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  • tig welding copper

    Does anybody care to share any wisdom on tigging copper?
    I have tried several times and I just cant seem to get a clean, un porous water proof bead.
    I haven't actually found any filler rod at my local weld supplies , but I have been stripping copper wire for filler rod.
    I have found that a high temp. to start out then lowering it once the plasma starts to flow seems to help.
    I am not back gassing.
    Help me out here?

  • #2
    You failed to mention what current you're trying to use, tungsten type/size, thickness of base metal nor shielding gas.

    I can tell you what works best for me. DC straight polarity, 2% thoriated tungsten and helium shielding gas. I haven't had to back shield anything yet but haven't welded copper pipe yet either. I've had success using scraps of copper wire as filler but prefer to use slivers of the base material if possible. Using the base material is especially necessary when you get into welding the copper/nickel alloys.
    Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

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    • #3
      Thanks Blondie.
      Yeah I forgot to say I am using 1/16" 2% thoriated tungstun with 100% argon. DC - at about 1oo amps to start out.
      The base thickness are variable because I am just playing with scrap peices and pipe fittings too.
      I eventually want to make a small holding tank and a fountain or water feature.
      I will try slivers for filler.

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      • #4
        Copper Welding

        Tig welding copper requires more heat than SS.

        The copper transfers heat almost like aluminum.

        You haven't given much detail on what you are welding but in general turn your heat up about 20 0 30 amps higher than you would for SS. Definitely use a back purge. Copper needs to be really clean. The puddle is sluggish and doesn't like to flow.

        You should be able to source Copper Nickel or Nickel Copper rod from any decent welding supplier - Ask for UTP brand.
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        • #5
          Actually copper is quite a bit better heat conductor than aluminum. Here are some numbers (I'm not sure exactly what the units mean) for comparison:
          Steel: 43 W/mK
          Alum: 250 W/mK
          Copper: 401 W/mK

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          • #6
            on pure copper your best to order some de-oxidized copper filler rod this should eliminate your porosity issues.
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            • #7
              tig welding copper

              when welding thicker pieces ,i always preheat,weld ac hi-freq. w/ straight helium, or helium/argon mix w/ balled tungsten.

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              • #8
                The fumes given off from copper welding are worse than a lot of other materials, be extra careful...
                "If you build it, they will come!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jrscgsr View Post
                  on pure copper your best to order some de-oxidized copper filler rod this should eliminate your porosity issues.
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...rary/tig.html#
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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the replies

                    Thanks guys.
                    Sorry for the delay in my reply.
                    that info was exactly what I was looking for.
                    De oxydized copper filler rods.
                    I had a discussion with my local weld supply rep today about a silicon bronze rod and he was going to send me a test sample to try but I will call him back tomorrow about the de ox rod.

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                    • #11
                      k

                      In physics, thermal conductivity, k, is the property of a material that indicates its ability to conduct heat. It primarily appears in Fourier's Law for heat conduction. Thermal conductivity is measured in watt per kelvin per metre (WK−1m−1). Multiplied by a temperature difference (in Kelvin, K) and an area (in square metres, m2), and divided by a thickness (in metres, m) the thermal conductivity predicts the energy loss (in watts, W) through a piece of material.

                      The reciprocal of thermal conductivity is thermal resistivity, and usually measured in kelvin-metres per watt (KmW−1). When dealing with a known quantity of material, its thermal conductance and the reciprocal property, thermal resistance, can be described.

                      Just so you all know incase you need to calculate the thermal conductivity.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by captkipp View Post
                        In physics, thermal conductivity, k, is the property of a material that indicates its ability to conduct heat. It primarily appears in Fourier's Law for heat conduction. Thermal conductivity is measured in watt per kelvin per metre (WK−1m−1). Multiplied by a temperature difference (in Kelvin, K) and an area (in square metres, m2), and divided by a thickness (in metres, m) the thermal conductivity predicts the energy loss (in watts, W) through a piece of material.

                        The reciprocal of thermal conductivity is thermal resistivity, and usually measured in kelvin-metres per watt (KmW−1). When dealing with a known quantity of material, its thermal conductance and the reciprocal property, thermal resistance, can be described.

                        Just so you all know incase you need to calculate the thermal conductivity.
                        Thanks for all of that but actually, I just wanted to push a puddle of plasma with out porosity.
                        However after reading that 4 times, I need to go take an Advil.
                        But thanks again anyway.

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                        • #13
                          If by chance you happen to be welding a whiskey still don't use any alloys, whiskey stills need to be pure copper or else you'll cook up some poison whiskey.
                          Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

                          Colt the original point & click interface!

                          Millermatic 35 with spot panel
                          Miller 340A/BP
                          Victor O/A torches
                          Lincoln SP125
                          Too many other tools to list

                          03 Ram 1500
                          78 GS1000
                          82 GL1100 Interstate

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Marcel Bauer View Post
                            The fumes given off from copper welding are worse than a lot of other materials, be extra careful...
                            Are you sure you mean copper and not brass?

                            Brass is copper alloyed with zinc - and the zinc burns off first. This comes with all the cautions of welding around zinc (good ventilation, where a respirator - I still haven't got a definitive answer what kind of respirator etc.).
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by con_fuse9 View Post
                              Are you sure you mean copper and not brass?

                              Brass is copper alloyed with zinc - and the zinc burns off first. This comes with all the cautions of welding around zinc (good ventilation, where a respirator - I still haven't got a definitive answer what kind of respirator etc.).
                              Copper fumes are extremely toxic.
                              Nick

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