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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    British Columbia
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    500

    Cool Precleaning Aluminum

    Thought you might like to know.!

    Although the GMAW provides some cleaning action this should not be relied on for all the cleaning.aluminum must also be precleaned mechanically or chemically to remove the oxide film and other residue or contaminants.
    aluminum oxidizes so rapidly the interval between welding and cleaning should be as short as possible.
    you can select one of many ways to clean the metal wiping with a clean rag or emery cloth will remove any oil dirt or oxide film.for more stubborn residue use sandpaper,stainles steel wire brush or stainless steel wool.if this doen't work you may have to use a acetone.caustic soda solutions or a sulfuric acid bath. after precleaning rinse with a distilled water.

    Remember when working with any of these solutions safety comes first gloves glasses and sheild is best.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,908

    Cool

    Yup, Ditto...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Alaska
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    732

    Default

    I would avoid "steel wool" as it will contaminate the Al with steel particulate matter.
    TJ______________________________________

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    British Columbia
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    Cool You are right

    However if you use (stainless steel wool) it would be okay. It is like everything eles to do with stainless it is expensive but worth it in the end.
    Last edited by Darmik; 06-14-2007 at 05:32 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    as i undersude it sand papper was a no no!! is this all or just soem types ??
    acitone is good for greasy stuff but adding heat befor can also help bring out the oily stuff.
    i have never MIGed aluminum just TIGed it. but for the most part i would think cleaning fallows the same path, cleaner the start the better the finish.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    500

    Cool Cleaning Aluminum

    Your right for the most part but tig is a little more fussy I'LL discuss this one a little later unless you really need to know now kinda thing.but you have been doing this for a while now you could probably teach me a thing or two.

    sandpaper is okay not the heavy stuff; Like 100G or less all you want to do is scratch the surface of the metal thats all break the oxide film.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Acetone and a SS cup does wonders.

    I've been told that the SS cup can imbed the Al oxide into the metal, but I've been doing it this way and it works very well.

    A grinding wheel is a whole different ballgame. No question a grinding wheel imbeds crap into the Al.

    And clean the wire with SS wool.

    For MIG, definitely less critical (and less aesthetically appealing too).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    i generaly just use a SS cup but not on the grinder. i use it by hand. its got a better brisel pattern then the standerd wire brush dose.
    it realy all depends on the aluminum you are starting with and how clean it is to start with.
    i have to wonder what possesed you to make this post ???? usualy your responce is fallowing a question about how do i .....
    you in school and just cover this or some thing ????
    some food for thought a wire wheel on a grinder will eat up the aluminum fast so if you do use it on a grinder be verry carfull or you will have nothing left to weld.
    also i have found that wax is a good cutting or sanding disk aid. keeps the aluminum from building up on the blade and cloging the teeth. and what lil residow left behind will burn right off when you get teady to weld. it never efected my TIG welds so MIG should have no truble with it. bee's wax is the preferd wax but any candle will work in a pinch.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    500

    Cool cleaning Aluminum

    If you fined that your sanding disks are getting clogged then try using WD-40 this stuff works very well.the same goes for carbide die grinder bits.Never use a wire wheel on a grinder.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ocean City, Maryland
    Posts
    951

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Darmik View Post
    If you fined that your sanding disks are getting clogged then try using WD-40 this stuff works very well.the same goes for carbide die grinder bits.Never use a wire wheel on a grinder.
    WD-40 on a die grinder bit! ....I'll try it. Even the bits made for aluminum clog up, might help

    As far as cleaning, If the piece is small, i use a hand SS wire brush, you only have to clean where your gonna weld of course. If longer I use SS on a 4 1/2" grinder, A cup type and I found one thats a twisted stringer type, like would go on a bench grinder, real narrow, that works good in cracks. Also if nasty i wipe down with acetone or a aluminum cleaner I have. Wait I forgot, everything I work on is nasty [salty] It woudl be great to weld on something new for a change
    Scott
    HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

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