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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Honolulu, Hawaii
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    22

    Cool TIG welding anodized aluminum pipe 200DX machine settings

    Aloha everyone and Happy Holidays! I was hoping that out of the many aluminum welders out there one could offer me some tips on the settings for welding anodized aluminum pipe. I have a dynasty 200DX and aside the HF start issue its a great machine. I love the portable power it offers me for my business. I have done some wellding of anod. 1 1/2" pipe and with preheating I can make some pretty sound welds as far as appearance I could always use some practice. I know I cant get that from you guys out there, but I was hoping that someone with a similar machine could tell me what settings they use on there machine. It would be greatly appreciated and it would save me loads of time. If anyone replying would like to see pictures of some of my welds as an example for improvement let me know and Ill post some. Mahalo for your time and Merry Christmas!
    If you don't expect anything you wont be disappointed.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default

    Hawaii,

    I've done a "little" anodized aluminum welding, but not with a 200DX.

    I'd recommend doing a search here and on the Hobart board for "Bump welding anodized aluminum". There have been several articles posted on this subject.

    Basically, bump welding is a technique where high amps are employed rapidly to "blast" the anodizing away from the weld. When I say hi amps, I'm talking in the 190-198A range.

    The 200 DX is a little "underpowered" for production work (duty cycle), but should do fine for the jobs you probably have in mind.

    I've done most of my anodized work with a Sync 250 but have used my buddy's Dynasty 300 also. With the 300 I generally set my amps to about 198, frequency to 90HZ (higher freq not needed), balance to 80% and argon flow to about 20-22 CFH. I use a torch mounted on/off button rather than a foot pedal for this work. Basically, what you're doing is a form of "manual pulsing". Torch on, couple dips, torch off. Repeat.

    Obviously, there's more to developing your own technique, but that is an abreviated summary.

    Many will say that you can't weld anodized aluminum. That's bunk. The bump technique was developed/refined by Pipewelder, Inc. who just happen to be the largest marine tower (big boat) fabricator in the world. I was taught the technique many moons ago by the son of the owner (who just happens to be one of the best tig welders I've ever known).

    Get yourself a simple on/off switch for your torch, crank up the amps, and go for it. Be prepared to "destroy" some coupons until you get the timing down.

    Higher output machines (Sync 250 & 350 and the Dynasty 300 & 350 etc) have the duty cycle for production work, but the 200 should work.

    Let us know how it goes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Troy, MI
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    340

    Default

    Anodizing is a process that adds a uniform layer of aluminum oxide to the surface of the aluminum to protect it from further corrosion. It is basically the same stuff that forms naturally on aluminum when exposed to the air. The problem with welding aluminum that has aluminum oxide on the surface is that the aluminum oxide melts at ~3,700 degrees F and the aluminum melts at ~1,200 depending on the alloy. By the time you get the aluminum oxide hot enough, the base aluminum is gone. One technique is to ss wire brush, sand or grind off the anodizing before welding, much the same way you would normally prepare aluminum. The method mentioned above avoids this step.

    You neglected to include the wall thickness of the aluminum that you are planning on welding but once the anodizing is removed I would weld it using the normal current recommendations. Attached is page 49 from the TIG welding handbook with the recommendations for aluminum.

    Below is a link to a copy of the Miller TIG Welding Handbook on line. Consider purchasing a hard copy.

    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/TIGhandbook/

    Below is another thread on the same topic.

    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...92&postcount=1
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    Last edited by Don52; 12-14-2008 at 09:05 PM.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    I use a Dynasty D300DX, bump the start amps and time in ms, use UHP+ He for the added heat and "BUMP" weld the circumference of the tube joint one bump at a time. SundownIII is right on with his description and it really is not all that abbreviated.

    It will pay to practice on some joint fit ups other than the real thing. If the D200DX is short on heat, and it probably will be, try a 75%He/25%Ar. You will need to bump your start amps and time in ms. The higher % He the harder it will be to initiate a stable arc. You might find, by trying a couple sizes of filler, that a smaller diameter wire fed faster may work better than the larger filler simply dabbed in because the D200 will probably be short on power even though it will have the necessary heat from the He/Ar shielding gas mixture. Also increase the CFH a bit as you increase the He content in your shielding gas.

    As far as I know this is the same process used where Engloid works welding anodized Al. The gas % mix is slightly different and they use mostly large Syncrowaves. I have visited this plant several times, as it is near my shop, and this is the way it (anodized Al) is welded on towers in a production environment. There simply is not time to remove the coating and re-anodizing is costly and unsightly in most situations.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    22

    Cool

    Hey thanks to all of you who replied. The response and professional opions are just the kind Ive been reading about. I do have the momentary finger tip control but I may consider getting a bottle of the 75/25 mix. Thanks for the setting suggestions I am currently running PPS (Hz) 400,Peak t 50%,BKGND A. 85%,AC Balance 6 or 60%,AC Frequency 200 - 225 Hz.. I will try your suggested settings tomorow. In fact I will try all of it tomorrow. I think I may need to just practice and possibly get a bigger machine. I guess having a machine with pulsing isnt necessary if you are going to bump it manually. Ill be sure to let you know how its going thanks again and Happy Holidays!
    If you don't expect anything you wont be disappointed.
    Miller Dynasty 350DX
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
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    447

    Default

    I can't say i can give you advice on welding it anodized, but being that you live surrounded by saltwater and weld for a living hear me out for a minute..this is just soething i've been thinking about.

    You know, I have never done the auminum with the anodzing on it, i've always just sanded it off, then after welding either had the parts re-anodized or powder coated since it's much faster. But when it comes to info on ano work, there's a thread in this same sectin that says something about a great link to anodizing. The guy whowrote the page is awesome at it and has some definite cool techniques.

    I've anodized a quite a few times in a hobby enviroment..dirtbike part and R/C Car/Truck stuff, and it's really not that hard at all. And even if you can't get the amount of heat into it that you're supposed to for said period of time you can still build a nice layer of oxide (especially clear..color takes time) WHat i'm getting at is it might pay in the long run to actually sand off a nice perfect "collar" around the seam of the wled area with a strip of 1 or 2 inch wide sand paper, and then make yourself some sort of watertight "donut" that could be clamped around the joint for re-anodizing ( i can picture exactly how i'd do it) even if it's just a light coating it would be better than painting it with a puff can. I've never tried anodizing on a standing piece or just a "strip" or anything, but if i lived some where that required me to do a lot of marine work and welding was my job as it seems to be yours. I would defintely come up with a way to be "the man" in that trade. I've heard alot about the "bump welding" from searching welding aluminum over the last few years that i started playing with and finally got my own TIG (200dx as well).

    PM me if you're interested in the collar idea i have, I'll send you a pic of it that i drew up, i can scan it in and it's fairly legible.. who know's it might turn out to give you the best marine repairs for your price in the area..and the big island could support more than one crew of guys doing it all day thats for sure.. go make that money! LOL
    Last edited by turboglenn; 12-15-2008 at 01:48 AM.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    22

    Smile Ti

    Thanks sundownlll and HAWK your advice was what I needed I had my settings alittle off from what you suggested and upon changing them shazam. I adjusted my balance and freq. and its made a noticeable difference. I even went and got some 75/25 and wow the the heat input was quite noticeable. That alone has helped with the amount of time I spend waiting for the puddle to get shiny. I tried it without my pulser on and the weld wasnt quite a fluid as with it on the settingswere set to:
    amps-195
    bal-80
    freq-90
    pps-400
    peakt-50
    backg amps-85
    My freq. was 200 and my bal. was 75 but the difference is noticeable right away.
    Im still figuring out the pulse settings and how they effect the weld bead. If any of you have some insight I will listen. Ive read the machines manual but it doesnt go into much detail or at least I cant get it. Im happy with the weld bead appearance and I understand the whole finishing issue but ive looked at alot of anodized weld and they look just like mine. Some people even paint a little aluminum paint on the weld to blend the beads color or perhaps to help against corrosion. As soon as i can I will post some pics to clarify all this running at the mouth. Anyway thanks again guys.
    If you don't expect anything you wont be disappointed.
    Miller Dynasty 350DX
    XMT 304
    XR control XR 30A
    Hypertherm 30
    Miller Passport Plus
    Spoolmate 100
    Hobart Bet MIG 250
    Model 4 Bender
    Model 3 Bender
    Pro-tools 3 Roll Bender

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
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    2,239

    Default

    Hawaii,

    Glad to hear things are working out.

    Think you'll find that pulsing is not necessary with using the bump method. You're actually doing a form of manual pulse welding. Heck, I welded anodized pipe for years on an old Syncrowave 250 that didn't even have pulse. It's only been recently (upgraded my older sync to a new 250 Tigrunner and added the pulser option) that I even had pulse on my tig machine. Still don't use it on aluminum, but it's the "cat's meow" for steel.

    The paint is used on the weld to protect the weld since it's not really practical to try and "reanodize" post welding. Silver color rustoleum is used quite a bit. Buy a small can cause it goes a long ways.

    I prefer 5356 filler vs 4043 for marine work.


    Turbo's comments about reanodizing really arn't practical when dealing with marine fabrication. When building a tower for a 60' sportfisherman, you're talking about literally hundreds of welds. Same thing applies to removing the anodizing prior to welding.

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