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New MAXAL 4943 Aluminum Filler Alloy

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Looking for more strength out of your aluminum welds? Check out the latest aluminum filler alloy – the 4943 filler from MAXAL.

The new 4943 filler has exceptional gains in strength over 4043 filler and can be used anywhere 4043 was used and more.  This includes the 1XXX series, 3XXX series, 6XXX series and 5XXX series with 2.5 percent Mg or less, like the popular 5052 alloy.

Features include up to 40 percent gains in fillet weld strength, the ability to be heat treated (where 4043 cannot), and is ideal for A356 castings.  In the racing world, we’ve used it on spoilers, brake ducting, intake manifolds and tubing, radiators, oil tanks and even aluminum heads.

Higher strength means you can use smaller weld beads and less filler.  The Dynasty® series of welders can maximize applications using 4943.  The adjustable wave shape can give you the narrow arc focus and increase in total penetration, and the 4943 filler will add to the joint strength.

The savings in weld time and material deposition easily make up for the slightly higher cost of the 4943 over 4043, plus you gain strength and heat treat ability.

The only real limitation, which is no different than 4043, is that it does not color match well during anodizing.

Ask a dealer about trying the new MAXAL 4943 filler.

Andy Weyenberg
Motorsports Marketing Manager

What do you need to start welding Aluminum?

Friday, February 1st, 2013

If you already own a MIG welder, you may be wondering what it takes to start using that machine to weld some aluminum. Miller® has continued to provide spool gun solutions that are simple and directly connect to your welder for welding aluminum. This makes changing to aluminum faster and less expensive than you may think.

First, you’re going to need a spool gun. Why another gun? Well, the column strength or the amount you can push on Aluminum wire without buckling is only about one-third the amount that mild steel wire can withstand. This causes feeding issues if you try to push the aluminum through a standard MIG torch. Spool guns only push the wire a short distance in a straight line from the drive rolls, so feeding isn’t compromised. The Spoolmate™ 100 Series spool gun is a direct connect option for the Millermatic® 140 Auto-Set™, 180 Auto-Set and 211 Auto-Set with MVP MIG welders, and the Multimatic™ 200 MIG/TIG/Stick welder. The Spoolmate™ 200 Series spool gun is the entry level spool gun for the Millermatic 212 Auto-Set and Millermatic 252 MIG welders. For the more industrial user, the Spoolmatic® 15A or 30A guns are a better fit on those machines.

The next thing you’re going to need is different shielding gas. Aluminum requires 100 percent argon shielding gas. Any shielding gas containing oxygen will cause an unstable arc with impurities when welding Aluminum.

Finally, you will need to be sure you have good MIG welding technique.  Aluminum requires you to push the torch to ensure effective shielding gas coverage. Everything else in your technique is the same as welding mild steel, but at a faster pace. Due to the high thermal properties of Aluminum, more heat is required to start a molten puddle. This increased amount of heat then requires a higher travel speed once the puddle is established to prevent burn through. Aluminum MIG welding doesn’t have to be difficult with the appropriate equipment and some practice.

Cotati Speed Shop, Miller Use Diversion™ 180 to Create Aluminum Air Pan for ’48 F1 Ford Pickup

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

In this video, I used a Diversion™ 180 TIG welder to create an aluminum air pan for a ’48 F1 Ford pickup truck. In this video, you’ll see that I also demonstrate how to weld with different material thicknesses. As always, make sure you start with clean material. I am using 5356 aluminum filler for this particular project, but cut it in half for easier use. When you’re welding with materials with different thicknesses, the Diversion™ 180 is an ideal welder for the DIYer because of its ability to let you easily dial in the material type and thickness on the machine. When working with thinner aluminum material, consider skipping welds to prevent warpage and evenly distribute the heat. An example of skip welding would be making a one-in weld and then skipping six-inches before making the next one-in weld. When skip welding, try using silicone filler to create a better seal. Another tip to remember when using different material thicknesses is to preheat. In this video, the ½-in plate is outside maximum capability of machine. To get around it, preheat the thicker material to make it easier for puddle to wet out.

John Swartz
TIG Commercial Product Manager