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Trying to Weld Unknown Aluminum Scrap-No Success!

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Janderso

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#1
Hi,
I am trying to get to know my Miller Diversion 180 with regard to Aluminum.
I picked up some bent scraps at the local source. All I know is it is aluminum.
I have read that some aluminum alloys can't be welded, I guess I found one.
I have had success welding aluminum so I am not a total newb. but close.
I set the dials to "Aluminum", 1/8" = 105 amps AC.
The cleaning action is normal, the puddles will not join. I wait for the puddle to develop, introduce a bit of 4043 rod .093". The rod melts but will not come together.
I used a wire wheel, cleaned with acetone as always.
Anything obvious?
Thanks,
Jeff
 

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brino

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#2
Can you show us some close-up results of an attempt?
Is it possibly magnesium? or something exotic like a titanium alloy?
-brino
 

Janderso

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#3
Will do sir.
First thing in the morning
 

Janderso

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#4
The first pic shows my setup, the second pic, I turned the top piece over.
I am running about 23lbs of argon.
As i recall, there was a film on top of the puddle that was gray to black. A fog of color, if that makes sense.
 

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Franko

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#5
Jan, the black smudges look similar to a problem I had the first time I tried to use my spool gun. on my Hobart.
I discovered that the gas hose was not properly seated at the welder, so I wasn't getting any shielding gas.
It would melt the aluminum but it popped and crackled a lot and burned holes.

Check to make sure you've pushed the gas connector all the way in.
 

brino

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#6
Hi Jeff,

Your cleaning practice sounds and looks great.
Your setup looks reasonable and your filler sounds right to me.

I find aluminum takes the heat away from the weld zone really quickly, way faster than steel.
I normally have to crank the current up to get the weld zone hot enough.

For 1/8 inch Al. I'd start around 125 Amps.....and maybe slightly higher when the base metal is "cold"
If doing lots of welds on one piece (like when practicing beads) once the whole thing is up to temp, the current can be lowered for later beads.

The Miller Diversion 180 is a TIG machine right?
What tungsten size are you using?
I'd suggest around a 3/32 inch tungsten.

I think your just about there....a slight increase in current may just do it.

-brino
 

Janderso

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#7
The gas flow seems OK, but I know what you are thinking. I know the presence of black/gray is from contamination, but I don't see how.
I wire wheeled, then used a liberal amount of acetone on a clean rag. Let it dry as usual.

The Diversion 180 has flared fittings to attach the gas. It's a solid connection, over 1,000 lbs. in the tank. I check ed pressure=23 psi.
 

Janderso

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#8
Brino,
Yes TIG. I am using the gray 3/32 tungsten. I use the 2% Lanthanated (blue) for steel.
I can see what you mean about the aluminum pulling the heat away, I floored the pedal to get enough heat to melt but it did take a bit. I wanted to clean the area first so I didn't want to heat up too quick.
I turned on the machine from yesterday. I am welding AC at 114 amps.
You may be right, more amps. I'll try it.
 

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#9
Like brino stated, your too cold. Rule of thumb is 1 amp per thou.

Paco
 

Janderso

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#10
That's it!
It took a while, I got the clean mercury puddle on the top piece and the vertical piece, when I finally felt like I had enough heat I introduced filler rod. Once the metal heated up-20 seconds? I was able to get a bead going.
I should use more heat up front and back off once the piece heats up.
You already know this of course, text book aluminum properties as I have learned.
Thank you for your help. I have quite a bit of this scrap. I can use it to make stuff with but I had welding in mind.
Jeff
 

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Alphonse

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#11
That 's the ticket! You have a wonderful TIG set up/machine...just need to watch some TIG videos, I recommend Jody Colier's welding tips & tips on youtube. He is to the self taught hobby welder what Mr Pete is to the self taught hobby machinist.
 
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