Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?
RSS | Subscribe | Contact Us | Advertise | About Us
Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Hi Folks,

    I have a chance to buy one at a great deal but from docs and not clear on if it will do aluminum as it is DC only.
    I currently have a DC MIG setup with a Miller XMT304 and push pull gun for aluminum and also use the XMT with a tig torch for Tig on SS but can't do aluminum as I have no AC for cleaning (I have never used any TIG for aluminum, only for SS).

    Please let me know if this will do aluminum well? I want this or AC/DC Tig for slower, better looking beads on pipe, etc than I can do with my bulky push pull setup on MIG..
    Darrell

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bemidji MN
    Posts
    14,112

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    It sounds like you already know that you need an AC/DC machine to do normal aluminum tig welding - so you've answered your own question.

    DC aluminum tig is done on heavy aluminum using 100% helium. But based on your post, you are likely not talking about that method.
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
    Invertec v250-s
    Thermal Arc 161 and 300
    MM210
    Dialarc
    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Hi Dave - well, you are right - i know that with a TIG setup you typically need AC, except for like you said with helium/ special purpose. But, this machine is PAW, Plasma arc welding, so I need someone knowlegable on PAW and hopefully this machine, to tell me if the PAW process allows welding on aluminum without AC.
    It may sound stupid, but as I can do aluminum with only DC using a different process now (MIG) using the argon for shieding/ cleaning I think it is possible that the PAW process, being still different may allow aluminum welding as well....

    docs are unclear- state that all metals which can be done by TIG can be done by PAW... but doesn't state if all metals done by AC/DC tig can be done by PAW...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    106

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    AWS handbook on welding processes does state
    "Aluminum and Magnesium alloys can be welded with DCEN, however extreme cleaning measures must be taken due to the tenacious surface oxides formed on these alloys"

    You may get mixed/poor results welding aluminum DC with PAW. You will definitely need to clean the material well. Is there any way you could have the seller allow you to do a test run?

    As an aside, I have done some work with PAW aluminum on AC. Attached photos show some welds done with a Thermal WC100B console and a Heliarc 281 AC/DC tig welder for the power supply. Used pulse AC on dirty material. Results were great

    Name:  IMG_0209.jpg
Views: 225
Size:  100.6 KBName:  IMG_0257.jpg
Views: 224
Size:  66.7 KBName:  IMG_0269.jpg
Views: 223
Size:  74.3 KB
    Last edited by weldinON; 09-07-2018 at 12:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bemidji MN
    Posts
    14,112

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northeaster View Post
    Hi Dave - well, you are right - i know that with a TIG setup you typically need AC, except for like you said with helium/ special purpose. But, this machine is PAW, Plasma arc welding, so I need someone knowlegable on PAW and hopefully this machine, to tell me if the PAW process allows welding on aluminum without AC.
    It may sound stupid, but as I can do aluminum with only DC using a different process now (MIG) using the argon for shieding/ cleaning I think it is possible that the PAW process, being still different may allow aluminum welding as well....

    docs are unclear- state that all metals which can be done by TIG can be done by PAW... but doesn't state if all metals done by AC/DC tig can be done by PAW...
    Are you looking for a variable-polarity plasma arc welder?

    It was a while ago, but I seem to remember it listed that way for aluminum plasma welding?
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
    Invertec v250-s
    Thermal Arc 161 and 300
    MM210
    Dialarc
    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Thanks for the info and pics. I would love to have the setup and skill to end up with welds like that.
    I have read the term variable polarity in some of the paw docs online but I dont understand it all yet.
    To be clear I was hoping or planning to pick up a small used or cheaper model new ac/DC tig machine in the next couple of years for some pipe and finish type work on a small cabin on the aluminum boat that I built. But a friend got this machine by luck on a great deal and then decided to just get a small tig set up instead without ever hooking it up. I can try it first but the price is peanuts so I wouldn't bother not taking it anyway as my gas to drive it back is close to what he wants for it. He is being very good to pass on the deal to me. He lucked out and was in the right place and time when a shop didn't need it anymore and said make me an offer. If it won't do aluminum well it will still be fun to try but if it will I will be over the moon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Mount Tabor VT
    Posts
    5,812

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    AC for alum. Without AC you'd need to be a super expert, and use helium. If you think welders are expensive, buy a tank of helium.

    Heliarc was the magic welding process of my youth. Amazing things came out of the secret G. E. plant. They used sine wave, but with helium as shielding gas. These days it's argon that is used. helium can't always be had, and when it can, it is expensive.

    If aluminum is your metal of choice look for AC. Square wave is very nice, adjustable balance is a plus, adjustable frequency is nice. Inverters use less electricity. Aluminum needs POWER! look for 200+ Amps, with 60% duty cycle. You will then have an aluminum welder.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    106

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Variable polarity = Alternating Current. As I mentioned, I wouldn't get my hopes up about being able to weld aluminum well with it.
    Sounds like you have a fun project on your hands experimenting with the unit. It really is an cool process to play with.
    Make sure you get the torch and any consumables with it you can find.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Thanks for all of the info. Yes the company had just bought a new torch and consumables before they got out of using it so that all comes with it. Looks like I'll play with it and maybe eventually sell it once it can be shown working an get an ac capable tig unit
    .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Mount Tabor VT
    Posts
    5,812

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Quote Originally Posted by weldinON View Post
    Variable polarity = Alternating Current. As I mentioned, I wouldn't get my hopes up about being able to weld aluminum well with it.
    Sounds like you have a fun project on your hands experimenting with the unit. It really is an cool process to play with.
    Make sure you get the torch and any consumables with it you can find.
    I don't believe you will ever be happy with it. I have a few cheap clunker welders that have only gathered dust. Good cheap stick welders are plentiful, but I consider the big older monsters to be more desirable. Good cheap TIG welders modern, are as rare as honest lawyers.

    As for aluminum, features cost money. The head moderator here uses an antique big as a refrigerator. His work is incredible. Minnesota Dave has virtually the same machine painted yellow. His work is beautiful. I have possession of that machine in three phase, I can't power. I haven't brought it home, and can't give it away. I may scrap it.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Willie - I do appreciate your view and reasoning. And I would not at this point buy something I can't at least use at all, i.e. 3 phase only..

    I guess I figured that even if won't do aluminum, it should be still fairly valuable / useful at doing mild and especially SS, even in thin pieces, once set up.
    my cost in it will be quite low - if i tire of it, would i not be able to sell a working (glorified TIG..) PAW machine for something in the range of $500 - 1000.
    I see them on ebay for $1500US (taken from surplus/ shut down factories) and also anywhere from $3000 to even $9000 advertised locally in Ontario - same model but likely newer..
    Last edited by Northeaster; 09-08-2018 at 08:40 PM. Reason: sp

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    wondering if the ultima 150 foot control pin out (below) is the same as a Miller foot pedal, if anyone can tell me (they both use Miller style 14 pin plug I believe)
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    could anyone tell me if the plug shown here in pic fits the pinout provided above, to work with the Ultima 150 - i have not seen a diagram which lists TD pin locations. i would prefer a foot control but if i can get this remote to work, it could be had for 1/4 of the price - be nice to try and see if the machine works ok.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Update- happy to say that my (new to me) Thermal Arc Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder functions well. I do not yet have a remote control switch nor foot control (to start the welding arc) so I had to wire up a temporary wire/ switch to do this. I only welded for a few minutes but the arc was very nice on some 1/4" stainless. I want to try it on thin material soon, when I have time.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sparks, NV
    Posts
    9,542

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Nice, got any pics of the machine and setup. I know the torches and consumables are really expensive. Definitely a speciality application. Mostly used on automated applications...
    Tiger Sales: AHP Distributor www.tigersalesco.com
    AHP200x; AHP 160ST; MM350P, Spoolmatic 30A; Everlast PowerTig 185; ESAB 875 plasma;Evo 355. OA

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    it came with a new torch / cables and a bag of consumables - about 10 gas diffusers, 5 packs or tungstens (with about 5 in each pack), a bag of collets. 2 bags of tips (one pointed and the other flat "tipped". Before I got the remote arc control wired out, I ruined a couple of tips basically lift-starting.... but now i should not go through many... and the tungsten is recessed so it really doesn't see much wear or contamination.

    I haven't don't much with setup other than buying a Tee for my argon bottle, so the 2 regulators could work on one bottle, and wiring a temporary switch/ wire for remote arc start.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    pics before setup
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ceres, California
    Posts
    3,399

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    The Miller plug is labeled A, B C ect on its pins. A&B are contactor control and CDE are remote control pot.
    The plug has a slot next to A. the plug you pictured does not have a slot. It has a locator (index) tab on the outside.
    The drawing has numbered the pins not lettered. so the plugs are a different size.
    You could always make a control box with a toggle switch and a control potentiometer. Cost would depend on if you have some used parts and pieces.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Thanks for the info. In my other thread (and now below here)i show a pic/ diagram of the wiring for the arc on and off and for remote control pot. I am really not concerned about being able to use the plug - i can just wire to the internal TB1 strip which feeds the J20 remote connector- what I don't know is which of the 3 remote pot wires in the cheap foot pedal specs below go to which TB1 or j20 locations. I know locations 3 and 4 are remote arc on and off but what are the remote pot locations? is it the Min/analog signal return, wiper/analog signal in and max?
    any more help would be appreciated?




    specs for cheap pedal:
    Specifications
    Color: Black
    Material: Metal
    Aviation plug: 2+3 core
    Resistance: 10K
    Input voltage: 380V
    Size: 25 x 11.5cm
    Suitable For: super 200p, wse200 and TIG 200P AC/DC,
    315P TIG-315P AC/DC and other tig welding machine

    Features
    - Three-pin plug, remote control port connected to the machine, adjust the current
    - Two-pin plug, replace the gun switch line
    - The bottom of the rubber pad, effective insulation, more firmly on the ground
    - Easy to install, easy to use

    1 x foot control pedal

    ebay listing for cheap pedal:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-3-Pin-TIG...f:0#shpCntId

    Any advice would be appreciated!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Miller XMT 304 CC/CV Power source
    Miller Optima Pulsing pendant
    Miller XR feeder and XR15 Push-pull gun
    Miller XR feeder and XR30 Push-pull gun
    Miller S62 feeder
    TD Pak master 100 plasma cutter
    TA Ultima 150 Plasma Arc Welder

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    168

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    I know these pics are less than impressive... just playing.. moving the puddle on some 1/4" 316 and then adding filler to some 1/16" to 3/32" 316 or 304.
    I got tips with the machine but after blowing through a couple of them, I looked them up and they are only a 35amp tip... I ended up blowing a much larger hole in one and then used it to weld up to about 120 or 130 amps on some of these pieces. went from 30 amps and up with about 10cfm argon shielding on lower amps and about 20+ cfm on hotter amps.
    I am using argon for both plasma gas and shield gas.
    Have to order some proper tips for above 35 amps...
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Miller XMT 304 CC/CV Power source
    Miller Optima Pulsing pendant
    Miller XR feeder and XR15 Push-pull gun
    Miller XR feeder and XR30 Push-pull gun
    Miller S62 feeder
    TD Pak master 100 plasma cutter
    TA Ultima 150 Plasma Arc Welder

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    196

    Re: Will the Esab/Thermal Arc/Tweeco Ultima 150 Plasma arc welder do alumiunum well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northeaster View Post
    I know these pics are less than impressive... just playing.. moving the puddle on some 1/4" 316 and then adding filler to some 1/16" to 3/32" 316 or 304.
    I got tips with the machine but after blowing through a couple of them, I looked them up and they are only a 35amp tip... I ended up blowing a much larger hole in one and then used it to weld up to about 120 or 130 amps on some of these pieces. went from 30 amps and up with about 10cfm argon shielding on lower amps and about 20+ cfm on hotter amps.
    I am using argon for both plasma gas and shield gas.
    Have to order some proper tips for above 35 amps...
    I know just about all you can know about that machine if you need help. Also, depending which torch you got with it, I may have some consumables for it. Note: the torches are over rated so don't try to run 150A through the 2A or 3A torch. You will also need an Inert CGA580 Tee to put on your tank. You "Must"
    use 2 regulators.
    Thermal Arc 320SP
    Cobra Pythons
    Thermal Arc 300 AC/DC
    Thermal Arc 161STL
    Thermal Arc 190S
    Cut Master 82, 42.
    Victor Gas App.
    Ellis 1600
    Evolution Compound Mitre.
    Boxes of welding crap.

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