First aluminium SMAW beads
RSS | Subscribe | Contact Us | Advertise | About Us
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    77

    First aluminium SMAW beads

    I've been anxious to try some aluminium rods after all the horror stories found on the internet so i got myself a handfull of 3/32 an 1/8 AlSi5 rods to play with.
    I must say I'm not dissapointed with my first tries. Not at all as bad as a lot off people say it is.
    The bottom two beads were made with 3/32 rods on 70A DCEP on 3mm checker plate. Degreased and scubbed with a stainless brush. No preheat.

    The top bead with a 1/8 rod was started at 90A DCEP which was to hot. Almost blew a hole after 1" The base metal had heated up a bit from the first two passes as well.
    Dropped down to 80A and that went a lot better. Sped up the travel speed a bit halfway through the weld and the bead flattend out. The first two on the bottom and the first bit of the top one are to high.

    Looking at the result i think i can make this work with a little more practice and experimenting. Trick is to shove the tip of the electrode into the base metal and travel very fast. Slag came off very easy by the way.

    Wouldn't want to weld my motorbike frame with it, but for non critical repairs this could work.

    Name:  alu 1.jpg
Views: 379
Size:  103.3 KB


    Eric
    Last edited by E T; 07-08-2018 at 03:47 PM.
    Kemppi minarc 150
    Esab powercut 400

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    77

    Re: First aluminium SMAW beads

    Backside.

    Name:  alu 2.jpg
Views: 326
Size:  116.8 KB


    Eric
    Kemppi minarc 150
    Esab powercut 400

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Eastern Pa
    Posts
    88

    Re: First aluminium SMAW beads

    That was my opinion on it too. I was expecting it to be like the worst welding experience of my life after reading all the negative hype on these things. Actually it wasn't even that bad. Came out better than my Aluminum Tig welds. I'm finding that choosing the right size electrode and learning about heat dispersal/control is Key to getting good aluminum welds. Starting and stopping sort of takes more planning on aluminum than it does with steel. Sometimes I'll weld everything to the middle instead of welding to an end. Helps with blowing through on the last bit of weld. I'm also no expert. Just picked up the aluminum rods like last week or something.
    Last edited by Scrapman Industries; 07-08-2018 at 11:18 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SoCal-LA
    Posts
    8,677

    Re: First aluminium SMAW beads

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapman Industries View Post
    Actually it wasn't even that bad. Came out better than my Aluminum Tig welds. I'm also no expert. Just picked up the aluminum rods like last week or something.
    Awesome man!
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX3ea,Dynasty200DX,Th ermalArc400GTSW,LincolnSW2002ea., MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200withspoolgun,MKCobra Mig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig3ea.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Western New York State, USA
    Posts
    1,735

    Re: First aluminium SMAW beads

    aluminum stick rod you in general use as big a rod as you can handle and at a many amps as you can handle. stopping after a few inches (or traveling faster) of welding is normal for anybody used to welding thin material
    .
    since max amps aluminum stick rod is limited you often need 5/32 or 3/16 rod for thicker material. same as if Tig welding aluminum you need a lot of amps for over 1/8 and especially over 3/8 thick material. where people have trouble is they try stick welding with 1/8 rod on over 1/2 thick material and have problems cause weld is not hot enough
    .
    1/8 stick rod max to weld is 1/4 thick without using preheat. if you use tig or oxyacetylene you can use stick rod flux and all as a filler rod but you will find you need a lot of amps to get a weld puddle started. i am not saying people cannot use 1/8 stick rod on thick stuff you will just get a lot more cold starts and lack of fusion problems
    Last edited by WNY_TomB; 07-09-2018 at 11:54 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    77

    Re: First aluminium SMAW beads

    Quote Originally Posted by WNY_TomB View Post
    aluminum stick rod you in general use as big a rod as you can handle and at a many amps as you can handle. stopping after a few inches (or traveling faster) of welding is normal for anybody used to welding thin material
    .
    since max amps aluminum stick rod is limited you often need 5/32 or 3/16 rod for thicker material. same as if Tig welding aluminum you need a lot of amps for over 1/8 and especially over 3/8 thick material. where people have trouble is they try stick welding with 1/8 rod on over 1/2 thick material and have problems cause weld is not hot enough
    .
    1/8 stick rod max to weld is 1/4 thick without using preheat. if you use tig or oxyacetylene you can use stick rod flux and all as a filler rod but you will find you need a lot of amps to get a weld puddle started. i am not saying people cannot use 1/8 stick rod on thick stuff you will just get a lot more cold starts and lack of fusion problems
    I think you are right about that. I ran a couple of beads this evening and I like the 1/8 rods better than te 3/32. The shop I got these rods from only sells the 3/32 an 1/8. I will try to get some 5/32 rods to try out.

    Eric
    Kemppi minarc 150
    Esab powercut 400

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    77

    Re: First aluminium SMAW beads

    Ran some more beads this evening didn't do as well as yesterday. First time Lucky maybe?
    Travelspeed has to be spot on but I get the feeling that it changes with every inch of weld as the base material gets hotter and the rod shorter.
    I burned 6 rods today and had about 1 1/2 inch of nice bead with good penetration. the rest was to high with hardly any penetration.
    Now try to find out what I did right there and reproduce. I will keep on practicing to master this.

    Eric
    Name:  alu 3.jpg
Views: 187
Size:  54.4 KB

    Name:  alu 4.jpg
Views: 188
Size:  106.2 KB
    Last edited by E T; 07-09-2018 at 05:36 PM.
    Kemppi minarc 150
    Esab powercut 400

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Western New York State, USA
    Posts
    1,735

    Re: First aluminium SMAW beads

    1/8 rod good for 1/8 to 1/4 max
    .
    there are videos on starting arc. some make a circle on arc start to add extra heat and wider weld start for less of a cold start. they weave and or do circles to make hotter weld, and as part warms up they reduce circles size and or transition to ovals longer in direction of travel and eventually straight travel with no weave circles
    .
    hard to describe. not needed on high penetration rods like 6011 but definitely helps with 6013. it takes practice.
    .
    just remember if Tig welding aluminum many are using 200 amps with 1/8 thick and 250 amps with 1/4 thick material to get a faster weld puddle start. obviously if aluminum stick welding at what 90 amps ? cause usually you use too many amps the whole rod just melts or whole rod burns to nothing way too fast
    .
    so you obviously going to have trouble aluminum stick welding at 90 amps when if you were Tig welding 1/4 thick aluminum you would be 250 amps for faster weld puddle. 5/32 and 3/16 aluminum stick rod is rare to find in store cause professionals would mig weld much faster and not deal with flux
    .
    aluminum stick rod never for big jobs its normally for small 5 minute jobs

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    77

    Re: First aluminium SMAW beads

    Quote Originally Posted by WNY_TomB View Post
    1/8 rod good for 1/8 to 1/4 max
    .
    there are videos on starting arc. some make a circle on arc start to add extra heat and wider weld start for less of a cold start. they weave and or do circles to make hotter weld, and as part warms up they reduce circles size and or transition to ovals longer in direction of travel and eventually straight travel with no weave circles
    .
    hard to describe. not needed on high penetration rods like 6011 but definitely helps with 6013. it takes practice.
    .
    just remember if Tig welding aluminum many are using 200 amps with 1/8 thick and 250 amps with 1/4 thick material to get a faster weld puddle start. obviously if aluminum stick welding at what 90 amps ? cause usually you use too many amps the whole rod just melts or whole rod burns to nothing way too fast
    .
    so you obviously going to have trouble aluminum stick welding at 90 amps when if you were Tig welding 1/4 thick aluminum you would be 250 amps for faster weld puddle. 5/32 and 3/16 aluminum stick rod is rare to find in store cause professionals would mig weld much faster and not deal with flux
    .
    aluminum stick rod never for big jobs its normally for small 5 minute jobs
    I have a feeling circles and weaving are not really an option with these aluminium rods. Everything happens so fast that just shoving it in there and a fast drag is all i have time for. But i will give it a try on my next test. I will also experiment with preheat on the 3mm checker plate which is all i have to play with right now.

    I don't think you can compare stick welding aluminium on DCEP with TIG welding on AC regarding amperage. With stick on DCEP you are bombarding the base material with very hot droplets (on DCEP most heat is in the electrode so the molten droplets from that electrode are very hot) and with TIG on AC the heat cycle changes rapidly and every time you dip the rod the puddle cools. I don't have any experience with TIG yet, but i think this makes quite a difference in the amount of heat you put in the base material.


    I know this is not fit for big jobs. AC TIG or MIG is the way to go for that. But as i stated in my first post. "Wouldn't want to weld my motorbike frame with it, but for non critical repairs this could work."

    I'm just a hobby weldor that loves stick welding for it's simplicity. An AC/DC TIG welder would be nice, but i'm not willing to spend that kind of money on this hobby (yet). So if i can make these E4043 stick rods work it will do for now.

    Eric
    Last edited by E T; 07-10-2018 at 05:35 PM.
    Kemppi minarc 150
    Esab powercut 400

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
RSS | Home | Penton Media | Contact Us | Subscribe | For Advertisers | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement