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TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

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  • TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

    I keep trying to weld alum and the base metal wants to spread away from its self, Im using ER4043 0.030 alum mig wire and 1/16" er4043, with orange tungsten, The machine is the miller diversion 180, i dont know whats going on, Any help is apperciated, thank you

  • #2
    Picture of said weld?


    • #3
      TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

      More info, amps,tungsten size, balance setting, etc...


      • #4
        TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

        Sorry no balance setting


        • #5
          Various amp settings im matching amps to material thickness, 3/16" tungsten its what came in the machine, ive tried balling the tungsten, tried keeping it sharp, let me see if i can get pic


          • #6
            TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

            Are you sure about 3/16 tungsten? if so try 1/16. Be sure aluminum is spotless clean. Wipe with acetone, after sanding. Are you inside with no fans or air blowing? You are using argon 100%? Try some 1/16 filler.


            • #7
              More info as far as metal thickness would help. But, what I've learned about welding alum is to apply more heat off the get go and back off if needed. If you ease into it a lot of times it'll fold away like your talking about. 1/16" is small tunsten unless your welding thin gauge alum. , you'll be going through it quickly.


              • #8
                TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

                Thought op said 1/16 aluminum
                Last edited by go2building; 03-28-2012, 09:26 AM.


                • #9
                  For a Diversion 180 you should be sharpening your tungsten, not balling it. And surely you mean 3/32 dia.


                  • #10
                    Have you already developed proficiency in welding mild steel coupons?

                    Lot to learn.

                    Starting with aluminum may well slow the developmental process.

                    3/16" tungsten won't fit in any torch that comes with the Diversion.

                    Aluminum likes to be welded hot and fast.


                    • #11
                      My mistake 3/32" tungsten, late night doing a design. Im practicing on some 22 gauge but ive had it do it to me on 1/8 as well. Yes Im inside no fans. 100% 10-15cfm, tried like I said 1/8, and 0.030 mig wire ER4043, been making sure to clean it real well. Could the material im welding on affect it its a old 1/4 table, what about insufficent ground? you guys rock btw


                      • #12
                        TIG Welding Alum base metal wants to spread away from its self

                        If possible you should be grounded to the aluminum, as close as possible to the weld. As stated before start hot and reduce as you go. You also need a tight fit, no gaps is best.


                        • #13
                          1. Sharpen your 3/32 tungsten needle sharp and don't break the point. Taper it like the taper from a good pencil sharpener. the point if not contaminated will erode back and form a perfect little ball on it's own.

                          2. Probably the surface of the alum is oxidized greatly. Break the surface and clean. The thinner the sheet, the more likely the surface will be a problem.

                          3. Once clean, turn your metal thickness selector all the way down. Move up incrementally to find your sweet spot.

                          4. Make sure you are not using grimmey slimmy gloves, and acetone your filler wire.

                          5. Gently ease the arc up as you wait for the tell tale sign of the melt at the puddle. Add the rod in fast jabs, and pull out far enough that the wire does not melt back. You don't have to worry about keeping the rod in the gas stream as it minimally oxidizes.

                          Alum is easy if you put your time in perfecting your technique. Enough so that you may come to prefer to weld it. And you have the easiest tig machine to learn on that has ever been designed. The Diversion 180 the beginner's dream.

                          Or it is broken.


                          • #14
                            And I forgot.

                            Pull your tungsten out about 2/3 the inner diameter of the cup. For instance if you cup is a #6(6/16"), you protrusion would be 4/16" or 1/4".

                            This machine is a bit gap sensitive, so try to keep the gap about 1 diameter of the tungsten or 3/32 in your case.

                            For practice, try to go as slow as you can. Like balancing on a bike at a near stop. And if you have to stop to let it cool, do so.

                            Thin alum is a PIA, but I think you will give it a run for it's money soon.

                            Good Luck.


                            • #15


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