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Ok here is what Im getting. I cleaned the alum. with alcohol. Im useing 4043 wire with 100% argon. Any suggestions??

Thanks, Dan
 

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Hey Dan, try using a wire wheel on the area to be welded(A wire brush would take way too long) and knock the polish off of it. I am not sure about this, but I think there is some kind of coating which holds the polish. As fast as aluminum oxidates, I would think the polish would not hold for long at all without something to protect it.

You need to stailness steel brush all areas to be welded on aluminum. You can not weld oxidised aluminum well at all. You need to have reall clean fresh aluminum to get a good weld.

When welding aluminum in the past, I have brushed the aluminum a few hours before I get a chance to weld, and the clean metal that I had , had already oxidized before I got around to welding it.

For best results the brush that you use needs to be a clean stainless brush, which is dedicated mostly only to aluminum work.

My attack would be with a 5" wire wheel on the angle grinder to knock the polish and any coating off, followed up by a meticulous stainless steel hand brushing.

Sean
 

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Hit it with a little Phorsoric acid and it will remove the ash. Did it prep the weld area with a clean stainless brush before you welded it?
 

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Oh, and I didn't notice it at first, but DEFINITELY clean up those edges.....Those plasma cut edges will not do as there is alot of oxidized material there.


Sean
 

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Station said:
Hey Dan, try using a wire wheel on the area to be welded(A wire brush would take way too long) and knock the polish off of it. I am not sure about this, but I think there is some kind of coating which holds the polish. As fast as aluminum oxidates, I would think the polish would not hold for long at all without something to protect it.

You need to stailness steel brush all areas to be welded on aluminum. You can not weld oxidised aluminum well at all. You need to have reall clean fresh aluminum to get a good weld.

When welding aluminum in the past, I have brushed the aluminum a few hours before I get a chance to weld, and the clean metal that I had , had already oxidized before I got around to welding it.

For best results the brush that you use needs to be a clean stainless brush, which is dedicated mostly only to aluminum work.

My attack would be with a 5" wire wheel on the angle grinder to knock the polish and any coating off, followed up by a meticulous stainless steel hand brushing.

Sean
I second this stainless steel wire brush dedicated to aluminum welding only
 

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Clean that with acetone...it is a much better solvent the alcohol. Definately clean it with a stainless wire brush if you gonna use a powered one keep the rpms and pressure down so you don't smear the Al and get crap stuck in the surface.

What was the gas flow set to? Did you push or pull?
 

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Ive got a small SS wire brush thats about the size of a tooth brush. It works really well for getting into the corners and such. I agree with keeping the brush whatever you use dedicated for alum.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the suggestions. I have a stainess wire wheel and will try that. I Have been prepairing the edge I just welded that one for the pic.

I pull my welds. I find it is easyer for me. Im up for any tips. The gas flow is set to 20.

Thanks, Dan
 

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Hey dan, i know you like to weld from left to right but, if you lead from right to left there will be no weld soot, it is a sure thing. steve
 

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steve gerstner said:
Hey dan, i know you like to weld from left to right but, if you lead from right to left there will be no weld soot, it is a sure thing. steve
:confused: Push or pull? I need more. Shurly you are pulling my leg.
 

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How old is your aluminum wire?
After 6 months throw the shit in the trash because it oxidizes too much and can't be used.
I worked for a company that made aluminum trucks beds , and if we had to wire brush every joint before welding, it would take a week before we could weld them up.Wire brushing is good if the aluminum is dirty and oxidized , but your justing wasting time if the aluminum is clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
steve gerstner said:
Hey dan, i know you like to weld from left to right but, if you lead from right to left there will be no weld soot, it is a sure thing. steve

This IS the way to use a spoolgun ALWAYS PUSH It must be a shielding thing. But every weld I pushed crappy or not was clean.
Never would have believed this (showes my ignorance) Steve was right on here.

Thanks, Dan
 

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Dirk said:
How old is your aluminum wire?
After 6 months throw the shit in the trash because it oxidizes too much and can't be used.
I worked for a company that made aluminum trucks beds , and if we had to wire brush every joint before welding, it would take a week before we could weld them up.Wire brushing is good if the aluminum is dirty and oxidized , but your justing wasting time if the aluminum is clean.

Wish I had seen this when the thread was origionally up. Aluminum oxidizes, that is why it is so corrosion resistant. Once you have cleaned the area to weld, weld it, if it sits more than about 8 hours it will have re oxodized and you will have porosity in your weld. I bet all that welding you did on uncleaned aluminum was never x-rayed or you would have known better. Having to pass an x-ray examination to pass my welding course I can tell you it does make a difference.
 
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