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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default Aluminum penetration problem

    Hi guys, hoping someone can give me a tip on my aluminum welding. I have a miller diversion 165 and I'm welding .125 5053 al. I'm fairly new to aluminum, but I sand the pieces with 120 grit then clean with acetone and then preheat a little with a propane torch. Then I weld. Problem I'm having is to get real good penetration and a solid weld, the bead gets really hot and wide, the dimes start to melt together. I'm at about 100 amps and pulsing my foot pedal. It's not cracking , it just breaks when stressed quite hard. I want my welds to never break!!

    Do I just need more practice or am I missing something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    306

    Default

    Tell us everything about the weld setup you're using. Filler, joint configuration, gas type and setting, tungsten ect. Also which way are you "stressing" the joint when trying to break it?
    Miller syncrowave 200 runner with coolmate 4
    and wp2025 weldcraft torch
    Miller 125c plasma cutter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default

    They are butt joints, I'm using argon at 20 cfh. I believe I'm using 2% th. no settings on my 165 other than ac. My filler rod is 4043, I think. I weld scrap together and then my girlfriend beats it in the vice with a hammer. Sounds dumb but shouldn't the metal bend before the weld breaks? I would love the dimes look but right now I just don't want it to break.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    577

    Default

    Are you prepping the four edges with a chamfer? That will help your penetration big time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    142

    Default

    I have to force myself to feed and move faster on aluminum or it overheats. That may be your problem.
    CG
    Old Miller Swinger 180 Buzzbox
    Miller Diversion 165
    1945 Craftsman Atlas Lathe
    Smithy Lathe/Mill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks guys, I'm finding the chamfering the edges helps. I didn't think penetration would be a problem on .125" but I guess so. Also wishing I had a liquid cooled torch. Ouch!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Montana, USA
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Do you weld on both sides before handing the hammer to your girlfriend?

    I doubt that you need to preheat on 0.125... you may be getting the material too hot, and it's crystalizing, making for easy breakage under stress of the bend.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_fpc View Post
    Hi guys, hoping someone can give me a tip on my aluminum welding. I have a miller diversion 165 and I'm welding .125 5053 al. I'm fairly new to aluminum, but I sand the pieces with 120 grit then clean with acetone and then preheat a little with a propane torch. Then I weld. Problem I'm having is to get real good penetration and a solid weld, the bead gets really hot and wide, the dimes start to melt together. I'm at about 100 amps and pulsing my foot pedal. It's not cracking , it just breaks when stressed quite hard. I want my welds to never break!!

    Do I just need more practice or am I missing something?
    If you are new to aluminum-you need practice. I still do! You should not have a problem with penetration with your Diversion on .125 material. I just sold my Diversion 180 when I bought a Dynasty.

    The general thought is 1 amp per .001 of material thickness. Miller says that you require less on an Inverter machine. So, set your Diversion around 120 amps. Forget playing the foot pedal to get the pulse effect-you don't have enough amps for it.

    Set your amps and hammer down until the puddle starts to widen-then ease off.
    Use the pause and advance method to get the "stack of dimes" look. Takes practice-but you will get there!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    118

    Default

    Pictures would help.

    If you weld aluminum and hit it with a hammer, it tends to break in the area next to the weld. The "HAZ" gets softer.

    I also think you're overheating the metal. You want to concentrate the heat at the weld and you have the amps for .125 with your machine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    306

    Default

    I would ditch the thoriated tungsten on a and grab a ceriated. Don't preheat your plates as you're likely getting it to hot, especially if the bead is not shiny and looks dull. Don't pulse the pedal.
    Miller syncrowave 200 runner with coolmate 4
    and wp2025 weldcraft torch
    Miller 125c plasma cutter

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