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Avoiding porosity when welding aluminum

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Porosity is a common problem when welding aluminum that has not been properly prepared. It is often caused by the presence of trapped contaminants in the porous layer of aluminum oxide on the metal’s surface. For the best results, this layer and any associated contamination must be removed prior to welding.  This can be done in three simple steps:

  1. Degrease: Use acetone or denatured alcohol and a lint free rag to remove any hydrocarbons and moisture that may be present on the surface.
  2. Mechanically remove the oxide: This can be accomplished by scraping, cutting or milling without cutting fluids or by using a clean stainless steel brush. (Never use an abrasive. Most are made from aluminum oxide itself and all can leave foreign material imbedded in your base metal)
  3. Degrease again: Repeating the process of step 1 will take care of any remaining oils that may be present.

*ALWAYS store flammable substances safely away from the weld zone and be certain any degreasing agents have fully evaporated from the workpiece before you begin welding.

*NEVER use any cleaners or degreasers that contain chlorine or chlorinated hydrocarbons in or near your weld zone. Harmful chemical compounds can be released when such cleaners are used in conjunction with welding processes.

Devan DePauw

Welding Engineer

TIG Solutions

Top 10 Mistakes in Running a Welding Operation and Simple Ways to Solve Them

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Running a welding business/department isn’t easy – we’ve compiled 10 of the most common pitfalls people make and easy ways to avoid them in this article.

Here’s the top 5 – check out the article for the rest:

1: Improper filler metal storage

2: Repurposing old equipment

3: Using the wrong sized MIG gun

4: Improper preheat or interpass temperature control

5: Ignoring preventative maintenance