View Full Version : Balled tungsten
10-02-2003, 12:34 AM
To weld aluminum I have been told to use a ball on the end of the tungsten. To form this ball I was instructed to revearse polarity and strike an arc. My question is what amprage should this arc be struck? If the tungsten becomes contaminated can i clean with brush or do I reball?
10-02-2003, 03:54 AM
just to be on the safe side, i would brush it or even re grind it to a better surface
10-04-2003, 02:24 AM
if contaminated I would regrind and reball, best bet depending on the size is roughly 100 amps +/-
11-30-2003, 12:38 PM
All you have to do is grind a point on your tungsten and drop a penny down on the work surface, hold the nozzle about 1 eight of a inch away from the penny, you will get a nice ball......
01-10-2004, 08:37 PM
I found no need to form the ball with DCEP. I just grind the point and initiate an arc in AC. The ball will form by itself and will usually be a little smaller than when I intentionally form it. Makes for a tighter arc...
01-10-2004, 11:48 PM
I'm new to welding but my experience has been exactly as described by BillC. I always grind the piont to a small flat.
01-11-2004, 11:48 AM
I use 100% tungsten for Aluminum. I grind my tungsten to a very sharp, blunt point.. What I mean is a very short taper to the point.
Does anybody have any suggestions to get a tighter more controlled arc when using AC and Aluminum? I love welding mild steel because I get a nice tight arc with a really sharp pointed 2% tungsten.
Would another type of tungsten help me get a more controlled ARC when in AC mode on Aluminum (maybe create a smaller ball at the end of the tungsten)?
01-11-2004, 04:20 PM
Check out zirconiated tungsten (http://www.aglevtech.com/ZIRCONIATED_Tungsten.html) it can handle higher temps and is less succeptible to contamination. Grind your short blunted point and go.
01-12-2004, 10:15 AM
I too only grind to a point and let arc ball it up, I just got in some zirconiated but did not try it yet. Remember your arc with AC will not be as tight as it is with DC welding, although I test welded with a square wave machine and it did hold a nice arc and I welded a much smaller bead with it.
1% Zirconiated, White, AC Welding applications. Better start up than Pure Tungsten, Balls up well and has a more stable arc than Pure Tungsten. Better current carrying capacity and high resistance to contamination during welding.
Zirconiated tungsten electrodes (EWZr) contain a small amount of zirconium oxide (ZrO2). Zirconiated tungsten electrodes have welding characteristics that generally fall between those of pure and thoriated tungsten. They are the electrode of choice for AC welding because they combine the desirable arc stability characteristics and balled end typical of pure tungsten with the current capacity and starting characteristics of thoriated tungsten. They have higher resistance to contamination than pure tungsten.
04-11-2004, 09:12 AM
likes2weld, just use the 2% thoriated tungsten you have, they work fine on aluminum. Scott.
04-15-2004, 12:02 AM
You don't have to grind the tungsten at all when welding Aluminum, just take a pair of pliers and cut the end off, and then ball the end using the method you were instructed to use. Just remember that whatever grinding wheel you use to grind your Tungstens with, that you don't use that wheel for grinding anything else.
04-25-2004, 09:21 PM
just point it, balling is outdated, even on transformer machines.
07-21-2005, 03:37 PM
Well, that ball thing is out of date if you are trying to get a very tight arc (which most of the time you are), but I have found that if youre doing really thick stuff with a thick filler rod, that big ball helps. I repaired one of my bmw's rims that got pretty badly cracked using the big ball method. The wider arc made the bead almost as flat and as smooth as the rim was originally. It required required very little finishing when it was done. I still use the rim it as a spare.
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