Tips to Ensure the Best Aluminum Welding Results
If you are using Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG welding processes, aluminum is a great material to use. However, it can be challenging to control the weld puddle and achieve the desired results if you are new to welding.
While this is true, some tips can help. Keep reading to learn what those tips are.
Get to Know the Metal
Aluminum possesses higher thermal conductivity properties. What this means is the heat will spread through the material.
This is unlike steel, and when you are TIG welding on aluminum, the travel speed is usually faster. Also, aluminum is a porous metal, and it has a melting point of about 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another benefit of working with aluminum is that it is the most abundant metal on the planet; however, it doesn’t occur in the metallic form naturally. Instead, it is Bauxite, which is an ore.
Take time to wire brush the material using a brass or copper wire brush. The purpose of this is to remove the oxide layer. Note that you should not use a steel wire brush. That’s because the steel will contaminate your aluminum.
The best option is a copper brush layer. That’s because they are highly effective at breaking up the oxide layer that is present.
When you begin brushing the aluminum, you will begin noticing the metal will dull. This is a good sign, and it means some of the oxide layers have started to break up.
Try to stick with one-direction brushing rather than a forward and backward movement. It will yield the best results.
Use Clean Metal
Make sure to wipe down the base material and the filler rod using acetone or denatured alcohol. Aluminum can be highly sensitive to various impurities, so you need to clean the filler rods even if they happen to be brand new.
The setup is a crucial part of any aluminum weld process. Ensure your machine settings, including the cup sizes, gas flow, and others, are right for the application.
If you plan to work with a steel surface when you weld aluminum, you need a smooth and clean table free from metal shavings. If metal shavings are present, they can arc your aluminum and result in burnt marks.
Consider the Torch Angle
The torch angle is essential because your filer rod may ball up before you dip. That’s why you must feed the filler rod quickly. Make sure you keep the TIG torch angle at 90 degrees or as vertical as possible.
While some applications allow for a minimal tilt in the angle, this won’t be much when using aluminum.
Getting Aluminum Welding Right
Just like anything else in life, when you practice, you will get better. Take time to perfect your welding techniques to ensure you don’t make mistakes on large projects. Being informed and knowing what to do will pay off in the long run. This is true no matter what you happen to be working on.