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Can't weld Alum.

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  • Can't weld Alum.

    Has anyone had the problem of not being able to weld aluminum with a Miller Syncrowave 180 SD. I can weld steel fine, but when i go to weld aluminum i can not produce enough heat with the machine turned all the way up. This is when i try to weld .125 thick aluminum. I was told it might be the high frequency unit, but does anyone have any info why my machine won't work.

  • #2
    Since there is a couple of models of this unit, we'll be needing the serial#

    Comment


    • #3
      Is your material clean as in ground clean with a softpad or flapper disc?

      Are you easing into it with the peddle or flatfooting it to get a puddle started?

      Settings and other details?
      MM200 w/spot controller and Spoolmatic 1
      Syncrowave 180 SD
      Bobcat 225G Plus LPG/NG w/14-pin*
      *Homemade Suitcase Wire Feeder
      *HF-251D-1
      *WC-1S & Spoolmatic 1
      PakMaster 100XL
      Marquette "Star Jet" 21-110
      http://www.millerwelds.com/images/sm...rolleyes.png?2

      Comment


      • #4
        This is truly Sargent Shultz here. I know NOTHING! But in my travels I've heard that Aluminum tig requires pure Argon. Makes a hotter tighter pocket. Sharp electrode??

        Anyway, never mind me. Never touched a tig torch in my life so I better shut up and listen.
        Dan

        Comment


        • #5
          Probably have your balance control set too low.

          Try setting the balance at 7.5 or 8.0
          Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
          Dynasty 200 DX
          Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
          Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
          Hobart HH187
          Dialarc 250 AC/DC
          Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
          Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
          PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
          Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
          Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
          More grinders than hands

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SundownIII View Post
            Probably have your balance control set too low.

            Try setting the balance at 7.5 or 8.0
            Winnar!!!!
            Miller 330 BPA - Sold
            Miller 180SD Syncrowave - Sold
            Miller Aircrafter 330ST - Sold
            Miller 351 Syncrowave - Sold
            Miller CP-300
            Miller Maxstar 150 STL
            Miller Dynasty 200 DX
            Miller 135 Millermatic
            Miller Spectrum 250D (Now running strong!)

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            • #7
              The serial number for this machine is LC168148. How would you adjust the balance level on this machine?

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              • #8
                Yes my material is clean and i have good ground. I am set at 180 amps (max of machine) and about 22 psi gas pure argon. I have tried both flat footing it and easing into it. This is just trying to weld like .080 alum. The machine works fine for steel welding.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You did switch to AC, didn't you????

                  You can find your owner's manual here http://www.millerwelds.com/service/ownersmanuals.php if you don't already have one.
                  Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    huh? LOL
                    Anything you could do, I could do better.
                    I can do anything better than you!
                    Lockheed Martin
                    Armco Steel, Baltimore
                    USW local #3185

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      yes it is on AC. Also changed to pure tungsten.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had a 180SD years back and had no problem welding .125 alum. Your CFM is too high where you are just paying the gas man. Bring it down to about 12CFM. This is not going to get you a puddle though. What is your input measured voltage (measuer with a meter). I have always mashed the pedal to get a puddle right away with aluminum. Your aluminum is cleaned with a stainless brush and acetone correct. What are you trying to weld the .125" piece to. Got pics.


                        T.J.
                        Last edited by TJS; 09-26-2010, 07:09 PM.
                        Miller Dynasty 300DX
                        HTP MIG 240
                        HTP 380 Plasma

                        Bridgeport Milling Machine
                        South Bend Lathe
                        Etc. Etc....
                        tjsperformance.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The "balance control" is a separate knob on the front of the machine.

                          The balance control controls the percent of time the machine (in AC mode) spends in the DC- and DC+ mode.

                          The more DC- the more heat into the workpiece. The more DC+ the more cleaning and more heat in the tungsten (not desired).

                          The syncs generally show balanced at about a 3 setting. That means 50% DC- and 50% DC+. Turn the knob to about an 8 setting to put more heat into the workpiece. You should still see a small etch zone adjacent to the weld bead. That's where the "cleaning" occured.

                          Would probably be helpful if you read your Owner's Manual or got a copy of Miller's Tig Handbook.
                          Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
                          Dynasty 200 DX
                          Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
                          Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
                          Hobart HH187
                          Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                          Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
                          Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
                          PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
                          Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
                          Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
                          More grinders than hands

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            SundownIII, according to his serial number, his Syncrowave 180SD was built in the first half of 2002.

                            According to the manual specific to his serial number, the machine does not have adjustable balance.

                            NOTE: When AC welding, the balance control is preset at 60% electrode
                            negative (EN), and 40% electrode positive (EP).
                            Is there any way he can get around the problem? Like putting a bevel on his workpiece(s)?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Gila,

                              Appreciate the info.

                              Although I've been tig welding with Syncrowaves since 1977, most of them have been the 250's, 300's, and 350's. I've never welded with a Sync without balance control.

                              Even with that said, at 60% DC- he shouldn't be having any problem welding the material in question.

                              A bevel always helps with thicker material but it's not always possible.

                              Grinding the tungsten to about a 45deg bevel (blunt tip) may enable him to focus the arc a bit and get slightly more penetration. Of course there's always a Helium/Argon blend to increase the heat of the arc, but that's beyond the scope of this issue I suspect.
                              Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
                              Dynasty 200 DX
                              Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
                              Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
                              Hobart HH187
                              Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                              Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
                              Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
                              PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
                              Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
                              Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
                              More grinders than hands

                              Comment

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