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View Full Version : Question for Franz...(and others).



Markopolo
01-12-2004, 12:48 AM
OK, now that we're all settled in to our "new home"...maybe we can start talking about welding again......
Franz...you remember, I asked about Copper vs. Aluminum machines.....If copper is better, why don't the big 2, (namely Miller & Lincoln) make them that way ? I'm pretty damn sure most weldors would get off their wallet's, and spend some of them moth-bitten bucks if they KNEW they were getting quality !

Dave I
01-12-2004, 01:52 AM
somewhere around here I found this http://www.alfatransformer.com/coppervsalum-hd.htm article about the alum vs copper....I need to re-read it again when im not so tired but maybe this will help you.

Dave

Franz
01-12-2004, 04:04 AM
More than 40 years back, as I recall, Miller was the first to build machines with aluminum wound transformers. They even found a way to weld copper leads to the aluminum windings with a combination of pressure and a twist, sort of a friction stirr technique. I didn't have much faith in them, and neither did a lot of folks, but 40 years have pretty much proven Miller had it right back then.
The cost of copper versus the cost of aluminum is the main reason for winding coils with aluminum, and that's the main reason.
More power is lost to heat in an aluminum wound machine, but that cost isn't borne by the manufacturer. From a manufacturing standpoint, it's probably impossible to hold market share with aluminum windings. Most end users rarely take additional power loss into consideration when buying a machine, so everybody seems to have gone to aluminum windings when possible.
Hell, a lot of electric motors are made with aluminum windings that have colored varnish on the windings that will give you the impression you're looking at copper windings.
From a welding standpoint, I'd say the average weldor couldn't tell if he was running a copper or aluminum wound machine if he didn't know.

JTMcC
01-12-2004, 08:53 PM
The Lincoln Classic series is all copper, hence the classic name. The primary buyers are pipeliners, and they do know and understand the difference.

JTMcC.

Markopolo
01-12-2004, 08:57 PM
Thanks, J.T. I'm saving up for a Pipeliner 200D....
What a magnificent machine ! :D

Franz
01-12-2004, 11:08 PM
JT, All my Lincoln machines are copper, including the 1964 toumbstone, and I've burned a lott of rod with them. I'm aware Lincoln built some gas drives with aluminum windings and then went back tothe copper windings, but since I've never run one of the aluminum wound machines, I don't know the difference in arc quality or stability.
I'd appreciate it if you'd enlighten me on the difference between welding with a copper wound over an aluminum wound machine.
Thanks

OlPilot
01-13-2004, 11:22 AM
One thing I've noticed firsthand - when an aluminum welding transformer finally fails, it's a lot more spectacular - balls of fire and molten aluminum rolling around everywhere!

Copper is more expensive but is preferred for transformers. One reason is that the slope of the internal resistance vs. temperature is a lot steeper for aluminum than copper. Most manufacturers use aluminum and coat it with copper-colored epoxy.

I have a friend who has an HTP welder and swears it's the best. I checked out their web page at :

http://www.usaweld.com

Note that even their cheapest 120 mig unit has a copper transformer and a much more robust wire feed design than Miller, Hobart or Lincoln. Anyone else out there using HTP welders? Any comments on HTP?
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FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION - IT COME BUNDLED WITH THE SOFTWARE.

Planet X
01-13-2004, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by OlPilot
One thing I've noticed firsthand - when an aluminum welding transformer finally fails, it's a lot more spectacular - balls of fire and molten aluminum rolling around everywhere!

Copper is more expensive but is preferred for transformers. One reason is that the slope of the internal resistance vs. temperature is a lot steeper for aluminum than copper. Most manufacturers use aluminum and coat it with copper-colored epoxy.

I have a friend who has an HTP welder and swears it's the best. I checked out their web page at :

http://www.usaweld.com

Note that even their cheapest 120 mig unit has a copper transformer and a much more robust wire feed design than Miller, Hobart or Lincoln. Anyone else out there using HTP welders? Any comments on HTP?


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FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION - IT COME BUNDLED WITH THE SOFTWARE. :


I just recieved HTP's catalog- The Mig's they have need more nuts-not enough power to really get it as far as spray transfer goes-but they have enough amps to work through the whole Short circuit range. Which is fine because by looking at their target customer I would say they are after the Auto restorer crowd.:cool:

Franz
01-13-2004, 06:44 PM
Since I have a policy of buying only machines I can test drive going back over 40 years, unless I buy em right at auction, I never really looked at HTP machines.
Their marketing plan seems to be a knockoff of the old cow computer shipped to you via United Parcel Smashers.
HTP also seems to spend a lot of their advertising effort on farmers, and from what I see on the Ag board, the units are respected in that market share.
I just never saw where welders should be sold in box stores or via internet drop shipping. I think the Manufacturers whored their names when they did that, and it didn't really start happening till the men who built Lincoln and Miller retired.

JTMcC
01-13-2004, 11:21 PM
All copper has a smother arc, in reality or in the welders mind, one of the two. The slickest downhill caps I've ever seen were made by a friend of mine with a 1977 Pipeliner, and it had aluminum in it. He thinks the all copper vs. aluminum thing is just more "welder mind trip voodoo". But I'm sticking to my all copper machines, voodoo or not. It's definitly a selling point for Lincoln on the Classic machines.

JTMcC.

Franz
01-14-2004, 02:35 AM
Thanks JT, I do recall the transition to Aluminum, and the introduction of the Calssic machine as well.
There were also a lot of arguments about the pipliner -v- Miller's 3 phase rectifier machines.
It might be fun to run all the machines into a Dranetz analizer with a scope, but I don't think even that would ever convince all, or even most weldors any one was the best machine.
My pipeliner is copper wound, and I sure wish it would find itself a young fellow who wanted to put it to work, cause I sure ain't gonna any more.

JTMcC
01-14-2004, 10:18 AM
The welders I know determine what is the best machine for them by running them 10 + hours per day making a living. A dranetz analizer with a scope, or any other machine made is not going to counteract the real experience of a sure enough welder. Or several thousand of them.

JTMcC.

surfrfred
01-14-2004, 05:48 PM
I could be wrong, but I think HTP's machines are copper wound, too.
Never used one, though

Shane