Flux core Aluminum
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    14

    Flux core Aluminum

    Does anyone have any idea if there is a product out there like flux core aluminum? I do alot of aluminum welding out doors mainly in a shipyard, and we use stick electrode. Its expensive and very time consuming, so I was wondering if anyone has ever seen or heard of flux core wire for aluminum?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    174

    Re: Flux core Aluminum

    never heard of one but i dont think they make any

    but i may be wrong

    i say this because the heat it takes for aluminum alone would be alot then to burn a thicker diameter wire would be nuts.

    just what i think

    -Justin
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    NOT on a warm, sunny beach
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    669

    Re: Flux core Aluminum

    I've never heard of it....

    Even if you could find some (which I highly doubt), it would be such a specialty product that the price would probably be quite unaffordable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    14

    Re: Flux core Aluminum

    Well, if you havent priced Aluminum electrode lately its currently $27.00 a pound!! And you go through it at about three times the rate of steel. With a standard 7018 1/8" rod you could make about a 10" single pass, with 1/8" aluminum rod you get about a 3" pass per rod. And over head is even worse. I did read in another forum that the reason its not out there is they cant pull the aluminum into shape with out it breaking.

    It was explained that when they make steel flux core, they start with a flat ribbon of steel, roll it into a U and then pour in the flux. It then gets rolled shut into a O. At this point its about a quarter inch in diameter, so they extrude it, or pull it down to the correct diameter that we all see. If they try that with ally, it just tears in half.

    Kind of makes sense, oh well maybe some day.

    Thanks for the input..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    3,383

    Re: Flux core Aluminum

    re: aluminum

    Aluminum is usually pretty malleable and formable (alloys can vary widely). Aluminum foil starts out as a huge multi-thousand pound slab of aluminum, then it gets rolled thinner and thinner and thinner until it is foil. That's pretty much showing that aluminum can be formed a LOT. A two foot thick original billet rolled out to 5 thou foil is a 9600 times reduction in thickness!

    Of course aluminum is NOT steel. If you tried to form/extrude/die-pull/etc it the same way as steel you would probably end up breaking the aluminum. But since they can make solid aluminum MIG wire, hopefully they already know that.

    Why not go with solid aluminum MIG wire and tent or tarp or otherwise wind-break the work area?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    14

    Re: Flux core Aluminum

    Most of the work is actually done on the water. They are aluminum tug boats that are part of an emergency response company. They rarely come out of the water, so its hard to tent them or shield the wind. Im thinking of giving it a try though. What do I have to loose, right.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    34

    Re: Flux core Aluminum

    Yes, Flux cored Aluminium filler wire and rods exist! But they are intended for flame brazing or brazing in the oven, rarely are used for TIG welding (impossible for MIG).

    But they are much more expensive than stick electrodes. For your reference, 1 kg of stick electrode is 20-25 EUR/kg and 1 kg of flux cored aluminium rods are 70-80 EUR/kg.

    I know they exist in the quality AlSi12 and AlSi10. They are excellent products, and mostly used in car industry for heat exchangers etc...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    long island , NY
    Posts
    55

    Re: Flux core Aluminum

    if I'm not mistaken, aluminum electrodes are a 4043 alloy. this would be the wrong alloy to weld a boat. Marine grade alloy is 5000 series and 4043 does not have the weld strength. We use Mk prince spool guns and miller xmts. If you can get it clean you can weld right down to the waterline.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    14

    Re: Flux core Aluminum

    Well most of the stick welding done on the boats out in the water is non structural, usually fabricating parts or fixing wholes. Just last week we added a pipe rail to the back of one work boat to allow the lines to slide over the edge without digging in. Its basically sacraficial metal to be eaten away by the cables. And yes welding electrode is 4043. I just purchased an MK Prince spool gun. actually I have another post on it in the Lincoln section. I need to know if it will run on my weldmark 225, which is just like a ranger 9. The post is called spool on weldmark.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Odessa, TX
    Posts
    1,305

    Re: Flux core Aluminum

    Lincoln Electrics answer to this very question was "there are no flux cored aluminum mig wires". My buddy didn't believe me so we emailed them.
    The difference between art and craft is the quality of the workmanship. I am an artist.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    long island , NY
    Posts
    55

    Re: Flux core Aluminum

    I'm not a lincoln guy ,but M K makes contact boxes that will fit most any machine

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