Selecting the right filler Metal - GTAW ER 4043
So you want to TIG weld aluminum but don't know where to start or what classification metal you are dealing with? After making sure that your TIG welder has AC capabilities with HF start, the next thing is to find a welding rod (filler metal) that will best suits your needs The ER 4043 filler metal is considered the “general purpose” rod for aluminum TIG welding. In most circumstances, the soft ER 4043 is a dream to weld with. The rod flows easily and quickly so forward speed is fast and dipping motion is rapid. It’s a great choice for someone wanting to keep one rod around. No, it won’t weld all aluminum, as some aluminum alloys just aren’t all that weldable. But chances are if you have a repair or some fabrication to do, this is the rod of choice. The color can be a little off with some aluminum alloys and may not match well when it will be anodized afterwards, but with its resistance to cracking, it does offer an advantage where fit up or shrinkage is a challenge. Again, Silicon is a primary deoxidizing agent used in this rod, so the welds are relatively clean and free of soot and the Silicon reduces the melting point, preventing overheating of the base metal. It’s very stable and resists cracking well if the weld is properly filled. However, the puddle can grow quite large if travel speed is slow and be difficult to manage because of its ability to wet in and the ease of which it melts into the base metal. Overall the 4043 is probably the number one most used aluminum filler rod in the industry. Because of the expense of filler metal, the average hobbyist or a small shop may only have the budget to stock one aluminum rod. The ER4043 will typically work well in that situation. It’s definitely a utility player when it comes to welding Aluminum.