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Thread: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

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    GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Hello everyone,

    I have an aluminum AC line on my vehicle with a small pinhole, I am going to attempt a weld repair (the manufacturer recycled the part number so it's impossible to order a replacement). I am trying to figure out which filler I should use, I've found lots of people online that have done it before but no one seems to recommend a filler. Should I use 4043 or something else?

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by stepho View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I have an aluminum AC line on my vehicle with a small pinhole, I am going to attempt a weld repair (the manufacturer recycled the part number so it's impossible to order a replacement). I am trying to figure out which filler I should use, I've found lots of people online that have done it before but no one seems to recommend a filler. Should I use 4043 or something else?
    4043 or any other 4000 series filler is good. 5000 series filler may have too much magnesium and may incur inter-granular corrosion from high service temps over 150 degrees F.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX4ea,Dynasty200DX,Li ncolnSW200-2ea.,MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig2ea,MigMax1ea.

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    I've always used 5356 on auto ac lines. Never had a problem.

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    I would probably braze it. But you could also use 4043 filler and TIG it. The aluminum brazing rod is 4043 as well.



    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Try 4943. This is what I have been using on most of my projects.
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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    I would order the stuff off of the TV that you can see on the Home Shopping Network after 2:00am, to fix ANYTHING aluminum,,,

    Then, you could fix it with just a propane bottle,, and a pencil torch (HSN sells that, also,, at about 3:30pm in the afternoon)

    Do I watch too much TV,,, or WHAT!!,,,


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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by TJS View Post
    Try 4943. This is what I have been using on most of my projects.
    I have two gimbal posts scheduled for stress relief that I welded yesterday with 4943. 300 degrees for one hour. When returned we will machine the final details. Customer is very strict in heat inputs and filler to avoid stress fractures from inter-grannular corrosion.

    My LWS delivered another 30 lbs of 4943 yesterday. I love the stuff.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    I know a good Tig who who swears by 4943. I don't think he uses 4043 much anymore if at all.

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    I know a good Tig who who swears by 4943. I don't think he uses 4043 much anymore if at all.
    And any procedure that you qualify with 4043 lets you use any other F23 filler in the 4000 series such as 4943. With 4943 being stronger it is a very valuable alternative. Again 4043 is very dependent on base metal dilution for strength of the weld nugget. 4943 has just enough magnesium to not be dependent on base metal dilution for strength of the weld nugget, and yet be heat treatable like 4043, and also be used in high service temp applications without inter-granular corrosion commencing.

    It's all about the amount of magnesium.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX4ea,Dynasty200DX,Li ncolnSW200-2ea.,MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig2ea,MigMax1ea.

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    And any procedure that you qualify with 4043 lets you use any other F23 filler in the 4000 series such as 4943. With 4943 being stronger it is a very valuable alternative. Again 4043 is very dependent on base metal dilution for strength of the weld nugget. 4943 has just enough magnesium to not be dependent on base metal dilution for strength of the weld nugget, and yet be heat treatable like 4043, and also be used in high service temp applications without inter-granular corrosion commencing.

    It's all about the amount of magnesium.
    Most guys today do not fuse the two pieces of base metal together before they add wire so yea maybe 4943 might be better. But if you fuse both pieces of base metal together before you add 4043 it is a tried and true performer.

    William McCormick
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    And any procedure that you qualify with 4043 lets you use any other F23 filler in the 4000 series such as 4943. With 4943 being stronger it is a very valuable alternative. Again 4043 is very dependent on base metal dilution for strength of the weld nugget. 4943 has just enough magnesium to not be dependent on base metal dilution for strength of the weld nugget, and yet be heat treatable like 4043, and also be used in high service temp applications without inter-granular corrosion commencing.

    It's all about the amount of magnesium.

    When you talk about the strength of weld filler the only joint that would probably benefit from a stronger fill material would be a ground-off butt weld. But even that, if done by fusing the base metals the 4043 is still a dependable filler that will often destruct next to the weld even on a butt joint.

    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    When you talk about the strength of weld filler the only joint that would probably benefit from a stronger fill material would be a ground-off butt weld. But even that, if done by fusing the base metals the 4043 is still a dependable filler that will often destruct next to the weld even on a butt joint.

    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    William, 4043 was initially formulated as a brazing filler. As is 4043 is very dependent on base metal dilution for strength, and many applications simply cannot meet those requirements. Personally I don't want to simply guess at . Without adequate base metal dilution the 4043 weld joint becomes a stress riser for potential fatigue failure.

    4943 takes the guess work out of the equation because of the added magnesium. Many users such as myself has recognized this new filler as a wonder filler if comparing the mechanical specs versus 4043. I have all but eliminated 4043 from my inventory unless a customer requirement calls for it.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX4ea,Dynasty200DX,Li ncolnSW200-2ea.,MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig2ea,MigMax1ea.

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    Most guys today do not fuse the two pieces of base metal together before they add wire so yea maybe 4943 might be better. But if you fuse both pieces of base metal together before you add 4043 it is a tried and true performer.

    William McCormick
    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    When you talk about the strength of weld filler the only joint that would probably benefit from a stronger fill material would be a ground-off butt weld. But even that, if done by fusing the base metals the 4043 is still a dependable filler that will often destruct next to the weld even on a butt joint.

    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    Yes, grinding off nice welds is criminal. Not only removing reinforcement unnecessarily, but the additional labor to grind must be paid by someone. Do it right the first time with minimal BTU input to not underage or overage the HAZ, adequate reinforcement to the root and face, and cosmetically appealing enough to convey quality. I am a weldor not a grinder.

    There are many joints that get dressed off and in that case I plead with the customer to allow me to use 5356.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX4ea,Dynasty200DX,Li ncolnSW200-2ea.,MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig2ea,MigMax1ea.

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Yes, grinding off nice welds is criminal. Not only removing reinforcement unnecessarily, but the additional labor to grind must be paid by someone. Do it right the first time with minimal BTU input to not underage or overage the HAZ, adequate reinforcement to the root and face, and cosmetically appealing enough to convey quality. I am a weldor not a grinder.

    There are many joints that get dressed off and in that case I plead with the customer to allow me to use 5356.
    I have destructed welds that were ground and welds that were not ground and the ground welds were less prone to tearing the material next to the weld. The structure created by the weld holds up better upon destruction when ground smooth. Years ago welds were always ground today who really cares.


    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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  22. #15
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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    stepho, the "pinhole" might change into a bigger project. I've used both 4043 and 4943 filler and do prefer the 4943. Wishing you well....Git R Done.
    ps,,,,do be aware of the residual gas in the system....very dangerous crap when burned.

    Bill

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    A properly done weld should not need any grinding to have maximum strength and is also much more pleasing to the eye unless it's polished after grinding. Nice aluminum Tig welds especially, highlight the skill of the weldor who did them. Of course certain applications call for the weld to be ground smooth.

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    Re: GTAW welding aluminum AC line, what filler to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    I have destructed welds that were ground and welds that were not ground and the ground welds were less prone to tearing the material next to the weld. The structure created by the weld holds up better upon destruction when ground smooth. Years ago welds were always ground today who really cares.


    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    Were those cyclically loaded structures of statically loaded structures? Agreed the toes of the weld can become stress risers, so the toes should fair smoothly into the HAZ. In any case I am a weldor not a grinder.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX4ea,Dynasty200DX,Li ncolnSW200-2ea.,MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig2ea,MigMax1ea.

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