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  • think aluminum trouble

    I have welded this job before...even though it was troublesome....for whatever reason. but today it just wont wet out!

    this is an unknown allow of alluminum sheet..it was made into a guard. it is about .0625 thick

    I am using a miller dialarc hfp 300 amp machine... I have it set for AC, 40-165 amps set at 40%, and i use a foot control!! I am using a genuine helicar torch , thats water cooled with a 3/32" dia pure tungsten electrode. the gas is argon set to about 30 psi

    i have used several rods...in 1/16th dia of 4043.

    the material wets for a split second only then glazes over and I cant get my filler rod to stick...then the whole surface starts to sink....you all know..

    what can i do to get this material to wet out more so i can add filler???

    with out caving in

    thanks

    bob

  • #2
    alu. weld

    I have had that problem with corroded aluminum, must be very clean unless rotted material from weather or salt.

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    • #3
      I have sanded the mating surfaces and surrounding areas, as well as wire brushed with a ss brush...

      I have a new belt sander belt and used that.,... si it should be clean..

      bob

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      • #4
        It could be corroded material. Like rusty steel but corroded aluminum. I fix some irrigation piping & that's exactly how it acts. If the material is corroded it will not weld. Even though you are sanding/grinding/wire brushing that usually doesn't remove the crappy stuff. Sometimes it just impregnates it more. Best bet is a die grinder with a carbide bit. Grind to clean then "butter" the joint as best you can. What kind of enviroment is it in, corrosive? Does it have to be liquid tight? A lot of times I wind up just putting patches over the top.
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        • #5
          30cfh would freeze the puddle pretty darn fast, Should be NO MORE than 20CFH

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          • #6
            I have one of them dial arc and have had that problem a few times on nasty aluminum but 30 cfm is way to much

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            • #7
              unknown, unseen material problems

              Is the unknown material magnetic?
              Does it throw sparks when hit with sander?

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              • #8
                Are you sure it's not Anodized? No pro here, but I welded beatiful clean Aluminum and didnt realize it was anodized. It skinned over the puddle, then melted out. The AC arc was not enough to blast off the thick oxide layer.

                Hit it with some easy off oven cleaner and give it a try again.

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                • #9
                  Pretty sure you mean 30cfh not psi lol. Anyways sounds like rotted or heavily anodized aluminum. Sand some more off of the surface or try out a scrape piece of the material. Turn your gas down to 15-20 cfh.
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                  • #10
                    you know it was fabbed up outside our plant..and JUST might have been clear anodized... but once i ground it on the sander..the anodize should have been gone!.. I evenutally made a few puddles with blobs and flowed them out...pulling away when the original material looked like it was about to sag, but for some reason i couldnt maintain a puddle...ill turn down the gas pressure and try again..that makes sense and the reason i came here. I tried to give all the pertinent details not knowing which is important..and hopefully that allowed you guys to help me. It didnt have to be liquid tight...it is just a machine safety cover...originally it was sheet aluminum bent to shape...and eventually broke on a bend..and it doesnt it often apparently...

                    bob

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