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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default Cracks in Aluminum Weld

    I've welded up my gas tank, and when I pressurized it up to check for leaks, I split a weld open. I've also noticed that cracks form very easily in other projects with just a bit of applied stress.

    Specs:
    .125" 5052 AL
    4043 filler
    TIG, 100% argon



    Whats going on?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    st.paul mn
    Posts
    19

    Default alum. cracks

    hey jpmassy i am not an expert but i would try 6061 with that filler or try
    5051? with 5000series alum. i am sure that someone with more exp. will jump in and we can both learn a new tip! good luck shoprat

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    231

    Default

    Lots of good information from alcotec (bought out by esab):

    http://www.alcotec.com/us/en/educati...um-Welding.cfm

    "Alloys possessing from 1% to 2.5% magnesium, such as 3004 and 5052, are very sensitive to cracking when using base alloy filler. Alloys with 3.5% magnesium and more exhibit low sensitivity to weld cracking. The use of a 5% magnesium content filler, such as 5356, to weld 5052 can provide a higher magnesium percentage in the diluted weld metal and reduce sensitivity to weld cracking. The more magnesium an aluminum magnesium alloy contains, the less likely it is to crack; thus, the high magnesium content fillers 5356, 5183, and 5556 are commonly used to weld both wrought and cast aluminum magnesium base alloys."

    Use 5356 next time.

    -dseman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    denver
    Posts
    67

    Default

    I have an overflow tank from canton that cracked just like that
    mm 210
    dynasty 200dx

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    705

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by jpmassey View Post
    I've welded up my gas tank, and when I pressurized it up to check for leaks, I split a weld open. I've also noticed that cracks form very easily in other projects with just a bit of applied stress.

    Specs:
    .125" 5052 AL
    4043 filler
    TIG, 100% argon



    Whats going on?
    The picture appears to have very little filler and a bunch of contamination.





    Griff

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,558

    Default

    I sorta doubt it was just filler that caused your problem. I've welded loads of 5052 with 4043 and not had any problems. It is not your first choice but it does a good enuff job that a crack such as that is not a common occurance.
    I think it is more of a lack of fusion judging from your pic. Looks like maybe moving to slow by the looks and it seems crowned a bit much like filler was added too soon as well. I would strive for more of a keyhole effect myself...That bead will weld with fusion alone. Aluminum will bridge across 2 parts easily without penetrating completely thru unless you make it hot enuff before adding filler and moving forward.
    What does the back side of the weld look like would be the question. I realize it is a tank tho, so you prolly can't see it. I would cut out the weld 100% and crank the heat more and let it get wetter before I moved forward. HTH

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    856

    Default

    That may be tearing from the root. Do you have a keyhole in front of your weld puddle while welding?

    Also, are your welds cooling too fast? Have you considered using a little preheat? That sheet of aluminum is an awfully good heat sink for sucking the heat away from the weld rapidly.

    80% of failures are from 20% of causes
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dseman View Post
    Lots of good information from alcotec (bought out by esab):

    http://www.alcotec.com/us/en/educati...um-Welding.cfm

    "Alloys possessing from 1% to 2.5% magnesium, such as 3004 and 5052, are very sensitive to cracking when using base alloy filler. Alloys with 3.5% magnesium and more exhibit low sensitivity to weld cracking. The use of a 5% magnesium content filler, such as 5356, to weld 5052 can provide a higher magnesium percentage in the diluted weld metal and reduce sensitivity to weld cracking. The more magnesium an aluminum magnesium alloy contains, the less likely it is to crack; thus, the high magnesium content fillers 5356, 5183, and 5556 are commonly used to weld both wrought and cast aluminum magnesium base alloys."

    Use 5356 next time.

    -dseman

    Interesting....thanks for the info.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by griff01 View Post
    The picture appears to have very little filler and a bunch of contamination.





    Griff
    I sanded and then SS wire brushed it. The edges are plasma cut, so that probably didn't help.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodybagger View Post
    That may be tearing from the root. Do you have a keyhole in front of your weld puddle while welding?

    Also, are your welds cooling too fast? Have you considered using a little preheat? That sheet of aluminum is an awfully good heat sink for sucking the heat away from the weld rapidly.
    Hmmm....I might be watching for enough penetration. This is my 1st major AL welding project, so I was excited just not to blow a 1/2" hole in it.

    I didn't think that preheating was required on such thin material?

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