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  • Aluminum Help Please

    Can anyone please give me some suggestions as I am new at this. I tried running a few beads on some 1/8 6061. I cleaned the plate with a scotch bright hand pad, then wiped it clean. I'm using 3/32 Ceriated (sharp point), CFH@13, 3/32 4043 filler. NO.6 cup (no gas lens). I'm curious why the bead was coming out so wide? they're anywere from 1/4 to almost 3/8" wide. They are also very dirty, I could see black stuff floating in as I dipped the filler (not sure if this was coming from the parent material or filler), and they even feel rough or gritty. I tried the the balance at 20 and then 10 for max penetration, 125 - 150 A, and tried 100 to 125 hz. I noticed as I pull the electrode away from the part, the arc widens, how close should the electrode be held to the part? Any help would be great.
    Attached Files
    ---Machinist playing weldor---
    TA 185 AC/DC

  • #2
    TIG likes a short arc, try for 1/8" or less. A #6 cup is pretty small for learning, try a #8 if space allows. Stickout is more important with alum, 1/8" with a #8 cup. A gas lens is more forgiving with stickout. The black peppering is probably from contamination. More penetration = less cleaning; however don't go to 'full' cleaning without any penetration.

    CFH is good and 3/32" filler is too.

    A wide bead is either too hot or too slow.

    What welder? Do you have a pedal or is this lift arc; etc? If you'd like, you can jump up to User CP at the top left of the page and fill in you signature with this info.
    RETIRED desk jockey.

    Hobby weldor with a little training.

    Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

    Miller Syncrowave 250.
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    • #3
      Aluminum Help

      Ok, that all sounds good. So where do you think the contamination is coming from? Stickout was probably about 1/4" or less, but not 1/8. So less amps will give a narrower bead? what about penetration? I read another thread where the guy was saying he believed his 4043 was causing the problem, that 5356 made the difference? Sorry about that, I'll fill the User CP out here shortly. Its a thermal arc 185 AC/DC. ( I wanted a Dynasty, but $$) running HF. My main concern here would be to find out where the contamination is coming from, could it be the tungsten maybe, I dont think i dipped it or touched the filler on it. Does the angle of the point affect the arc in anyway, or bead shape?
      ---Machinist playing weldor---
      TA 185 AC/DC

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
        Ok, that all sounds good. So where do you think the contamination is coming from?
        Well, a week ago, I thought I knew. Now I don't. Alum seems to be a mystery metal.
        Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
        Stickout was probably about 1/4" or less, but not 1/8.
        Tonight I tried making the tungsten flush with the end of the cup; zero stickout, and it worked fine. Stickout is highly dependant on the weld layout (butt, open butt, lap, fillet, etc) and position (vert, horiz, flat, etc)
        Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
        So less amps will give a narrower bead?
        Yes, as will faster travel speed.
        Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
        What about penetration?
        I can't answer this without infusing my perceptions; which maybe diluted.
        Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
        I read another thread where the guy was saying he believed his 4043 was causing the problem, that 5356 made the difference?
        I can't tell the difference, which disappoints me. 4043 turns black when anodized and 5356 doesn't like temperatures above 150* (after welding, like a cylinder head).
        Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
        Sorry about that, I'll fill the User CP out here shortly. Its a thermal arc 185 AC/DC. ( I wanted a Dynasty, but $$) running HF.
        The TA is a good choice.
        Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
        My main concern here would be to find out where the contamination is coming from,
        Yep, you, me and a thousand other guys.
        Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
        could it be the tungsten maybe,
        If the tungsten doesn't have a glob of alum, just above the ground taper, probably not. Notice the arc color of a freshly ground tungsten (pale yellow), if that color changes, grind your Tu.
        Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
        I dont think i dipped it or touched the filler on it.
        If you haven't dipped it (filler or base metal), you're ok.
        Originally posted by RCGRT View Post
        Does the angle of the point affect the arc in anyway, or bead shape?
        Yes, a sharp point = a shallower weld. A blunt point = a deeper weld. It's somewhere on Arc-Zone.com, but I can't find it.
        Last edited by Craig in Denver; 05-12-2009, 11:55 PM.
        RETIRED desk jockey.

        Hobby weldor with a little training.

        Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

        Miller Syncrowave 250.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          you are running it too slow. I like to run it hot and fast.

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          • #6
            Wipe your filler rods down with acetone before using them. They oxidize just like any other AL.

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            • #7
              Alum. Help

              Is the oxidation on the filler rods something that cannot be seen? As they are fairly new and appeary very shiny and clean?
              ---Machinist playing weldor---
              TA 185 AC/DC

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              • #8
                Alum Help

                Well I have tried all that was suggested above. The bead still appears very grity like, and not shiny at all. Also on my last pass I noticed the very tip of the tungsten was a very clear purple-ish blue color, right on the very tip, above that turned a bit yellowish gold. Whats up with that?
                ---Machinist playing weldor---
                TA 185 AC/DC

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                • #9
                  Not long enough of a post flow time...the tungsten is gettin contaminated by atmospheric air before it cools completely off.
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                  • #10
                    your to cold turn it up :with a #7 or #8 cup

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                    • #11
                      try a different filler, like 5356.
                      i had the exact problem using 4043 filler, the bead looking sandy, but when i used the 5356 filler the bead looked perfect.

                      leonard
                      SyncrowaveŽ 200
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                      • #12
                        Alum. Help

                        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.
                        Attached Files
                        ---Machinist playing weldor---
                        TA 185 AC/DC

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                        • #13
                          try less torch angle it looks to me like your burning the filler rod off before it gets in the gas shield.

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                          • #14
                            Alum. Help

                            Spence648 -

                            Thanks, that is something I have not tried yet. So lets say the torch is held perfectly perpendicular to the part, the filler should be dipped straight into the leading side of the puddle just in front of the arc?

                            Thanks
                            ---Machinist playing weldor---
                            TA 185 AC/DC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              yes. from the torch at a 90 on the work piece. titlt it back 15 to 20 degrees or so, and add the filler just like you stated. if your at 45 degree angle or so that is too much and you will melt the filler before it makes it to the gas. result will be contaminated puddle as soon as it reaches the piece. if you watch while doing this you can see the black specs flow right from the rod to the puddle. i see you said you noticed the arc gets wider the farther away you get with the electrode. this is because on a tig welder the volts are controlled by arc distance. the farther you get the volts go up and you get more heat.

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