Tips for Tig Welding Aluminum
Welding aluminum with tig is a fast and reliable way to create strong, straight and aesthetic joints. As one of the cleanest welding processes available, it makes it ideal for production work or even DIY weekend projects.
TIG welding aluminum requires more skill and precision than other welding processes, but it's easy to master with some practice. Here are some tips for optimal results:
Prior to tig welding aluminum, it's essential to thoroughly clean the surface. Doing so prevents contaminants from getting into the weld. Use a paper towel or unused rag with acetone to wipe away dirt, oil or other residue from the aluminum's surface. Doing this also helps eliminate porosity which could weaken an aluminum weld.
When welding aluminum, the type of filler metal used is critical for the final look. If it's the incorrect rod type, you could end up with grainy bead formation or a poor-quality weld. Utilizing the correct wire type for your application can prevent these issues from arising.
Adjusting Arc Length
The longer the arc, the greater the power that goes into welding. This can be beneficial as it heats a larger area of material but could also result in runaway puddles that are difficult to manage. To avoid this, keep your arc length short and practice puddle control techniques regularly.
Balance control on a TIG welder is an essential feature when tig welding aluminum. Most TIG welders come equipped with an inbuilt balance control module, allowing you to adjust the EP and EN cycles as necessary.
For most applications, set your balance to a ratio of 70:30; however, this can be increased if necessary for cleaning purposes. Furthermore, use the balance control to regulate AC amperage so that enough penetration occurs while keeping tungsten geometry unchanged.
TIG welding aluminum requires precise hand and torch positioning, and without the right tools it may not always be easy to achieve the results you desire. The most crucial factor is having a secure grip on your torch with 5 to 15 degrees of backward tilt.
Leave a comment