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Argon gas quality?

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Argon gas quality?

Postby Goldhawg » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:13 pm

I'm trying to weld some washers to 1/4" plate and my first attempt left tons of black stuff and popping of the washer metal as I was melting it. So I try just the 1/4" plate and weld it on the edge using 33 PPS. Still leaves some black around the edge. I had just got a new bottle of argon and I thought maybe my argon wasn't good. So I take the argon bottle and roll it on the floor for 2-3 minutes in case it wasn't mixed right (heard Jody recommend this), and then I welding next to the edge where I'd previously welded (after wire wheeling the previous weld to get rid of any junk). Much better but maybe still some on the edge. Now I'm questioning my 1/4" plate, so I go get another old coupon I had and sand it bright and shiny and much better with that weld, perhaps a bit of discoloration at the end, but each "dime" looked pretty shiny to me (BTW, I'm using the Fupa 12 on this w/25CFH). So then I grind the zinc off a single washer and using the 33 PPS weld on it and it leaves a trail of black everywhere. The washers were supposed to be carbon steel but who knows? Obviously can't use them. Still wondering if my argon is good.
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Re: Argon gas quality?

Postby aland » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:08 pm

Goldhawg wrote:So then I grind the zinc off a single washer
...
The washers were supposed to be carbon steel

If they are zinc, don't weld with them. Take the zinc off, period. Grind at minimum, but it's hard to get it all off. Easier to soak.

Sure, they're carbon steel under the zinc, but if they are plated you shouldn't weld them. Must be because they are French, Hencho in India...right on the package.

You shouldn't breath the fumes from any zinc. Carry on at your own leisure.

I was going to weld some chrome nuts to some mild steel, so this is how I get the chrome off...using vinegar. You can use lemon juice or other fruit with citric acid. If you have a lemon tree around your area, grab a few and squeeze them in a cup, a couple hours later the sludge will be floating on the top...don't drink it... :lol:

EDIT: Well, I take that back...the vinegar didn't take the chrome off, I thought I used for that in the past, but I sprinkled in some citric acid powder and letting it soak again. :roll: Lemon juice definitely works, and I have used that on grade 8 bolts many times.
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Re: Argon gas quality?

Postby Graveyard » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:56 pm

It’s the washer causing the issue. Like stated before it looks like it has a zink coating. It is pretty common for most washers to have a coating to help prevent corrosion which usually makes them difficult to weld. Try and grind all the edges and the faces of the washer and try again, I bet you’ll have better welds. If it was your argon you would have all kind of holes and blisters in your weld.
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Re: Argon gas quality?

Postby cj737 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:58 pm

Graveyard wrote:It’s the washer causing the issue. Like stated before it looks like it has a zink coating. It is pretty common for most washers to have a coating to help prevent corrosion which usually makes them difficult to weld. Try and grind all the edges and the faces of the washer and try again, I bet you’ll have better welds. If it was your argon you would have all kind of holes and blisters in your weld.

Except it is happening on plate steel in other examples. ;)

It appears to me to be an issue with your gas flow/gas lens. Are you using the correct insulator with your Fupa cup for your torch? And which brand of gas lens are you using? I used to use CK lenses, but switched to Millers after having some issues with inconsistencies and have found the Millers to actually be much better (personal, anecdotal experience)

Last thing which may be obvious, after welding some zinc plated material, did you regrind your tungsten and clean it? Fouling of your tungsten from the chemical blowback will contaminate your arc.
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Re: Argon gas quality?

Postby aland » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:49 pm

cj737 wrote:Except it is happening on plate steel in other examples. ;)


The way I was reading it, he didn’t use a washer on that weld, maybe the OP could confirm if he did or not. The description sounds like contamination, which zinc would do. Also he mentioned when he ground the edge of the washer it was better. You need to get all of the zinc off if it’s there I thought ???
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Re: Argon gas quality?

Postby Graveyard » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:08 am

cj737 wrote:
Graveyard wrote:It’s the washer causing the issue. Like stated before it looks like it has a zink coating. It is pretty common for most washers to have a coating to help prevent corrosion which usually makes them difficult to weld. Try and grind all the edges and the faces of the washer and try again, I bet you’ll have better welds. If it was your argon you would have all kind of holes and blisters in your weld.

Except it is happening on plate steel in other examples. ;)

It appears to me to be an issue with your gas flow/gas lens. Are you using the correct insulator with your Fupa cup for your torch? And which brand of gas lens are you using? I used to use CK lenses, but switched to Millers after having some issues with inconsistencies and have found the Millers to actually be much better (personal, anecdotal experience)

Last thing which may be obvious, after welding some zinc plated material, did you regrind your tungsten and clean it? Fouling of your tungsten from the chemical blowback will contaminate your arc.



It very well could be a gas flow issue but clearly the soot on the washer is far worse than on the weld examples. I have had contaminated argon before and you can’t even weld with it and that was the point I was trying to get across. the argon looks to be fine. And I was offering a suggestion as to why the washer welds were worse than the other examples.
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Re: Argon gas quality?

Postby cj737 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:04 am

Graveyard wrote:It very well could be a gas flow issue but clearly the soot on the washer is far worse than on the weld examples. I have had contaminated argon before and you can’t even weld with it and that was the point I was trying to get across. the argon looks to be fine. And I was offering a suggestion as to why the washer welds were worse than the other examples.
I agree, your tank is fine. The fact that the washers weld up poorly is due to the Zinc coating. Even once you grind it, unless you grind ALL of it off completely (the inner ring and edge too) it will still contaminate your weld. In my view of these limited pictures, its: your weld looks contaminated, the zinc-effected look really worse. Which as I said, is not surprising to me.

As a test, swap lenses, tungstens, and use a clean piece of steel and see what happens.
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Re: Argon gas quality?

Postby aland » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:38 pm

cj737 wrote:I agree, your tank is fine. The fact that the washers weld up poorly is due to the Zinc coating. Even once you grind it, unless you grind ALL of it off completely (the inner ring and edge too) it will still contaminate your weld. In my view of these limited pictures, its: your weld looks contaminated, the zinc-effected look really worse. Which as I said, is not surprising to me.

As a test, swap lenses, tungstens, and use a clean piece of steel and see what happens.

Ok, this is a question for both of you...let's forget about the fumes for a second, and let's just assume we are working in a shop that has XLNT fume extraction and we don't need to worry about that.

When you weld two different type of metal, you will have different temps for fusing, so let's say you knew you were welding different metals, would you treat the tig arc in relation to those different metals? Would you be watching the puddle on each section of metal to determine how long is enough time before moving on?

The reason I ask is that it seems one of the big advantages of tig is that you can pinpoint the heat into a confined area better than other type of welding...and if I understand correctly from what I have learned so far, that goes for being able to fill large gaps and spaces as it's easier for tig to weld to close in a hole that way. I realize there's a lot to think about, but how do you conceptualize the heat as you approach specific welds?

I hope this is not heading off track for this thread... :roll:

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Re: Argon gas quality?

Postby Poland308 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:12 pm

Welding dissimilar metals isn’t much different from dissimilar thicknesses. As things puddle you will see where to focus your heat. I’ve done some brazing of SS to copper. even though it’s less heat than welding it all comes down to watching where things flow first, and pointing it where you need it.

Edit:
Assuming you use the correct filler to get the proper blend of the two metals your working with.
I have more questions than answers

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Re: Argon gas quality?

Postby Attenurb » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:43 pm

Hope this is not off topic here...
I am also wondering if I may have a similar question about my argon, or if there are other factors involved - including incorrect techniques.
Since 1991 I have been happilyTIG welding as an artist/sculptor/knife maker in CA, [1972 Airco 300A mostly, but occasionally the portable Mag Star 91 for fieldwork ]. In 2010 I moved to the big island of Hawaii with only my Mag Star 91 TIG machine and had to get my argon locally. It was working Okay up to about 2015. Since then, every once in awhile, I get bright flashes, sometimes pulsing when welding both mild steel, or stainless steel. I have exchanged my 125cuin. bottle about 7 times since arriving here 2010. The local AirGas does not fill, they only exchange bottles imported from the mainland.
At first, I thought it might be the condition of the metal [and made more effort to clean grind it clean] or possibly the rod - 70S 1/16" and 316L 1/16" respectively. I thought it may be contaminated rod - especially the 70S which readily rusts here rapidly, pulled out a new clean piece, wiped w/ acetone. SAME results. Then, I thought it may be the tungsten, or its sharpening on my 2x72" knife grinder [at first 2% thoriated 3/32", so I switched to WTnT suggested Lanthinated tungsten recently] with no change. Tried a fresh belt and grinding parallel to the axis. No change, still got occasional flashes so bright it overwhelmed even the darkest setting [12] on my autohelmet. I got afterimage like gas welding w/out goggles.
Sometimes [rarely] I can get a full weld without any problem on steel or stainless, or even Sil-bronze.The weld may start out perfect, but in a little bit starts flashing, or it may start out flashing and then stop for a small section, then start again.
Really aggravating. This never happened in CA, where most of my welding happened. NOW, I wonder if it could be the argon quality here, and BTW is about three times the cost of the stuff I got in CA. A 125cuin bottle exchange is $290., so it should be absolutely pristine. Can anyone help explain this? Open to any suggestions, corrections, modifications, reprimands, chastisements, admonishments, ...praise?
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