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Welding aluminum

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Re: Welding aluminum

Postby Jacked800 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:08 pm

I have a syncrowave 250DX and you need 180 -205 amps to be welding 1/4" plate. Clean clean clean that aluminum off if you expect to weld anything. Clean off your filler rods too. I wipe mine with steel wool. First action that happens is the cleaning action and it will not start to wet-in until it's clean. More heat at first and as it gets hotter you can back off of it some. Hotter it gets the easier it is to start your weld and a faster flow on your bead.
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Re: Welding aluminum

Postby Farmwelding » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:28 pm

Jacked800 wrote:I have a syncrowave 250DX and you need 180 -205 amps to be welding 1/4" plate. Clean clean clean that aluminum off if you expect to weld anything. Clean off your filler rods too. I wipe mine with steel wool. First action that happens is the cleaning action and it will not start to wet-in until it's clean. More heat at first and as it gets hotter you can back off of it some. Hotter it gets the easier it is to start your weld and a faster flow on your bead.

yes...clean all aluminum always. If you don't, you are like e and have to pretend you are using a scratch start rig. Don't be lazy with cleaning like me.
A student now but really want to weld everyday. Want to learn everything about everything.
warning!! Bad English may be in post. It's off a phone/autocorrect. I've had teachers with worse spelling!
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Re: Welding aluminum

Postby MinnesotaDave » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:40 pm

oman1tig wrote:Hello Gang,

Am trying to weld aluminum with a Syncrowave 250 having some trouble.

Just for practice on a 1/4 stock
Have my amperage set at 130


Why is it doing this?


The tungsten is "balling" due to the positive side of the AC wave.

The negative side is the penetration (into the plate) and the positive side is the cleaning (out of the plate, into the tungsten). This is oversimplified of course, but is the general result.

Setting your balance control at 3 makes this effect 50/50.

Increasing the balance control increases the negative side and decreases the positive.
More power to the metal, less into your tungsten.

Try practicing on 1/8" material at 150 amps, balance set to 7.
Full pedal to start puddle quickly (3 seconds or less), then back off a little as needed.
Dave J.

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

Airco 300 - Syncro 350
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Thermal Arc 161 and 300
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Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.
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Re: Welding aluminum

Postby MinnesotaDave » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:47 pm

Farmwelding wrote:yes...clean all aluminum always. If you don't, you are like e and have to pretend you are using a scratch start rig. Don't be lazy with cleaning like me.


People say this often - it's not necessary in my opinion.

New aluminum is plenty clean and doesn't need brush scratches all over it.
Polished aluminum would look terrible all scratched up with brushing.

A little acetone wipe down is generally all that is needed.
My rods come out of a clean factory box - no need to clean them.

I just welded an automatic transmission broken ear back together - naturally the weld area of that needed serious cleaning.
Dave J.

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

Airco 300 - Syncro 350
Invertec v250-s
Thermal Arc 161 and 300
MM210
Dialarc
Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.
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Re: Welding aluminum

Postby Farmwelding » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:06 pm

MinnesotaDave wrote:
Farmwelding wrote:yes...clean all aluminum always. If you don't, you are like e and have to pretend you are using a scratch start rig. Don't be lazy with cleaning like me.


People say this often - it's not necessary in my opinion.

New aluminum is plenty clean and doesn't need brush scratches all over it.
Polished aluminum would look terrible all scratched up with brushing.

A little acetone wipe down is generally all that is needed.
My rods come out of a clean factory box - no need to clean them.

I just welded an automatic transmission broken ear back together - naturally the weld area of that needed serious cleaning.

I guess we probably have a little dirtier aluminum at my school. Dusty from years of sitting and a lot of oxidation. It is also marked some so all sorts of contaminants. Ours isn't very new and clean already so.
A student now but really want to weld everyday. Want to learn everything about everything.
warning!! Bad English may be in post. It's off a phone/autocorrect. I've had teachers with worse spelling!
Instagram: @farmwelding
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Re: Welding aluminum

Postby Poland308 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:32 pm

I think I would avoid using steel wool to clean your filler rod. Cross contamination and embedded steel particles directly on the filler wire could cause some issues.
Jacked800 wrote:Clean clean clean that aluminum off if you expect to weld anything. Clean off your filler rods too. I wipe mine with steel wool.
I have more questions than answers

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Re: Welding aluminum

Postby Jacked800 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:44 pm

Poland308 wrote:I think I would avoid using steel wool to clean your filler rod. Cross contamination and embedded steel particles directly on the filler wire could cause some issues.
Jacked800 wrote:Clean clean clean that aluminum off if you expect to weld anything. Clean off your filler rods too. I wipe mine with steel wool.


I weld a lot of aluminum and haven't ever noticed any difference using the steel wool or a scotch brite pad. I only went to the steel wool because I kept wearing out the scotch brite pads. I will do an experiment next time and see if there is any obvious difference. THANKS
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Re: Welding aluminum

Postby Otto Nobedder » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:56 pm

Here we go again, with the "surgical clean" aluminum debate.

This one was spotless:
GEDC1455.JPG
GEDC1455.JPG (163.42 KiB) Viewed 26 times


This one was completely untouched, buried in road grime. I didn't even brush it.
GEDC1454.JPG
GEDC1454.JPG (163.35 KiB) Viewed 26 times


There is a difference, but my point is, for most applications you don't need to spend 30 minutes prep for a 30 second weld. 30 seconds prep will get you where you need to be.

Steve S
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Re: Welding aluminum

Postby Farmwelding » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:03 pm

Well Steve you are right. A lot of it is aesthetics. Do a little work but I wouldn't spend more than a minute or two cleaning for most anything that need to look really nice. As I always say, if you are doing work for NASA do everything you can to clean, but for practice or most projects the average guy builds, you don't have to spend much time cleaning. Do it but don't focus on it. And surgically clean is not even close to what I would recommend. Gosh if you want to spend that much time cleaning you must have pure gloves. I know my gloves are a little black so I know something will be in it but it isn't going to cause a weld failure.
A student now but really want to weld everyday. Want to learn everything about everything.
warning!! Bad English may be in post. It's off a phone/autocorrect. I've had teachers with worse spelling!
Instagram: @farmwelding
Nick
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Re: Welding aluminum

Postby LtBadd » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:22 pm

Otto Nobedder wrote:Here we go again, with the "surgical clean" aluminum debate.

There is a difference, but my point is, for most applications you don't need to spend 30 minutes prep for a 30 second weld. 30 seconds prep will get you where you need to be.

Steve S

There is a time and place for everything, however when teaching you don't want someone to say, "I wasn't taught that" still common sense and experience should win the day.
Good post Steve
Richard

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