No announcement yet.

I Need Help With Anodized Aluminum Pipe.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I Need Help With Anodized Aluminum Pipe.

    I know this is a Motorsports Forum, but I would be interested to see what is recommended for anodized aluminun pipe.

    Last year I went to work for a marine top builder and have received mixed ideas on how the DX300 should be setup for the anodized process using 4043. I have considered trying 5356.

    I have played with the settings for quite some time now and have had fair success at getting a clean weld using bump weld method. I have seen quite a bit of the competitions work. much is far worse, and few have welds so beautiful I get all.....never mind....

    here are the current settings I am using. any suggestions please??

    AC Bal. EN-44
    Peak Time-48%
    Initial A-270
    Initial slope-.04
    Final slope-.02
    Final A-30
    "Welders Do It In All Positions"

  • #2
    I'd cut out the pulse completely. I find that on AC, it does me no good at all, but confuse me about how much actual heat input.

    I have welded a little marine stuff, and when they want it anodized, they ALWAYS had me use 5356. I was told that the anodizing doesn't stick to 4043 (either at all or as well, I dunno). 5356 is a bit harder to get used to, but after you do, you may even prefer it over 4043.

    ...and post up some pics!!


    • #3
      if its going to be anodized use 5356 as 4043 will turn black when anodizing . if your welding anodized tube you should remove the anodizing in the weld area .there may be some other rods ppl reccomend but this is all i pretty much use so this is what i reccomend .well ive never used the 300 but if you are welding manually why do you need the slope and initial amperage etc.. seems to me it would make things more difficult also i assume your using a foot or hand control .
      Miller aerowave full feature
      Lincoln power mig 300 with prince gun
      dynasty 200 dx
      lincoln sp 135 plus
      302 trailblazer
      powcon starcut
      cp 400 metal spray


      • #4
        I also use the bump method when doing those tops. I don't use the pulser at all and set my amps by panal and use a push button for contactor control. I't nice to remove the anodized area at the joint first but in a production environment, and the complexity of the tops I made in the past, it wasn't worth it. Not sure how you so it but the welded tube isn't re-anodized anyway just painted with high quality silver paint. My settings are similar to yours but with my balance being around 50 and freq only at between 65 - 80. The look we were going for was a wider bead and at 230 on the freq, that would give way too tight of arc for our stuff. At that high of freq setting, you would have to use a bunch of amps to wet the puddle out wider and in a sense, working against the machine.

        Hope this helps



        • #5
          I used to pulse weld anodized with a high pulse frequency, but the beads were typically ripple free and gray in color. I changed to the method Andy uses with a simple hot start to form the puddle, add the filler, off the switch and repeat for the next puddle. I also use helium with my Dynasty set up for a solid hot start. This blows right through the anodized coating and produces a very nice bead.


          • #6
            Thanks, I'll give these ideas a shot this morning. I'll get it right one way or another... I'll need to get some 5356. I'll also get some pictures today and get them posted soon. Also, I have the hot start at 190amps (it gets through the anodize easily on start), I am using a micro contact switch at the torch. the slope settings were experimental and seemed to reduce porosity under bump weld conditions, and brightened up the weld. it seemed to float the anodization out of the puddle better, might just be my imagintion... we arent re-anodizing, just painting the welds. using mill aluminum and anodizing the finished product would be ideal, but wouldnt be cost effective. no one has a process that big anywhere near here that I am aware of.
            "Welders Do It In All Positions"


            • #7
              bump weld ???

              just wondering what the bump weld method is. i need all the help i can get when tigging al.


              • #8
                Sorry I havent had time to do any more testing, maybe I'll have a chance next week, and I get some pic's too.


                bump weld is for situations werein like with welding anodized, you need higher amperages to burn off and through the film as it is non conductive. this gives you far more amperage than needed to weld clean mill aliminum of the same thickness. so constant or even controlled lower amperage can make it tough to have a good bead width and do it in a reasonable amount of time. so you use amperage almost 2X the normal for a given thickness, and an on/off switching for your torch. trigger, clean, puddle, fill then stop, move forward, and repeat the process. however, you can reduce the amperage to where you get good cleaning, and move fast. but for tubing, normally by yhe time you get 1/2 way around, the joint can become too hot and you'll need to revert to bump to finish anyhow.
                "Welders Do It In All Positions"


                • #9
                  I use my 250 DX on the annodized without a pulse I start out at about 140-150 amps to start in a circular motion then when i see the coating strt to malt away I will start to feed wire in and then start to reduce the heat with my thumb control until it stops metting and move, I go with the 4043 on the annodized material and never had a problem. Also I use a pure tunsten 3/32" and also weld with t 3/32" wire.
                  Hope this helps Merry Christmass


                  • #10
                    K, I tried some of the recommendations above. Click the links below to see the results. there are 3 pieces welded with 3 setups. to me they are nearly indistinguishable. the closest one is with the settings I have posted here, the next is balance 50, freq 70. the back one is balance 50, freq 70, no pulse, 130 amps. all were with 5356.



                    Much may be just technique. my own settings allowed me to weld the fastest, but I was able to perform the task with all settings. what I was really looking for was a cleaner weld or a setting that would float the burnt anodize all the way to the edges of the weld or blow it out completely.
                    "Welders Do It In All Positions"


                    • #11
                      bump bump bump
                      "Welders Do It In All Positions"


                      • #12
                        That looks like a good result all the way around! I was wondering what diameter and wall thickness is normally used in these applications? Also, How does this method work on tube to tube joints where the notch meets the tube on the "longer" part of the notched tube? Expierience tells me that it is a matter of reading and controlling the puddle but I want to make sure I'm not missing a detail here. I have tried a couple of small repairs on some THIN anodized sheet with only limited success. Thanks, Jeff

                        By the way...All of this procedure and method discussion is always welcome. If you look back at this site you will see that very little "race car" talk but that everything here has application in the fabrication (read: racing industry) world. All things performance or otherwise are touched by an arc somewhere. As a racer and sometimes heavy equipment guy I really enjoy this forum every day!
                        My 2 cents worth...Jeff
                        200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot


                        • #13

                          Thanks! maybe I'm asking too much, but the darker gray is the burnt anodized and it just annoys me. I have seen welds on anodized that the burnt anodized is either completely gone, or it is floated out to the very edges.

                          the pipe is schedule 40 (about 1/8"). most of what we use is brushed, but this customer requested polished. coped joints are really no different and actually are much nicer in appearnce other than the burnt anodized. I just happened to be into this project when I remembered to get some pic's. I should be done with this in a day or two and I'll post some joint welds as soon as possible.
                          "Welders Do It In All Positions"


                          • #14
                            Nice results.

                            And nice quality pics too.



                            • #15
                              I have also worked in the marine industry. I would try using 60 freq. 72 balance and no pulse . I just prefer no pulse so that would be optional. As for gas I would use 50% argon /Helium mixture. I would also use 5356 filler it seems to hold up better in the marine enviroment.