mig welders weld aluminum using DC?
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  1. #1
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    mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    this may seem like a stupid question but how can MIG welders weld aluminum with DC current when TIG has to use AC i understand why TIG uses AC. its because there is oxidization on the aluminum so could the same principle of using DC like a mig be applied to stick? the reason i ask this is because i am looking into buying a little DC buzz box and i was wondering if i would be able to weld aluminum with it?


    thanks in advance

    Ryan

  2. #2
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    The last method to attempt to weld Al would be with stick. I you want the stack of dimes look with the ability to weld a wide range of thin Al then save up your money and get a tig welder. I you want to reinvent the wheel and try to attemp to find a cheap and easy way to weld Al then you got remember that sometimes cheap ends up equaling expensive. What EXACTLY do you want to weld? If you answer this question it will help people point you in the right direction.

  3. #3
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    ok let me clarify i would like to be able to weld up to 3/32" aluminum i know this can be done with a TIG. it can also be done with a DC MIG using a spool gun. my question is how can a DC MIg weld Aluminum and a DC stick can't?

  4. #4
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    Again, what exactly do you want to weld? intakes, fuel cells, angle, sq. tubing. From my understanding weld Al with mig is usually limited to 1/8" or thicker, thinner can be done but requires more skill. Also welding Al in more finicky with setting adjustments and travel speed and unforgiving while doing a weld. DC mig uses Ar to create a shield which is more ideal since nothing else needs to be consumed unlike stick that uses flux. I'm sure the CC vs CV has something to do with it also. I guess another question to ask would, what kind of bead appearance do you want to obtain?

  5. #5
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    You can weld aluminum with dc stick, the results are just not that great, especially on something thin.
    MM350P/Python/Q300
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    HTP MIG200
    PowCon300SM

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    Smith op

  6. #6
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    ok i figured it wouldn't look pretty. so could you TIG weld aluminum with DC then since you can stick weld and they are basically the same concept? and yes i understand i can mig weld aluminum using a spool gun that wasn't really what i was asking but good information to have.

    thanks

    Ryan

  7. #7
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    Quote Originally Posted by trouble007 View Post
    how can MIG welders weld aluminum with DC current when TIG has to use AC i understand why TIG uses AC? thanks in advance - trouble007
    Hi Ryan, I think the answer to your question can be found on a previous post titled,
    "dc welding aluminum - ok with mig but not tig?" by d94jonca, posted Dec 18 2009.
    Rick V

    1 Airco Heliwelder 3A/DDR
    3 CTC 70/90 amp Stick/Tig Inverters in Parallel
    1 Lincoln MIG PAK 15
    1 Oxy-Acet

  8. #8
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    I don't think you can TIG AL with DC, AC only with a TIG machine.

    Larry
    Miller XMT 304 CC/CV
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    Comlpete machine shop to back it up

  9. #9
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    Ryan - that previous post is hard to find with a search.
    Here is the link - much easier to use - http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=36555
    Rick V

    1 Airco Heliwelder 3A/DDR
    3 CTC 70/90 amp Stick/Tig Inverters in Parallel
    1 Lincoln MIG PAK 15
    1 Oxy-Acet

  10. #10
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    thanks guys i figured it out appreciate all the speedy replies i got

    thanks again

    Ryan

  11. #11
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    you can tig weld thicker AL on DC you need to use helium as the shielding gas.

  12. #12
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    Instead of worrying if AC or DC will weld Al, maybe look at what your building. What you want to build may dictate what process you will need to complete your project.

  13. #13
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    you don't need AC to Tig Al you just need to use helium with DC. only problem is Helium with high enough purity is rather costly. if you don't believe me, look on the hobart weldtalk forum, there is a guy on there that does it regularly.
    SA-250D
    Lincoln Pro-MIG 140 w/spoolgun
    Victor Journeyman O/A outfit
    WP-26, WP-17, WP-9 TIG torches run off my SA-250
    Metabo grinders
    and all the other stuff...

  14. #14
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    The real answer to the true question the original poster is asking is...

    For all practical purposes, no, you won't be able to weld aluminum with your dc arc welder, except with aluminum arc welding sticks.
    MM350P/Python/Q300
    MM175/Q300
    DialarcHF

    HTP MIG200
    PowCon300SM

    Hypertherm380
    ThermalArc185
    Purox oa
    F350CrewCab4x4
    LoadNGo utilitybed
    Bobcat250
    XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic
    Suitcase12RC/Q300
    Suitcase8RC/Q400
    Passport/Q300

    Smith op

  15. #15
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    Some earlier discussion on TIG welding Aluminum with DC:
    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php...=dcen+aluminum

  16. #16
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    thanks someone above gave me a link and i now understand why. thanks for all the input

    Ryan

  17. #17
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    Re: mig welders weld aluminum using DC?

    You can TIG weld aluminum quite easily on DCEP with pure argon, however it requires larger tungsten and is still limited to thin sections. The problem is that DCEP puts about 70% of the heat generated into the electrode, rather than on the workpiece. This will rapidly overheat your tungsten and make a mess if you exceed the amperage limit.

    But on thin sections with an 1/8" tungsten it is an ideal way to go.

    MIG welders work on the same principal, they must be run on DCEP to provide the cleaning action that is needed but because the electrode is consumable you can run much higher amperage's.
    Have we all gone mad?

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