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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin Tx.
    Posts
    101

    Default tig welding copper

    Does anybody care to share any wisdom on tigging copper?
    I have tried several times and I just cant seem to get a clean, un porous water proof bead.
    I haven't actually found any filler rod at my local weld supplies , but I have been stripping copper wire for filler rod.
    I have found that a high temp. to start out then lowering it once the plasma starts to flow seems to help.
    I am not back gassing.
    Help me out here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Farmington, OH
    Posts
    746

    Default

    You failed to mention what current you're trying to use, tungsten type/size, thickness of base metal nor shielding gas.

    I can tell you what works best for me. DC straight polarity, 2% thoriated tungsten and helium shielding gas. I haven't had to back shield anything yet but haven't welded copper pipe yet either. I've had success using scraps of copper wire as filler but prefer to use slivers of the base material if possible. Using the base material is especially necessary when you get into welding the copper/nickel alloys.
    Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin Tx.
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Thanks Blondie.
    Yeah I forgot to say I am using 1/16" 2% thoriated tungstun with 100% argon. DC - at about 1oo amps to start out.
    The base thickness are variable because I am just playing with scrap peices and pipe fittings too.
    I eventually want to make a small holding tank and a fountain or water feature.
    I will try slivers for filler.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    146

    Default Copper Welding

    Tig welding copper requires more heat than SS.

    The copper transfers heat almost like aluminum.

    You haven't given much detail on what you are welding but in general turn your heat up about 20 0 30 amps higher than you would for SS. Definitely use a back purge. Copper needs to be really clean. The puddle is sluggish and doesn't like to flow.

    You should be able to source Copper Nickel or Nickel Copper rod from any decent welding supplier - Ask for UTP brand.

  5. #5

    Default

    Actually copper is quite a bit better heat conductor than aluminum. Here are some numbers (I'm not sure exactly what the units mean) for comparison:
    Steel: 43 W/mK
    Alum: 250 W/mK
    Copper: 401 W/mK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    305

    Default

    on pure copper your best to order some de-oxidized copper filler rod this should eliminate your porosity issues.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Detroit
    Posts
    37

    Default tig welding copper

    when welding thicker pieces ,i always preheat,weld ac hi-freq. w/ straight helium, or helium/argon mix w/ balled tungsten.

  8. #8

    Default

    The fumes given off from copper welding are worse than a lot of other materials, be extra careful...
    "If you build it, they will come!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    812

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jrscgsr View Post
    on pure copper your best to order some de-oxidized copper filler rod this should eliminate your porosity issues.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...rary/tig.html#
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin Tx.
    Posts
    101

    Thumbs up Thanks for the replies

    Thanks guys.
    Sorry for the delay in my reply.
    that info was exactly what I was looking for.
    De oxydized copper filler rods.
    I had a discussion with my local weld supply rep today about a silicon bronze rod and he was going to send me a test sample to try but I will call him back tomorrow about the de ox rod.

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