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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone that deals with or dealt with welding copper nickel please help!

    So my first day at my new shipyard job, was going well, until they set me up to tig weld copper nickel. What a b#$ch, that metal does not want to flow, and is a pain in the arse, to weld. Now I was wondering if anyone has ever welded copper nickel pipe for a living, and what kind of pointers could you give me on how to make it come out nice. I remember some of you telling me that they welded copper nickel, but I forgot who said that. I know how to tig weld very well, and so this is a little disheartening that my copper nickel welds looked like crap, and a **** newbie to welding. I started to somewhat get the hang of it towards the end of the day, doing 6G, when I started just feeding the filler wire into the puddle instead of dripping it in, which didnt work with this metal, and it produce a weld that I could look at without cringing.

    My questions are, how do you move your tig torch when welding this dead metal that has no flow characteristics, and how do you feed the wire, do you run over it, or feed the wire into the puddle like I was doing at the end of the day. I will post pictures later of the pipe that I started welding on.

    Im at a loss, I can tig a root, hot pass, fill and cap on mild steel, and stainless 6G no problem, and it comes out very professional looking, but doing it on copper nickel, man what a let down. It seems Im the only tig welder they hired out of the 9 welders they hired, so I need to be able to weld this metal. Any help is appreciated, thank you.

  2. #2
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    usmcruz, One of our guys is/was certified for Copper Nickel and I'll try to remember to speak to him tomorrow about it. Can you PM me with a phone number where you can be reached so you guys can talk to each other direct?
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  3. #3
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    I have used stringer bead techniques with copper nickel. The material will take more amperage than similar thicknesses of CS or SS.

    Cleanliness is very important. Clean the filler metal with acetone. I avoid abrasives as sometimes then contaminate more than clean. In addition wire left out after wiping with an abrasive may collect more dust.

    I have always kept the wire near the leading edge of the puddle. Sometimes walking over but usually dipping it. Gas hose connections must be checked for leaks. Use a gas lens if possible.

    Excessive heating of the base metal or weld metal will cause the puddle to become very dirty and hard to manage. An interpass temp of around 200 to 250 is used. Closer to 200 I think.

    Hope this helps.

    Gerald

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipewelder_1999 View Post
    I have used stringer bead techniques with copper nickel. The material will take more amperage than similar thicknesses of CS or SS.

    Cleanliness is very important. Clean the filler metal with acetone. I avoid abrasives as sometimes then contaminate more than clean. In addition wire left out after wiping with an abrasive may collect more dust.

    I have always kept the wire near the leading edge of the puddle. Sometimes walking over but usually dipping it. Gas hose connections must be checked for leaks. Use a gas lens if possible.

    Excessive heating of the base metal or weld metal will cause the puddle to become very dirty and hard to manage. An interpass temp of around 200 to 250 is used. Closer to 200 I think.

    Hope this helps.

    Gerald

    Very good advice, thank you very much your a good man. I played around with it today, and set my machine at 78 amps, and started off slow, and it welded cold. Then I set my maching at 92 amps, and it started to burn through. The copper was taking the heat away from the weld fast, so I kept it at 92 amps, and hauled a$$ walking the cup. I mean I was movin, and then, only then was my bead starting to look like I was walking the cup on mild steel. The copper nickel pipe looks to be about 3/32" thick, and Im using a backing ring which is required at the Navy shipyard.

    I practice dripping in the copper nickel beads for the cap, my question is that does a bead that you drip in, like doing stainless steel or alluminum create a strong cap, or am I better or walking the cup. Im the only welder out of all the welders there that will be certified to actually do copper nickel. My problem, and the reason Im behind the curve ball a little is because, noone there at the shipyard knows how to tig weld copper nickel to run a demo right, and so Im at a loss to know what a good welding sample of copper nickel pipe is supposed to look like. Pretty much, Im self teaching myself how to do something that I have no clue how to do, and Im doing a decent job at it, but I dont like decent, I like proffessional looking. So this is why I thank you buddy, I need all the help I can get. By the way, I will put your advice to use tommorrow, and post here to tell you how it went.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by duaneb55 View Post
    usmcruz, One of our guys is/was certified for Copper Nickel and I'll try to remember to speak to him tomorrow about it. Can you PM me with a phone number where you can be reached so you guys can talk to each other direct?

    I appreciate it, but I dont like givin out my number, I will be more than happy to speak to him in this forum though. I hope you dont take offense to that, sorry.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmcruz View Post
    I appreciate it, but I dont like givin out my number, I will be more than happy to speak to him in this forum though. I hope you dont take offense to that, sorry.
    How do people contact you? Drums?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmcruz View Post
    I practice dripping in the copper nickel beads for the cap, my question is that does a bead that you drip in, like doing stainless steel or alluminum create a strong cap, or am I better or walking the cup. Im the only welder out of all the welders there that will be certified to actually do copper nickel. My problem, and the reason Im behind the curve ball a little is because, noone there at the shipyard knows how to tig weld copper nickel to run a demo right, and so Im at a loss to know what a good welding sample of copper nickel pipe is supposed to look like.

    I don't think dipping or walking over the wire is going to make a difference in the strength of the joint. CuNi is very prone to non fusion and porosity. I almost always dipped the filler metal to verify that the leading edge of the puddle was not rolling over. When walking over the wire, this would be hard to see. That does not mean its a technique that doesn't work. Its just one I have never used.

    Also I have never walked the cup on this material. When I welded this I was a Nuc welder in the Navy and there just wasn't anyplace on a boat that would lend itself to walking the cup. Again, doesn't mean it doesn't work.

    Thats odd that nobody at a shipyard knows about welding this material. Its been commonly used on ships and submarines for a LONG time in seawater systems.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    How do people contact you? Drums?

    Sorry ed, I just dont give out my number on my family cellular, but once I get my work phone cellular, I will give it out to you guys. My family cellular is reserved for family emergency's and thats all. Ive been way over due for a work phone, so once I get my first check, Im going out to get one. Nothing personal guys.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipewelder_1999 View Post
    I don't think dipping or walking over the wire is going to make a difference in the strength of the joint. CuNi is very prone to non fusion and porosity. I almost always dipped the filler metal to verify that the leading edge of the puddle was not rolling over. When walking over the wire, this would be hard to see. That does not mean its a technique that doesn't work. Its just one I have never used.

    Also I have never walked the cup on this material. When I welded this I was a Nuc welder in the Navy and there just wasn't anyplace on a boat that would lend itself to walking the cup. Again, doesn't mean it doesn't work.

    Thats odd that nobody at a shipyard knows about welding this material. Its been commonly used on ships and submarines for a LONG time in seawater systems.

    Your right, I think dipping it would be the way to go. I know how tight things can be on a Navy ship, and so dipping it, would be the best way to do it because of the cramped quarters, but walking the cup on this stuff is an art all in itself. Its all a learning experience, thats for sure.

    I thought it was odd too, I mean its a shipyard yeah, so how does nobody know how to lay a copper nickel bead down. I guess I should be used to being thrown to the sharks, and the fact that its government work, I should of seen it coming. We will see today how it goes, and also I got to order another tig torch to replace the one I broke today. I was thinking this one, because its modular, and able to adapt to it's enviroment, what do you think of it, is it any good?
    http://www.arc-zone.com/index.php?ma..._20_56_187_313

    Again, thanks for taking the time out to help this copper nickel rookie!

  10. #10
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    You can walk the cup on copper nickel, just the same as other materials. Of course it can be done right, or wrong...leaving lack of fusion issues. I really don't think it's any worse to have problems than stainless is.

    I really like welding it. It welds easy, and can handle a lot of heat.

    I attached my favorite CuNi weld that I made a couple years ago. It was for a military application.
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