tips for welding aluminum

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.lawnsite.com/buttons/jump.php?i' started by longviewlawncare, May 17, 2002.

  1. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    I am getting ready to do some welding on aluminum. what is the best type of rod to use, heat setting, etc. I am using 1/8-3/4" angle. Never dine anything with aluminum before. Any help would be appreiacted. Thanks
     
  2. chip hayden

    chip hayden LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    what process are you using? smaw [stick],gtaw[tig], gmaw[mig].
     
  3. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    smaw(stick)
     
  4. chip hayden

    chip hayden LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    i don't know how happy you'll be with the results.optimum thickness with al. coated electrode is @ 3/8-1/2" thick. even then the results aren't that impressive. if it's just a non-critical weld and appearance isn't an issue it will work.
    here's a few suggestions.
    1. make sure the rod is NEW and from an UNOPENED package. the fluoride coating on the rod absorbs moisture at a fantastic rate. this causes unstable arc characteristics and very ropy welds with lots of spatter.
    2. amperage and postion is critical with this stuff. a few amps up or down makes a big difference. try to make all welds in a flat position to slightly downhill. this will also help with the thin metal you are welding.
    3. use a backup bar as much as possible. you're going to need a heat sink of some sort to prevent burning thru. clean steel will suffice. carbon blocks, copper, or aluminum are a little better.
    4. be patient and practice. coated al. electrodes have never worked that well, even from the maintenance rod companies like eutectic, certanium and others.
    regards, chip.
     

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