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Welding Die-Cast Zinc Alloys?

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  • Welding Die-Cast Zinc Alloys?

    I've been lurking here for a while and just signed up to throw my 2 cents in recently. So now that I'm here (and to head off any ideas that I don't learn something new every day), I have a question for some of the more experienced welders.

    I'm sure that almost all of us have encountered broken die-castings. Not unusual since some have a ductile-brittle transition temperature not far below room temp. Has anyone got any tips/tricks for welding die-castings of high zinc content alloys like Zamac (ZAMAK)? I tried once some time ago... TIG welding/argon/various tungstens/polarities/etc and all I got was a crappy weld because it would pop and spit out metal before I could even develop a real puddle.

    I assume it was the zinc vaporizing before the other stuff (Al/Mg/Cu) was even halfway to their melting point. Being unable to weld inside of an atmosphere of 20 tons per square inch to keep the zinc from volatizing, I gave up. But I revisited this question last week when someone brought a GM tilt steering column to me that cracked when the 4 bolts deep inside backed out and let the wheel thump back and forth.

    I know this stuff used to get soldered with a special Cadmium alloy solder (EXTREMELY dangerous/toxic) but that's out of the question. Anyone recommend different gas, particular tungsten, AC squarewave, AC sinusoidal, particular balance, glovebox atmospere?

    80% of failures are from 20% of causes
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  • #2
    I've always been told it can't be done.


    • #3 makes a torch repair rod for zinc aka potmetal. I have some and its Royal Kirkrod and it works pretty good. You see those guys at the flea markets/swap meets repairing junk and selling their brand of rod and they do a good job of fixing non critical parts. Royal Kirkrod 18" & 36" For Torch or Tig to Repair Zinc Based Metals..Bob
      Last edited by aametalmaster; 02-28-2008, 06:45 PM.
      Bob Wright

      Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.


      • #4
        Die Cast Welding

        It was commonly done years ago. I myself have welded up a few of the older carb castings.I have a page scanned from one of my old welding books, but I cant get the file size small enough to post. If anyone wants it PM me with your address. In short you can use the aladdin filler rods with a OA torch, about a 3x carburizing flame and working the oxides out as you go. It can also be soldered usually with aluminum solders such as the ones sold by Brazing Technologies Group.

        "Better Metalworking Through Research"

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