Monday, December 20, 2010

Aluminum TIG Welding

I was asked if I would share some insight and pictures on the way I weld Aluminum. Here is the rundown with pictures. I use a few methods to weld Aluminum and I didn't need to use them all for this job so when I get the chance in the future I will make an updated post.

I am using 1/16" 1.5% Lantinated tugsten as I mentioned before in an earlier post. I sharpen the tip with a steep angle and remove the point so there is a flat on the tip.

I am using ER4043 filler rod for it's superior wetting characteristics. I prefer 1/16" rod for finished welds because the bead is smaller and more controllabe when it is added to the puddle. It also flows much easier and allows a faster rate of travel.
For this weld I used filler rod and taveled relatively slow considering the work. I was welding two pieces of pope together and one was a thicker wall than the other. I didn't want a lot of the bead to spill over the edge and my current welder doesn't have a frequency adjust knob so I was stuck runing a slower rate of travel, manualy pulsing at around 1 pulse/second.

This weld I decided not to use any rod and just purge the two metals together. Notice how the bead makes a Z type pattern, that was done by moving the torch side to side slightly and pulsing with every movement.

Notice the shiny ball at the end. As I mentioned before if I had been using pure tungsten this ball would be around 3/32" father than the much smaller 1/16" ball I have here. This magnifies the cone effect of the arc and makes controlling it much more dificult.

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