys will have to forgive the ignorance on some these topics..never had much of any formal education in welding, just been learning as I go for years and years now..and I'm certain I've picked up my fair share of bad habits and misinformation. So I truly appreciate any real information I can gather, especially when it's given without a sense of attitude or degradation.

                            Cheers

                            Bad habits and misinformation. Me to. Plenty.
                            I can assure you though, formal education isn't always the answer. It's been my documented experience that a class room setting holds less of a value if the individual has a desire to learn, then if a person has less the desire and more a need to be directed into learning enough.

                            Forgive us our sins. Admittedly, we all have our moments of shame where expressing an opinion, becomes an expression of attitude, which becomes apparent or more obvious? When tones of expressing comment appear degrading, or perceivably as such, in the words as written.

                            Not making excuses or apologies, admitting guilt or innocence, my best advice is don't take it personally. It's the internet. Keep asking questions.

                            https://forum.millerwelds.com/forum/...ocesses-set-up

                            Can you believe I read this? Checked out the links, read a bit more, and went back and read some again. I wanted to confirm that any further reply regarding what you might do, try, and me explain why made sense in the fewest words typed.
                            Hence the link.

                            I've asked a lot of question in my life time. Some of them seemed pretty dumb to some people. Some of those people were pretty upset that I sought out other opinions? I'm still asking questions.

                            You and others will learn in spite of us. Isn't that good news? I thinks so. If you, me or others want to learn it's out there. But it never hurts to ask a question? Nor is it a reason not to seek further knowledge.

                            So...to cover a few moot points, are you using a regulator flow meter or a regulator to regulated pressure gauge? It was previously asked about nozzle, I'll ask about size of the cup being used? Do you get why the suggestion was made to switch to a larger tungsten? Do you see the relation between +/- values and balance control? How frequency adjustment effects the directing of electrical current travel? I didn't hear it mentioned so as well I wanted to bring it up, what wave form are you using?

                            I hope you return with some answers. Why? Because I think you should be able to weld it and have it looking pretty. That's a Dynasty 400. It's needs you to dial it in properly knowing how it works and functions. You do that and soon enough you'll need a bigger helmet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pgk View Post

                              Thanks Griff,
                              But I'm not confused at all, I know exactly what the functions of frequency and balance are.
                              Pete
                              Great!

                              Griff
                              Last edited by griff01; 11-08-2018, 09:21 AM.

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