View Full Version : welding alum with poweritig250
09-09-2009, 04:27 AM
i recently got a poweritig 250 and after some confusion with tungstens and shielding gas . i Finlay got the write set up and can weld steel like a pro( more or less) and i had some scrap aluminum laying around so i took a stainless wire brush and cleaned tell it was spotless and struck an arc and all i got was a blob. no matter what i tried and couldn't get any thing but a blob.
i tried adding some filler rod and it also melted into the blob?
so does any one have any suggestions ???
09-09-2009, 06:29 AM
I assume you are using AC>
Turn balance down to about 35% and turn frequency up to about 120
What does your tungsten tell you?
It also sounds like you are getting oxidation, possibly not getting metal clean enough.
09-09-2009, 01:39 PM
no on the poweritig its on dc with pulse controles...so no high freq ac. but i have heard people say tat have welder aluminum on dc?
09-09-2009, 03:39 PM
Again, it would be a good idea to read the manual. There are safety warnings, hints, and technical tips that you can use to save your life and a lot of time. Please read it for nothing more than the safety warnings!!!
Where ever you are getting your information from is not giving you sound advice.
While technically you can weld on DCEP aluminum, you will make a fine mess doing it with straight argon. Helium or an Helium/Argon mix is used for DCEP welding of aluminum. I surmise also that you are using DCEN. Is your torch in the negative lug? If so this is DCEN and is on the wrong side. This will make the biggest blob you have seen because, despite your best cleaning efforts, a layer of oxide still exists and the aluminum under it melts before the oxide layer and by the time you burn through the oxide, you have made a molten mess of things. You will not have the experience or the patience to use DCEP either as it will eat up tungstens if you are inexperienced and only provides shallow penetration. The DCEP provides the cleaning necessary, but heats up the tungsten quite quickly and will easily form too large of a ball.
AC is specifically designed for aluminum. AC high Frequency welding was developed because so many people had "blob" problems. The AC assists in cleaning the oxide off the metal. The pulse will help control the heat input and make it easier to weld with while in AC.
We do not sell our I-Tig welders to weld aluminum ( I missed that it was an I-Tig unit in the original post). Some people want to know if it will weld aluminum. We say "yes" because they will in the right hands. But if they have to ask that question before they buy, then they probably don't know enough about it to try when they get the unit.
A DC only machine can weld aluminum, but...
Stick Welding: DC electrode negative, with flux coated stick welding rod for thicker aluminum above 3/16".
TIG: DC electrode Positive, you can do very thin aluminum if you use a very large diameter tungsten, most all the heat will be directed at the electrode, the aluminum will be a frosted etched surface because of the pure cleaning action.
I've seen other people DC TIG on aluminum. I've tried it, it's nothing I would recommend.
Look back a couple of threads.
stick welding aluminum with my Super250P
09-09-2009, 04:38 PM
The Tig torch electrode should be Positive, not negative to weld aluminum in DC. This allows the electricity to flow from the workpiece to the electrode. This is what breaks up the oxidation. Electron flow from torch to Workpiece will not allow this to happen.
you'll never forget again :rolleyes:
09-21-2009, 02:29 PM
Maxx, that is good, I might use that. Aluminum Current.
Are you the same MaxxP from Pirate4x4?
10-01-2009, 08:43 PM
Would your setup for aluminum be ACEN then? The electrode is always in the negative lug right? So just switching the switch from DC to AC is all that is needed right?
10-01-2009, 09:00 PM
Generally, the tig torch will never leave the negative lug for any reason.
Even in ac, your balance control depends upon polarity to function correctly.
10-01-2009, 09:43 PM
also the AC balance if I understand correctly is more cleaning action if turned to the left 10% on the knob and more penetration 90% on the knob when turned to the right.?? Right?
FWIW I think it is impossible to get the electrode closer then 1/8 of an inch to the puddle...the aluminum wants to jump up when it melts onto the electrode on me when closer than a 1/4 inch.
10-01-2009, 10:52 PM
It should be the opposite way around.
Left more negative right more positive.
If Aluminum is jumping up, the that is a sure sign you are using too much positive or it is possible that you have too high of rate of gas flow and the flow is drawing the aluminum up via a venturi effect. Too much gas flow can, interestingly enough, be the cause of air contamination being drawn into the weld. The venturi that is created is from the turbulence that is caused by too much gas hitting the weld area.
A 35% setting is a good place to start.
The operator's manual has an error in it. It says that DCEN is responsible for cleaning...which it is not. Even after proof reading, that part escaped my attention. It will be fixed in the new revision coming soon.
11-30-2009, 01:45 PM
DCEP is what does the "cleaning" and also causes the balling of the end of the tungsten.