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  • #16
    Alum. Help

    Spence648 -

    Thanks, Yes that is what I am seeing, little black stuff floating right in as I was dipping. Have you read the thread "Aluminum Filler" ? They are saying that there is something in the 4043 that gives it that sandy appearance. And 5356 does better. Also read there that the inverter machines seem to cause this as well. Or that you have to move pretty fast. ???
    ---Machinist playing weldor---
    TA 185 AC/DC

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    • #17
      are you still getting the sandy look. i use 4043 all the time and do get it once in a while but not all the time. ive noticed it appears real bad when the piece is getting too hot. you dont want to overheat aluminum as it will become soft and weak. if you over heat it to much it will turn a yellowish tint and be dead soft. also ive found that cheap filler rods tend to do it more too. for a quality 4043 filler rod or any series i strongly recomend alcotec. but for practicing dont be afraid to play around with cheap stuff. practice heat control on a few beads to get a feel for what the aluminum will do. run one too hot,run one too cold, just to see the difference. keep in mind that a small piece like in your pics will heat up very quickly then need less amps to weld.

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      • #18
        Alum. Help

        Spence648 -

        Thanks, I'll try that.
        ---Machinist playing weldor---
        TA 185 AC/DC

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        • #19
          cloudy aluminium tig welds again?

          Please check Fabman's thread and see what i wrote him on cleanlyness.The work pieces and filler rods must be chemicaly cleaned to remove oils and grease.They must be brushed with a stainless steel wire brush that you ONLY ude on aluminium.And then use a clean rag with a little chemical(lacquer thinner)to remove the oxy dust from the brushing.Dont use a regular steel brush,the steel bristles have oils on them that will end your hopes of good welds.The tungsten must be clean and not have touched the work.If there is contact with the work or filler rods stop and regrind the electrode.While you're in there clean the inside of the cup and wipe the diffuser for good measure.If your 100% argon or argon/helium mix is set for good coverage and the machine is also set right things should improve.As for filler rods being new,well there new to you but may have been made for a while and sat in the store for months so...clean and brush them too until they feel harder to brush.The resistance means you've gone through the oxydation.Frank
          Millermatic 252
          Millermatic 180
          Dynasty 200DX
          Hobart spoolmate 3035
          Digital Elite

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          • #20
            Originally posted by GerryR View Post
            Wipe your filler rods down with acetone before using them. They oxidize just like any other AL.
            That is a very good answer that I never thought about.. TY I'm welding cast alum to 6061 and they don't like each other. So I run my tig on 220 amps and preheat the cast until I think it is going to fall out..and then come up on the 6061 plate and make it run into the cast!!

            Snowman6058

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            • #21
              Alum. Help

              Frank -

              Thanks, that all makes alot of sense. As soon as I have some time I will try all of the suggestions. I did wipe the filler down with acetone. But all I have for now is a #6 cup with no gas lens. I'm also guessing if there is any truth to over heating the part, that I may have been doing so, as it was a very small part. Maybe I'm just moving to slow...? Thanks agian. and thanks to everyone for all the helpfull suggestions.
              ---Machinist playing weldor---
              TA 185 AC/DC

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              • #22
                what i like to do when practicing on small strips, (1/8 x 3 x 4), i lay down one bead, then set it aside, laying down single beads on about 3 or 4 more strips, then go back and lay another bead on the first strip once it has cooled.
                that way i wont overheat the aluminum.

                leonard
                SyncrowaveŽ 200
                Lincoln AC/DC 225/125
                Lincoln Weld Pak 100 wire feed

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
                  FABMAN -

                  That is exactly what i tried. It still appears very sandy/gritty??? Here is a new pic with the 5356.

                  Thanks to all, for all the suggetions.
                  It loooks like there isnt much cleaning ( white area next to the weld edge), that should be about .100 to 1/8", It appears to me to be contamination.
                  I use a gas lens for everything, it gives better gas coverage. Keep stickout to a minimum as well, also torch angle at about 10 -15 degrees.

                  The coupon looks very small, so your heat may be too high as well, experiment with lowering heat some and try it again.

                  mike sr
                  mike sr

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                  • #24
                    Fabman -

                    Good idea on swapping parts out to allow for cooling. I'll do so next time I practice. Thanks

                    Popspipes -

                    Looks like I need to pick up a gas lens collet body, everywhere I read that is pretty much what is recommended. On the cleaning issue, I tried the machine at 10% and then 20% which is leaning more towards penetration and less cleaning if I understand how it works correctly. Next time I will try setting it more towards cleaning, I believe the machine stops at 65%. From what everyone is saying it sounds like the 4043 is the cause of the sandy look. Thanks for the suggestions!
                    ---Machinist playing weldor---
                    TA 185 AC/DC

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                    • #25
                      The cleaning in the photo didnt look like it was enough, that will give a dirty or contaminated looking bead as well, the puddle should look shiny, if it gets cloudy its too hot.
                      The gas lens makes the flow of the gas more even and keeps down the turbulence which mixes in air and contaminates the weld.

                      The gas lens and cups are available at weldingdepot.com.

                      The gas lens works well on stainless, that was the reason I started using them.

                      4043 does look sandy most of the time.

                      You do know that aluminum isnt the easiest thing to weld all the time, sometimes it runs perfect and other times not so good....... ha!!

                      mike sr
                      mike sr

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                      • #26
                        sometimes i have my tungsten out 1/4" past the cup at 45 degree angle with no problems
                        add about 5 amps at a time & see what happens......allot of people weld to COLD on aluminum,,,it should flow into the sides....sometimes i weld all day & never use a gas lens,they work but way to bulky for tight spots...turn your balance up...just 5 at a time until you get it right...

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                        • #27
                          popspipes -

                          Thanks again. I will for sure get some. Yeah, a few have said the same thing about the part getting too hot. I will have to play with it to get a feel for it. If my part is say, 1/8 thick, (2"x4"). How many amps would you suggest? Also, at the start of the bead, should I start out pushing right to max heat, or should the heat be eased into at all? Also, how long do you suggest for post flow time on an example such as this?
                          ---Machinist playing weldor---
                          TA 185 AC/DC

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                          • #28
                            thunder71 -

                            Thanks. It seems almost as if it needs more heat, yet not "sit" on it or let the part get too hot. Good info on the gas lens, its always good to know that other people have done things differently and still achieved good results. Others have said the balance needs to go up as well, on the cleaning side. I didnt realize the balance alone would make that much difference, but I will certainly try it. Thanks again
                            ---Machinist playing weldor---
                            TA 185 AC/DC

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                            • #29
                              as far as the post flow. you want the gas to flow long enough for the tungsten to cool down. if your gas quits before the tungsten cools it will turn colors. so the more amps you weld with you will need more post flow time. like others stated on here aluminum should be shiny after you weld it. if its real dull and white looking its to cold, and on the other hand the cloudy look is to much heat. the best thing to do is just experiment. amperage will vary depending on your welding style. say someone who likes to just press the pedal all the way down and hold it there will have machine set lower than someone who like to pulse the pedal. you have alot of of people giving you good advice, try to remeber it and experiment the next time you are welding. when i was stating before about torch angle i was primarly talking about if the heat is to high while adding fill at this angle you can melt your filler out of the gas sheild. go ahead and give it a try. theres nothing wrong with making bad welds to learn from them on what will happen.

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                              • #30
                                spence648 -

                                Thanks again, all sounds like really good info, and I will definately give it all a try.
                                ---Machinist playing weldor---
                                TA 185 AC/DC

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