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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    130

    Default Tig welding aluminum question

    When Tig welding steel or mild steel in a T joint i get the puddle going and with the torch i can drag this puddle as long as i want and fusion weld the joint. Obviously i add filler at appropriate intervals but never the less i get this puddle and it makes for seamless addition of filler. Now for some reason when welding aluminum i can only get this puddle going 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time i can get a puddle going but it never fills in at the root of the weld and kind of keyholes (without burning through the other side). I have to add filler to close in the root. The final product looks good but i know something is wrong.

    I have tried everything from higher amperage, torch angle and tungsten distance from the work piece. Can anyone give me advice on what i am doing wrong?

    My coupon samples are 1/8" 6061 clean. (Cleaned with acetone and stainless steel brush.)

    Machine is dyn 350. 70% balance, 110 hz freq and 150 amps.

    I have added 2 pics

    IMG_2071.jpgIMG_2073.jpg
    Last edited by regal2800; 01-25-2013 at 06:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Salem, NJ
    Posts
    271

    Default

    That is a secret that no one has ever figured out for 100% of the time. Aluminum is a very fussy material. I have never been able to fuse a plate to a fitting before, it just doesn't want to.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,168

    Default

    What tungsten are you using, and how are you grinding it?

    Are you breaking the oxide layer with a clean wire brush and solvent?
    Nothing welded, Nothing gained

    Miller Dynasty700DX
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  4. #4

    Default aluminum tig

    Quote Originally Posted by regal2800 View Post
    When Tig welding steel or mild steel in a T joint i get the puddle going and with the torch i can drag this puddle as long as i want and fusion weld the joint. Obviously i add filler at appropriate intervals but never the less i get this puddle and it makes for seamless addition of filler. Now for some reason when welding aluminum i can only get this puddle going 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time i can get a puddle going but it never fills in at the root of the weld and kind of keyholes (without burning through the other side). I have to add filler to close in the root. The final product looks good but i know something is wrong.

    I have tried everything from higher amperage, torch angle and tungsten distance from the work piece. Can anyone give me advice on what i am doing wrong?

    My coupon samples are 1/8" 6061 clean. (Cleaned with acetone and stainless steel brush.)

    Machine is dyn 350. 70% balance, 110 hz freq and 150 amps.

    I have added 2 pics

    IMG_2071.jpgIMG_2073.jpg
    tig welding as with any type of welding ,when you have problems ,go back to the start. your powersupply.are you useing 100% pure tungsten?
    start from the right and go right to left,if your right handed.
    ac high frez.
    your weld looks good ,but i know a few little changes and you will be perfect.
    most times it's only a little change ,not a big one and you got it perfect.
    one little hint about aluminum,pre heat(a little) it will flow better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    130

    Default

    I am using 2% lanthanated tapered with a flat spot at the tip.

    yes all alum has been cleaned with alcohol. Experimenting with what affects wire brushing has on welding alum.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,168

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by regal2800 View Post
    I am using 2% lanthanated tapered with a flat spot at the tip.

    yes all alum has been cleaned with alcohol. Experimenting with what affects wire brushing has on welding alum.
    Ok, 2% lanthanated is what I like, but it needs a while to "break in", or slightly season the tip. I grind my lanthanated to a near point with a pencil like taper. Or just grind it to a point and let it melt back a tad. That point gets tight into that corner.

    You might try the default program, as I find it works very well on sheet alum. As far as cleaning, it the oxide layer is thick, the arc will dance around until the layer lifts off.

    Sometimes you just have to lay into the pedal and move the filler rod in fast or the joint will open up. I have found that 5356 gets a puddle started a little better.

    Keep trying.
    Nothing welded, Nothing gained

    Miller Dynasty700DX
    3 ea. Miller Dynasty350DX
    Miller Dynasty200DX
    ThermalArc 400 GTSW
    MillerMatic350P
    MillerMatic200 with spoolgun
    MKCobraMig260
    Lincoln SP-170T
    Linde UCC305 (sold 2011)
    Hypertherm 1250
    Hypertherm 800
    PlasmaCam CNC cutter
    Fadal Toolroom CNC Mill
    SiberHegner CNC Mill
    2 ea. Bridgeport
    LeBlond 15" Lathe
    Haberle 18" Cold Saw
    Doringer 14" Cold Saw
    6 foot x 12 foot Mojave granite

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    561

    Default Tig welding aluminum question

    I would go to at least 175 HZ and 75 on the balance

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