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SScnc
10-22-2011, 02:50 PM
I have been stick and MIG welding steel for years but I bought a spool of .030 aluminum wire and threaded in my mig and it feeds fine. I've never welded aluminum before, how important is gas for this ? will it work without gas ?

I tried it without any gas (no argon on hand) and had terrible results but I don't know if it's settings although I tried all of them or if it's b/c no gas.

Trying to weld 1/8" aluminum to start with.

Thanks,

Steve

DMF_TomB
10-22-2011, 06:13 PM
you need an inert gas like argon or helium to weld aluminum with a MIG=
Metal Inert Gas welding

SScnc
10-22-2011, 06:43 PM
Right, I know that but what I'm really asking is, does using the gas make welding aluminum go from spattering and basically making a mess (as it's doing now) to smooth welding ?

I should have phrased my question better, thanks for your reply.

DMF_TomB
10-22-2011, 07:24 PM
Right, I know that but what I'm really asking is, does using the gas make welding aluminum go from spattering and basically making a mess (as it's doing now) to smooth welding ?

I should have phrased my question better, thanks for your reply.

molten aluminum will react with oxygen in the atmosphere. trying to weld without a inert shielding gas will create a weld full of aluminum oxides and gas porosity. the weld strength will be much lower and the weld will be brittle and can break much easier from shock. the weld can fail with little warning and just snap.
.
some weld aluminum with flux covered smaw stick rod using a Tig torch or a oxy acetylene torch. the flux helps penetrate the oxide layer and prevent more oxides from forming.
.
some use
Aluminum repair kits, repair any aluminum metal by welding with a Propane Torch - Alumiweld (http://www.alumiweld.com/)
which technically is not welding but more a brazing / soldering operation

FantomMfg
10-23-2011, 11:44 AM
I own a Lincoln Sp125 220v welder and weld steel with fluxcore mig wire. This is basically like an AC welding rod ,but on a 10 lb. roll. You will need argon gas mix to weld aluminum as this is shielding the bare aluminum wire from the atmosphere, kind of what flux core wire does without gas. I have asked Lincoln why they cannot make a fluxcore aluminum mig wire, but i never received an answer. My guess is the drop in sales on selling argon and other accessories to weld with aluminum. Just my 2 cents. However, if they ever do,i will be first in line to try it.

snoeproe
10-29-2011, 10:44 AM
I have asked Lincoln why they cannot make a fluxcore aluminum mig wire, but i never received an answer. My guess is the drop in sales on selling argon and other accessories to weld with aluminum. Just my 2 cents. However, if they ever do,i will be first in line to try it.

I don't agree.
Aluminum mig wire is very soft. That can lead to feeding issues because of the softness and suppleness of the wire. This is why there are spoolguns.
Now, take some soft 4034 .030 aluminum mig wire, hollow it out and add a core of flux/resin and you have even softer wire to push or pull. This is not what people are looking for.

jessieherrera
12-20-2011, 02:54 AM
Hi,
I just want to share that I weld aluminum with a mig, a tig, arc, and oxy-acetylene. I worked for SDSU as a metal fabricater for many years and being a government organization we were always able to buy some of the weirdest stuff from the vendors that would come.
Anyway, there is a common aluminum ARC welding rod available. I use it to weld aluminum with and have had some pretty good luck, especially thin material. I heat the material with the torch and also heat the rod with the torch and then apply both. I guess the best way to describe it is like "soldering". The only problem is the warpage.
Good luck.
Jessie