In this article, we’ll go over the essential elements you need to know when it comes to welding aluminum with a TIG welder, including the types of welding rods and shielding gases to use, the proper technique to use when welding, and how to properly clean and maintain your welding equipment.
How to weld aluminum with a TIG
- Gather the proper equipment. To weld aluminum with a TIG welder, you'll need an AC/DC welder with a high-frequency start and aluminum-specific tungsten electrodes. Additionally, you'll need an Argon gas regulator, a gas cylinder, a welding helmet and gloves, and aluminum-specific wire.
- Prepare the aluminum pieces to be welded. Make sure the pieces are clean and free of dirt, oil, and grease. Use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any oxidation or discoloration.
- Set the TIG welder for aluminum. Set the amperage to the recommended level for the thickness of the aluminum pieces being welded. Generally, thicker aluminum will require higher amperage settings.
- Set the Argon gas flow rate. The flow rate should be between 15 and 25 cubic feet per hour, depending on the type of aluminum being welded.
- Connect the TIG torch to the welder. Connect the torch to the TIG welder and make sure the connection is secure.
- Place the tungsten electrode in the torch. Make sure the tungsten electrode is properly inserted into the torch and make sure the electrode is clean.
- Strike an arc. To do this, press the trigger on the TIG welder and hold the tungsten electrode close to the aluminum pieces being welded.
- Move the electrode along the joint. Move the electrode slowly along the joint, making sure to maintain a consistent arc length.
- Add filler metal. As you move the electrode along the joint, add small amounts of aluminum filler metal to the joint.
- Finish the weld. Once you have completed the weld, slowly move the electrode away from the joint and turn off the power. Allow the weld to cool before inspecting it for cracks or other defects.
Extra Tips for welding aluminium with a TIG
- Clean the aluminum pieces before welding. Make sure the aluminum pieces are clean before welding. Use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any oxide or discoloration.
- Use a clean tungsten electrode. Make sure the tungsten electrode is clean and free of any contaminants.
- Use the correct amperage. Make sure the amperage setting is appropriate for the thickness of the aluminum pieces being welded.
- Maintain a consistent arc length. Make sure to maintain a consistent arc length while moving the electrode along the joint.
- Use the correct filler metal. Use aluminum-specific filler metal for best results.
- Use a clean welding helmet. Make sure the welding helmet is clean and free of any contaminants.
- Use the correct gas flow rate. Make sure the gas flow rate is between 15 and 25 cubic feet per hour, depending on the type of aluminum being welded.
- Allow the weld to cool before inspecting. Allow the weld to cool before inspecting it for cracks or other defects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs:)
What settings do I use to TIG weld aluminum?
When TIG welding aluminum, the frequency should be set to a high setting, typically around 200 Hz. This helps create a strong, stable arc.
Additionally, a lower current setting (around 60-90 amps) is recommended to reduce the risk of burn-through.
The tungsten electrode should be sharpened to a fine point and the torch should be held at a 10-15 degree angle.
Can you weld aluminum with a regular TIG welder?
Yes, you can weld aluminum with a regular TIG welder. However, the process is more complex than welding other metals like stainless steel.
This is because aluminum has a higher thermal conductivity and a lower melting point than other metals.
As such, you need to adjust the settings on your TIG welder to ensure that you can effectively join the aluminum pieces together.
Additionally, you need to make sure that you use a special aluminum welding wire, as well as a shielding gas that is specifically designed for aluminum welding.
Do you need AC or DC to TIG weld aluminum?
AC is used to TIG weld aluminum. AC welding is used because it provides a high frequency current that helps create a more stable arc, resulting in a cleaner weld.
AC welding also helps prevent oxidation while welding aluminum. DC welding can be used to TIG weld aluminum, but it can result in a less stable arc and produce more oxidation.
AC is the preferred current for TIG welding aluminum.
In conclusion, TIG welding aluminum is a complex process that requires the proper equipment, settings, and technique to ensure that the weld is successful.
It is important to use the correct amperage setting, tungsten electrode, filler metal, and shielding gas when welding aluminum.
Additionally, it is important to clean the aluminum pieces before welding and to maintain a consistent arc length.
With the right knowledge and practice, anyone can become an expert at TIG welding aluminum.