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Thread: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

  1. #26
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    I don't think you have enough experience to attempt the repair. Aluminum is a way different animal than steel. It doesn't turn red hot for one thing, you just all of a sudden have a big hole where it melted and dropped. I would suggest having someone experienced with aluminum take a look. If you can clean it really good maybe an epoxy could be used as a temporary fix until it could be replaced.

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  3. #27
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noidea87 View Post
    I run a crew that maintains the equipment on these. We do own it, our engineer designed it and then it was fabricated and installed. This would be a fix to keep it going a while until we can replace it. Basically keep it from getting worse
    Sounds like the repair method should be dictated by "our engineer who designed it."

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  5. #28
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Usually if tubes are damaged by water freezing the tubes are bulged out.
    Ernie F.

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  7. #29
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noidea87 View Post
    I run a crew that maintains the equipment on these. We do own it, our engineer designed it and then it was fabricated and installed. This would be a fix to keep it going a while until we can replace it. Basically keep it from getting worse
    Then get your engineer to design & specify the repair procedure. That why he makes the BIG bucks!

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  9. #30
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    I don't think you have enough experience to attempt the repair. Aluminum is a way different animal than steel. It doesn't turn red hot for one thing, you just all of a sudden have a big hole where it melted and dropped. I would suggest having someone experienced with aluminum take a look. If you can clean it really good maybe an epoxy could be used as a temporary fix until it could be replaced.
    I don't disagree, but I would plan to practice before I attempted it. That's why I didn't really want to cut the whole beam out and weld it in. I feel pretty confident I could practice and then weld in a piece of angle, or weld up the crack though. These pictures are from a year or so ago so this repair probably won't even be attempted until this summer so I'd have time to practice with aluminum before we make the trip over to the area to repair. Once I had a repair plan I would get some aluminum scrap and mock up some things to practice with in our warehouse.

    We have a Miller 211 autoset
    Last edited by Noidea87; 02-26-2021 at 09:30 AM.

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  11. #31
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    i am not very experienced but if it was me i would c clamp that thing back into place grind a bevel down into the crack, weld it back, grind it back flush, and weld a solid plate over top of the repair to give it some backbone. not sure if thats a good idea just my best guess.

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  13. #32
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    If it is a temporary fix... get some al angle beat the crack closed and weld the angle over the aforementioned section... I would use 2x2x1/4 minimum stitch weld all the way around. That should buy some time until the "Fix" is completed.

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  14. #33
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac's Crew View Post
    If it is a temporary fix... get some al angle beat the crack closed and weld the angle over the aforementioned section... I would use 2x2x1/4 minimum stitch weld all the way around. That should buy some time until the "Fix" is completed.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    So stitch weld instead of full weld all the way around the edges? I thought i read somewhere a stitch weld was stronger but that didn't make sense to me. Is there a reason for the stitch?

  15. #34
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Warping... it will move, just like steel. And welding changes the temper of the metal around it. Al gets gummy as it goes closer to O material. So the areas directly around the welds will be where the next failure will be... 100% weld you can but personally I would not.

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  17. #35
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac's Crew View Post
    Warping... it will move, just like steel. And welding changes the temper of the metal around it. Al gets gummy as it goes closer to O material. So the areas directly around the welds will be where the next failure will be... 100% weld you can but personally I would not.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    That makes sense. Thanks.

  18. #36
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    if that access hole allows u to slip some backing strips in behind crack(s) (even butting small pieces together - 6061 angle), id v/prep it out generously w/ good sized holes/radius at ends. that would give u excellent penn w/ ur 5356. burning into that backing and filling the valley will be easy/forgiving for u begginer tack in backing to both sides of bevel every so many inch's so it dont open from heat and feather them out. preheat all round it, as u might already know heat runs/sucks quick w/ alum. even a couple of them 20 dollar propane/etc bottles w/ screw on heads for plumbers to warm that puppy up is better than nothin. is that the coranado bridge in the background? i used to stay at hotel corando whn i was a kid. there aint no freezin down there, the closest thing u guys could get to a freeze is a slurpy from 7-11

  19. #37
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by 123weld View Post
    if that access hole allows u to slip some backing strips in behind crack(s) (even butting small pieces together - 6061 angle), id v/prep it out generously w/ good sized holes/radius at ends. that would give u excellent penn w/ ur 5356. burning into that backing and filling the valley will be easy/forgiving for u begginer tack in backing to both sides of bevel every so many inch's so it dont open from heat and feather them out. preheat all round it, as u might already know heat runs/sucks quick w/ alum. even a couple of them 20 dollar propane/etc bottles w/ screw on heads for plumbers to warm that puppy up is better than nothin. is that the coranado bridge in the background? i used to stay at hotel corando whn i was a kid. there aint no freezin down there, the closest thing u guys could get to a freeze is a slurpy from 7-11
    So cut some small strips of 6061 and tack it inside the crack, then weld over that? We have a oxy/acty rig we could preheat the area with if that would help. This is in LA as in Louisiana so yeah not much water freezing haha, but it does occasionally happen.

  20. #38
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    I don't want to be a downer but if it needed to be designed by an engineer you don't have the required skill or experience to even attempt a weld repair. Have someone experienced have a look it. It's not a DIY project for a beginner. It's going to be very dirty being out in the elements, especially being so close to the water.

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  22. #39
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noidea87 View Post
    So cut some small strips of 6061 and tack it inside the crack, then weld over that? We have a oxy/acty rig we could preheat the area with if that would help. This is in LA as in Louisiana so yeah not much water freezing haha, but it does occasionally happen.
    yea, if u can slip them inside somehow through that acces hole and hold in place while u tack (get creative) . that would be the way to go. that way u get full penn, and everything ties together. oxy acet should be ok, just make oxidized flame /over oxygen, and hold it back some from workpiece, cuz that acet/carbonizing don't help alum any, but yes use it. o, that LA, lol, ok
    Last edited by 123weld; 02-26-2021 at 04:02 PM.

  23. #40
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noidea87 View Post
    I don't disagree, but I would plan to practice before I attempted it. That's why I didn't really want to cut the whole beam out and weld it in. I feel pretty confident I could practice and then weld in a piece of angle, or weld up the crack though. These pictures are from a year or so ago so this repair probably won't even be attempted until this summer so I'd have time to practice with aluminum before we make the trip over to the area to repair. Once I had a repair plan I would get some aluminum scrap and mock up some things to practice with in our warehouse.

    We have a Miller 211 autoset
    You better practice OUTSIDE yer warehouse- the wind is gonna give you fits when you go to weld it in place
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  24. #41
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    I don't want to be a downer but if it needed to be designed by an engineer you don't have the required skill or experience to even attempt a weld repair. Have someone experienced have a look it. It's not a DIY project for a beginner. It's going to be very dirty being out in the elements, especially being so close to the water.
    he wants to learn, and doing new things "hands on", is how u learn. u ought to try it urself sometime

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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    You better practice OUTSIDE yer warehouse- the wind is gonna give you fits when you go to weld it in place
    haha that's a good idea. I plan to set up some type of wind break when we work so we'll see how it goes. I mean what would a pro do stick weld it or something?

  26. #43
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    You better practice OUTSIDE yer warehouse- the wind is gonna give you fits when you go to weld it in place
    And get some "seasoned" aluminum that's been sitting outside near the water for a year.

  27. #44
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by 123weld View Post
    he wants to learn, and doing new things "hands on", is how u learn. u ought to try it urself sometime
    Yeah that is the thing. In my job we have to kind of be a "jack of all trades, master of none" I do a little bit of all types of ****. They bought us a welder and we've fixed a few things, but the only way to get better is to do it. If we keep just paying welders what's the point. Gotta learn somehow.

    Would a pro do a better job, absolutely, but if I never try I will never learn. If this weld fails the whole thing won't come down so I feel comfortable practicing on some scrap and then giving it a shot. I would not feel comfortable cutting the whole section out and putting a new cross member in. I want to get some more experience welding aluminum because we use aluminum a lot, and it would be nice to have the ability to quickly fab up simple things in our shop instead of paying out the nose for a pro shop to make it.
    Last edited by Noidea87; 02-26-2021 at 04:27 PM.

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  29. #45
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noidea87 View Post
    Yeah that is the thing. In my job we have to kind of be a "jack of all trades, master of none" I do a little bit of all types of ****. They bought us a welder and we've fixed a few things, but the only way to get better is to do it. If we keep just paying welders what's the point. Gotta learn somehow.
    exactly. i like ur attitude

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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    And get some "seasoned" aluminum that's been sitting outside near the water for a year.
    Yeah good point. I have a lot of aluminum scrap laying around that has that layer of oxidation on it. Planned to hit it with acetone then wire brush the hell out of it with a stainless brush

  31. #47
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noidea87 View Post
    Yeah good point. I have a lot of aluminum scrap laying around that has that layer of oxidation on it. Planned to hit it with acetone then wire brush the hell out of it with a stainless brush
    get to practicing with yer MM211 and spool gun. Aluminum is a different beast even in the best of conditions.

    I would practice on clean AL first though Lots can go wrong quickly so might as well start off with the good stuff to eliminate at least one problem.
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  32. #48
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    I get it you want to learn? It hasn't been established yet if it needs to be an engineer approved repair by someone qualified. It's not much different than advising a trailer to pull on the highway is not a suitable project for a beginner.

  33. #49
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Maybe this is just my newb impression but, is there any reason it can't stay in place (per the original engineered design) and instead be reinforced instead? The engineer can come up with the future replacement for the individual piece or an entire structure can be prefabbed on its' own timetable then.

    I probably would've tried to add cross braces or outside wraps with flat stock on angles to help stabilize it if nothing else, (especially if I thought I'd have to remove the original brace for replacement at any point in the future). I wouldn't want the thing collapsing while the original is out/weakened and I'm fitting the new replacement!

    I would've thought step one is to stop further damage...and to strengthen any weakness occurring. Kind of like putting a cast or brace on a broken bone.
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    Re: How would you repair this crack in aluminum tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by h couillion View Post
    i am not very experienced but if it was me i would c clamp that thing back into place grind a bevel down into the crack, weld it back, grind it back flush, and weld a solid plate over top of the repair to give it some backbone. not sure if thats a good idea just my best guess.
    I have been holding back on commenting on this but this is what I would have done. With that said I understand alum very well. Mig in short spurts is the way to go using er5356 wire. In fact if I was doing the job I could do the repair and reinforcing stronger than original until the piece could be replaced.
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