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aluminum and spatter

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  • aluminum and spatter

    Hi Guys, (and Gals)

    I have a 30A spool gun on my 250.
    I will be welding 1/8th to 3/16th and id like to know what i can do to minimze spatter. I seem to be getting lots of carbon and white residue on my welds as well as a brilliant spark show. The weld arc doesnt seem to be hissing as it should, its more a of a crackle/hiss.

    parameters i am roughly following to date include 30 degree tip angle and a push path as recommended for mig'n AL.

    material is all 5000 (5086) series with 5356 0.030 filler wire.

    Oh yeah and I read in another post somewhere about holding the trigger and turning on the main power on the mm250. I didnt get what was being described so i tried it. What i found was that the numbers changed in the dispaly and the gun fed at a differerent rate. Still confused. Too much on my little mind. would someone care to explain what i did? thanks.

    Thanks Guys, any info or suggestions would be well received.

    Last edited by SignWave; 12-03-2007, 12:37 PM.

  • #2
    Sounds like the gas is not flowing thru


    • #3
      lotsa gas. 15-20cfh 100% Argon.


      • #4
        .030 sounds sorta small from my exp. Man I bet you gotta have the wire speed litterally screaming.
        I always use .064 and anything too thin for that gets tigged.
        I believe I would crank the gas WWAAYY higher and see what happens as I generally use more flow when migging AL.
        Also more stickout than you are used to.
        I would think .030 would be a birdnesting nitemare but prolly would spray at a lower amp. Been meaning to try it on mine but .064 works so good for me in 11 yrs I still ain't tryed it.
        Come to think of it everywhere I've worked used the big wire in the 30A.
        Doesn't mean it won't work fine tho.


        • #5
          Im sorry

          Sorry Fusion,
          I mistakenly said 030 when it was 035. not much of a diff but a diff none the less.

          is spatter common when mig'n AL?


          • #6
            is the aluminum clean? we also do 1/8th" to 1/4" but we use 3/64" wire


            • #7
              Originally posted by srl_welder View Post
              is the aluminum clean? we also do 1/8th" to 1/4" but we use 3/64" wire

              Now I'm doing it
              I knew there was a 64 in there somewhere...what decimal is that?
              Anyhow it runs GOOD.
              Yea it spatters but not horrible...I do put my leathers on tho


              • #8
                there is no way to stop the spatter, its like a package deal. but it should easily be removed by running a putty knife or chisel over it. Also more argon is worse for aluminum than too little. i personally think 15-20cfm is too high. i was tought, and learned from experience that 10-15 is quite enough, and also produces a nicer looking weld. Another variable could be the type of brush you are using to prepare it. If you are using a carbon steel brush it is contaminating it. you always want to use a clean stainless steel brush that was never used for anything but aluminum. even using an zirconia flap wheel, or aluminum oxide wheel could contaminate the aluminum bad enought to give you a weld that looks like bird poo. hopes this helps.


                • #9
                  I've found just about the oppposite....Spoolgun will run on the nastiest used crap out there in situations you couldn't begin to get a decent tig weld as long as the gas is high enuff.
                  If I can barely get to something and cleaning is immpossible I get out the spoolgun.
                  Also found the gas flows good at first and then drops off so a good flowing regulator is needed as well.
                  I have not welded on 5086 tho...more of a saltwater thing..and super hard like unbendable(H100?). what is it?
                  Last edited by FusionKing; 12-03-2007, 09:30 PM.


                  • #10
                    I use nothing but a stainless brush. I have two that are dedicated to AL.
                    I even change gloves when Im welding or grinding.

                    Fusion, I kow what you mean by:
                    "when nothing else works, I reach for the 30A."

                    All of the AL I am using (for the most part) is bright shiny clean. If it isnt it gets the once over with the wire brush< bu teven if i dont clean it, I have noticed that this really hasnt been an issue.

                    WItht the tig, I just crank up the cleaning action and it fuses well.

                    anyway, I guess i'll try lowering the cfh and see what happens. I'll be welding some more pieces in today so. I'll get back to you all.

                    Thanks for the replies and suggestions so far.

                    Attached Files


                    • #11

                      Try adjusting the Run-in speed for the 30A spoolgun. The procedure is described on page 20 of your owner's manual. Think this may go a good ways towards reducing your splatter.

                      The run-in is factory preset for the Mig gun at 100% of wire speed. For the 30A the run-in is factory preset at 50%. These settings are individually setable at anywhere between 25-150% of wirespeed.

                      This only applies to the MM251 not the MM250. The MM250, I don't believe, has a provision for setting run-in. Hard to tell from your post. In the post you refer to the MM250 and in your signature line you show a MM251 (different welders).

                      What you're doing by pulling the trigger on the 30A is that you're telling the power supply that the spoolgun is being used. The normal default setting (wire speed display) is for the Mig gun. As you vary the wire speed, from the 30A, you should see the wirespeed display change on the power source.

                      Hope this helps.
                      Last edited by SundownIII; 12-04-2007, 10:27 AM.


                      • #12
                        Thanks Sundown,
                        I have a 251. Sorry for the mix up. Ive got way too much on my mind right now and simple things are becoming hard to remember....

                        I'll go read page 20 and see where i get.

                        Thanks for dropping in.



                        • #13
                          richard, i use about 22 -24.5 volts depending on position for .125 aluminum and the wire speed around 600 to 630 ipm. 1/4 and up i use 25 to 28 volts and 700 to 800 ipm. argon set to 27 cfh at the nozzle NOT at the regulator and put your running shoes on. the spatter will virtually begone, but the smoke is horrid. dont weave or use any torch manipulation. just straight line push gun, like a stringer bead pass. i think your gun angle is too great, your stick out too much and your voltage not high enough. i use 5 to 7 degree angle from 90 (just a very slight lead into the direction of weld). try that and get back to me.

                          on a side note, i cant get the o.l.f. to you. 3-m no longer makes it and the plant is trying to hang on to every little piece of scrap.


                          • #14
                            Thanks W1,
                            Before i try your suggestions on the real work, Im going to have to do some coupons first to make sure I get it down pat. I only have one chance to get it right.
                            Do i need to worry about warpage with this kind of heat and speed? I'll have to pull out the supergloves for sure... I will be running a continuous bead about 16 inches long and i will be welding a flat or an angle to sheet so that i can square up the bow cabinet sides. This will then be where i mount the doors to button up the bow cab. Im just wondering if I should back stitch...
                            have a look at the pic ive added. ITs a rough idea of what im going to be doing. the red is 3/16" flat bar or perhaps some fitted angle ( i like this idea better) The bulwarks is 1/8" thick and has been braked(broken??) around the perimeter of the opening.

                            Dont worry about the OLF. No worries.
                            Attached Files


                            • #15
                              if you tack it together very well and in several places, you wont have to worry about warpage much. i am not sure if it is a good idea to make a long continous weld, maybe weld it in stitches opposing sides and randomly until it is welded solid. this will help with blow outs. if you are unsure about the water tightness, clean the welds with ss brush and wash them in with the tig machine. or turn the wire speed up a little more and run back over the weldment in its entirety.

                              the super gloves are a great idea. i use the miller hd mig glove on my left hand with a steiner backhand pad to boot. i use a tig glove for my trigger hand though. send me pics of your practice welds and i will help you critique them. best of luck.


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