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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Frederick, Maryland
    Posts
    173

    Default Cleaning Aluminum Maybe?

    I have some aluminum that sat outside for awhile and it looks pretty rough. I washed it off to get rid of the dirt (some people treat other peoples treasure like trash) but it still had major stains on it. I wire brushed it with a stainless brush and used some acetone. I have had good results in the past using these cleaners but for some reason the welds look like they are dirty/pourous. I recleaned and still had the same results. I changed tungsten, filler rod out of a new tube etc. The really strange thing is that I ran some good beads and then trash and then good ones and then trash. It happened on the same pieces. Is it possible that the aluminum is impregnated with yuck in some places but not everywhere?
    [B]Trail Blazer 302
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    Millermatic 175
    Millermatic 251
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    Victor O/A
    DeWalt DW872 Chop Saw
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    Bandsaw
    No matter how hard I try, I always hear about the other guy who can do it better, faster and cheaper. Sure would like to meet him someday but no one seems to be able to find him when I ask. [B]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Covington, LA
    Posts
    482

    Smile

    What you need to use it is called a Polifan it is like a sand paper disc you put on a grinder and it will take a very thin layer off the aluminum it cleans up real nice and will weld great.

    Here is a link to them http://www.pferdusa.com/products/206/20610/2061001.html
    http://www.pferdusa.com/products/206...06100106P.html

    There are more cheaper brands of this.

    Chris

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    23

    Default

    or try a etching type acid cleaner, there are some on the market made just for welding pre-cleaning
    Made some of my scrap alum look real nice, most of my welds looked real good (some looked like I should have used gule to put it together tho, buts thats due to a lack of practice on alu )
    Also do the usual checks to your torch seals for any possible gasflow issues
    Wolf~

    Whats in the shop~
    Dynasty 200DX "wtf are all these buttons for?"
    MM210
    Hypertherm 1000 plasma "for precision cutting, like using a hatchet as a wood chisel"
    Protools 105hd tubing bender
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    Bunch o other tools...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Frederick, Maryland
    Posts
    173

    Default

    Thanks for the replies. Of course it is the weekend so I am limited in the solution department. Wolf I see you are in MD. I'm near Frederick, where abouts are you?
    [B]Trail Blazer 302
    Suitcase X-TREME 12VS
    Syncrowave 180SD
    Coolmate 4
    Millermatic 175
    Millermatic 251
    HT Powermax 180
    Victor O/A
    DeWalt DW872 Chop Saw
    Lathe
    Milling Machine
    Bandsaw
    No matter how hard I try, I always hear about the other guy who can do it better, faster and cheaper. Sure would like to meet him someday but no one seems to be able to find him when I ask. [B]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Benton, IL
    Posts
    757

    Default

    try a etching type acid cleaner, there are some on the market made just for welding pre-cleaning
    Available at your LWS for under $10 a quart. You have to wear rubber gloves & splash goggles, this cleaner will eat you up if it gets on the skin or in the eyes. It cleans better than any other method I've used.

    At Airgas, it's called Arcair Model 57-021-200, Protex Aluminum Cleaner.
    Barry Milton
    ____________________

    HTP Invertig 201
    HTP MIG2400

    Miller Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
    Clarke Hotshot

  6. #6

    Talking Cleaning Aluminum

    You have stuff inside your aluminum that is giving you problems. Just heat it to rid the aluminum of bad stuff. If your better half will not shoot you just put it in the oven for a couple of hours at 400-450.
    Think Alot
    Learn Alot
    Read Alot
    And Then Do It Again & Again

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Frederick, Maryland
    Posts
    173

    Default

    I have an oven in my shop, I'll give that a try.
    [B]Trail Blazer 302
    Suitcase X-TREME 12VS
    Syncrowave 180SD
    Coolmate 4
    Millermatic 175
    Millermatic 251
    HT Powermax 180
    Victor O/A
    DeWalt DW872 Chop Saw
    Lathe
    Milling Machine
    Bandsaw
    No matter how hard I try, I always hear about the other guy who can do it better, faster and cheaper. Sure would like to meet him someday but no one seems to be able to find him when I ask. [B]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    London
    Posts
    21

    Default Re:

    I believe a mixture of white vinegar and water works well in cleaning aluminum. As Chris2626 said, Polifan works best in cleaning up aluminum easily.

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