4643 welding wire?????
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  1. #1

    4643 welding wire?????

    Hi there,

    Not sure if this has been brought up in another forum, I'm wondering where to get 4643 mig welding wire, 2lb spool, .30". It's really hard to find, usually sold in multi packs. I'm just looking for individual spools. I want to be able to heat treat the welds post weld. I'm currently using 4043. Any suggestions?

  2. #2

    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Really? no one?

  3. #3
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Did you try to contact these folks?

    http://www.alcotec.com/us/en/support/Sales-Contacts.cfm

  4. #4

    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Hi Wade,

    Nope. I know I see them come up in a lot of welding forums, I'll check them out thanks. I'm surprised no one has tried using this stuff, supposedly it's heat treatable with the same characteristics as 4043. I would think fabricators would be all over it....

    thanks.

  5. #5
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    4043 is also heat treatable.

  6. #6

    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    No, 4043 is not specifically designed to be heat treatable.....read this...http://www.esabna.com/us/en/educatio...ble-alloys.cfm.

    I really don't understand why it's so hard to find 4643, The Alcotec guy referred me to my local Praxair, the Praxair guys never heard of the stuff, they're still trying to find out information. It must not be used very widely in industry if it's so hard to find. If that's the case, I don't understand how things are being heat treated in industry, there are about a billion structural thing made out of aluminum these days, ie, bike frames etc. Is everyone just using 4043 and hoping for good dilution?

  7. #7
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    First hit from googling 'alcotec 4643' is the data sheet which states (and i realise this is probably old news)
    A PRIMARY USE FOR ALLOY 4643 IS IN THE WELDING OF HEAVY SECTIONS OF CERTAIN ALUMINUM ALLOYS WHEN MULTIPLE WELD PASSES ARE USED AND DILUTION OF THE BASE METAL INTO THE PUDDLE IS NEGLIGIBLE
    With lighter sections when there'll be some/more dilution even if 4043 doesn't get anywhere as close to the properties of the base metal as 4643 would with PWHT i reckon it's a moot point a lot of the time due to the fatigue properties of ally... Obviously no way to know who used what wire regardless of whether the thing was put through PWHT but every single ally weld i've seen that cracked through the bead there were lots of obvious welding flaws and LOF with both butts and fillets. The next weak link as far as fatigue is concerned is usually the toe line, especially if the weldor loved the exagerated 'roll of dimes' look- not uncommon to find the crack moves away from the centreline here and there where proper fusion occured in which case it usually ends up tracing the weld toes perfectly before switching back to the centreline again.
    Easton fabrication instructions for both 6061 and 7005 bicycle tubesets here, no mention of 4643... http://www.eastoncycling.com/bike/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/fab_instructions-7005_6061.pdf and while they could be unaware of it they specifically mention 5180 which is at least as rare as 4643 but specifically for the weldable flavours of 7xxx series
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan1981 View Post
    Hi Wade,

    Nope. I know I see them come up in a lot of welding forums, I'll check them out thanks. I'm surprised no one has tried using this stuff, supposedly it's heat treatable with the same characteristics as 4043. I would think fabricators would be all over it....

    thanks.
    2nd hit the internet spits out is Airgas that sell it in both spools and straight lengths, it's over 5 times the price of 4043 per lb...

  8. #8
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan1981 View Post
    No, 4043 is not specifically designed to be heat treatable.....read this...http://www.esabna.com/us/en/educatio...ble-alloys.cfm.
    Cool. Learn something new every day. Thanks!

  9. #9

    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Quote Originally Posted by hotrodder View Post
    First hit from googling 'alcotec 4643' is the data sheet which states (and i realise this is probably old news)

    With lighter sections when there'll be some/more dilution even if 4043 doesn't get anywhere as close to the properties of the base metal as 4643 would with PWHT i reckon it's a moot point a lot of the time due to the fatigue properties of ally... Obviously no way to know who used what wire regardless of whether the thing was put through PWHT but every single ally weld i've seen that cracked through the bead there were lots of obvious welding flaws and LOF with both butts and fillets. The next weak link as far as fatigue is concerned is usually the toe line, especially if the weldor loved the exagerated 'roll of dimes' look- not uncommon to find the crack moves away from the centreline here and there where proper fusion occured in which case it usually ends up tracing the weld toes perfectly before switching back to the centreline again.
    Easton fabrication instructions for both 6061 and 7005 bicycle tubesets here, no mention of 4643... http://www.eastoncycling.com/bike/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/fab_instructions-7005_6061.pdf and while they could be unaware of it they specifically mention 5180 which is at least as rare as 4643 but specifically for the weldable flavours of 7xxx series

    2nd hit the internet spits out is Airgas that sell it in both spools and straight lengths, it's over 5 times the price of 4043 per lb...

    I've researched bike building forums etc. and I'm going to conclude that most bike companies are using good old 4043 for welding 6061 aluminum, even while heat treating. There was a huge article on pinkbike about "Intense bicycles" and their manufacturing processes. I'd have to scan the article again, I know it talked about how important the heat treatment process was when working with 6061 but never mentioned what kind of filler they used and how it affected strength. From these forums, it sounds like 7xxx aluminum is a lot more friendly with regards to molecular reformulation upon welding and doesn't always require heat treatment depending on how extensive the welds.

    If Airgas sells it, that's great. But with that sort of price, I'm just wondering what the point is, if industry is using it and if it's worth it.......shouldn't there be tons of people chiming in saying "YOU GOTTA USE THIS IF YOU PWHT"!!! But no, I hear nothing like this. So I'm leaning towards just sticking with 4043, laying down a good preheat.

    I've read in the bicycle forums that sometimes it can be a good thing to have a slightly "softer" weld area as it can be less prone to crack. I need an expert to chime in.

  10. #10
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Intense uses 5356 for color match on clear ano. 4043 would result in gray beads.

    At the wall thicknesses used in any decent bike frame, a 6061 frame must be brought back to T6 i.e, solution heat treat and artificial aging. A 7005 frame would only need artificial aging. The challenge with 6061 is that a frame would have to be straightened immediately after the quench and before aging. Frames can be as far out as an inch or two after the quench. It's like a wet noodle at the temp used to solution heat treat.

  11. #11

    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    5356? as in they use that all the time? I heard overall 4043 is better compared to 5356 for crack resistance.......

    Right, but the idea is that you should be jigging everything with steel framing to keep everything as straight as possible during the reheat and quenching process. This is what I'll be doing. I know all about that, but what I'm trying to find out about is how important filler material is in this process.......I'm wondering what bike companies(or industry for that matter) use for filler. It's most probably not 4643 seeing at how elusive it is to find. I'm doing motorcycle frame building specifically. I've been using 6061 with 4043 for a few frames so far with great results, strong, no cracks to date but I've been recommended by a pro to have them heat treated to get them back to T6. And I know for a fact that industry does this, especially for pedal bike frames and even motorcycles. The only key information now that is missing is filler metal to use. Maybe i'll send an e-mail to Intense cycles. Prob my best bet.
    thanks for the input.

  12. #12
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Most bicycle companies are using 5356 because most are using 7005 tubing and the ones using 6061 are using 5356 for the color match.

  13. #13

    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Zank.....cool, good to know. Thanks for the info. That helps alot. I've tried using 5356 before, it's ok, I just find it's really really smoky and sprays alot of tiny rough spatter everywhere. This is using it with same settings as 4043, same gas flow, same methods etc. With 4043 and mig, it's a simple pre-heat the hell out of thick sections, point and shoot, the stuff flows like butter. I can get it so there's literally zero smoke and spatter, it's great, I could literally weld in the living room with the stuff. 5xxx isn't heat treatable either though. hmmmmmmmm.......weird. Kinda negates all that work to go though to get the base back it to T6? no? any thoughts.

  14. #14
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    Intense uses 5356 for color match on clear ano. 4043 would result in gray beads.

    At the wall thicknesses used in any decent bike frame, a 6061 frame must be brought back to T6 i.e, solution heat treat and artificial aging. A 7005 frame would only need artificial aging. The challenge with 6061 is that a frame would have to be straightened immediately after the quench and before aging. Frames can be as far out as an inch or two after the quench. It's like a wet noodle at the temp used to solution heat treat.
    That sounds so familiar. John Parker in fact used the stronger 5183 alloy filler on his bikes. I was lucky enough to work with one of his weldors, Tom Templeman. We used that filler on the DWA metal matrix tubesets for the Natural Dynamics series of road bikes. The mtn series was 6061.
    "Nothing welded, nothing gained."
    Miller Dynasty700DX, 3 ea. Dynasty350DX, Dynasty200DX, ThermalArc 400 GTSW, MillerMatic350P, MillerMatic200 with spoolgun, MKCobraMig260, Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm 1250, Hypertherm800

  15. #15
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    You are bringing the HAZ of the base metal back to T6. The bead (provided there's proper depostion, it's fared into the tube, and there's no cold lap) is generally stronger than the parent tube because of the larger cross section.

    I think I'm beginning to understand your question better. Were you assuming that since the filler alloy is not heat-treatable that the finished weldment would not respond to heat treating?

  16. #16
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    That sounds so familiar. John Parker in fact used the stronger 5183 alloy filler on his bikes. I was lucky enough to work with one of his weldors, Tom Templeman. We used that filler on the DWA metal matrix tubesets for the Natural Dynamics series of road bikes. The mtn series was 6061.
    Man, the metal matrix period. Those were nice riding bikes. Too bad there were so many that broke. It was like millions of tiny inclusions.

    Interesting about 5183. I was planning on welding up some test frames with 5356 and some with 5556 and have them fatigue tested. See if there is any difference in cycles. Do you think it would be worth adding some frames with 5183 filler to the test?

  17. #17

    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    You are bringing the HAZ of the base metal back to T6. The bead (provided there's proper depostion, it's fared into the tube, and there's no cold lap) is generally stronger than the parent tube because of the larger cross section.

    I think I'm beginning to understand your question better. Were you assuming that since the filler alloy is not heat-treatable that the finished weldment would not respond to heat treating?

    Well yes and no. The base metal will obviously respond to heat treatment. But the weld filler itself, ie the weld joint consisting of basemetal filler dilution (in most cases this wont' be an even mix and you might have welds where there is mostly filler providing the welds' structural integrity) will stay in it's softer annealed state. But if bike companies are using non heat treatable weld filler, than it sounds like that's the way go. So you essentially get the base metal back to T6, parts of the weld that have a good mix of base metal components in them like copper, mg, silicon will respond to heat treatment and any weld parts that haven't mixed with the base metal very well will just stay in a soft annealed state. I'm guessing that's the idea. With 4643, everything responds to heat treatment, even filler, as I understand.

  18. #18
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    Man, the metal matrix period. Those were nice riding bikes. Too bad there were so many that broke. It was like millions of tiny inclusions.

    Interesting about 5183. I was planning on welding up some test frames with 5356 and some with 5556 and have them fatigue tested. See if there is any difference in cycles. Do you think it would be worth adding some frames with 5183 filler to the test?
    Yes, and they welded like mud. The DWA was some ceramic whisker type.

    Anyway Yeti had a good run with the 5183 filler. I could not tell any difference in using it, but we were laying it on thick. Are you going to heat treat them?
    "Nothing welded, nothing gained."
    Miller Dynasty700DX, 3 ea. Dynasty350DX, Dynasty200DX, ThermalArc 400 GTSW, MillerMatic350P, MillerMatic200 with spoolgun, MKCobraMig260, Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm 1250, Hypertherm800

  19. #19
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    Re: 4643 welding wire?????

    Yeah, for sure. I've got a heat treat place just a few miles from my shop. Should work out well.

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