Any advantages to MIG welding alluminium?

  1. julianf

    julianf Member

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    There was a post on FB from someone struggling to weld alluminium with a spool gun.

    It made me think -

    Is there ever a time when mig and a spool is a good idea, Vs Tig?

    Im assuming robots in factories or somthing, but any human times ?
     
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  2. 8ob

    8ob Forum Supporter

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    Our very own @Hood would be the man to answer that. (Sickeningly talented bst :laughing:)

    Bob
     
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  3. Tangledfeet

    Tangledfeet #1 Fan of 3M's VHB tape

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    I'm sure @Hood will be along in a moment; he uses it all the time for in-situ work fitting out fishing boats - with the scale of the aluminium fabrication he does I don't think TIG would be an option!
     
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  4. premmington

    premmington Member

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    Speed... :rolleyes:

    Laying MIG wire down is quicker...


    TIG welding is painfully slow - in Aluminium or steel or anything else.

    I do use TIG for repair jobs or anything that has gotta have a "fit and finish" appearance.

    TIG brazing is process not many people use - DC in Argon. I use this for loads of repair jobs - this is quicker.
     
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  5. premmington

    premmington Member

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    +1 for the above.
     
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  6. Lazurus

    Lazurus Member

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    You dont need to buy an expensive AC/DC tig machine :dontknow:
     
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  7. Tangledfeet

    Tangledfeet #1 Fan of 3M's VHB tape

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    I think that's so obvious many people might miss it; means you could stick with pure Argon and use it for DC TIG and MIG welding aluminium?
     
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  8. carbon

    carbon Member

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    I occasionally weld 6mm aluminium with a spool gun and a dc powcon set to spray using 1.2mm wire but wouldn't use it below 4mm thickness material, thinner may be possible with smaller wire but find tig easier for that
     
  9. Hood

    Hood If it walks like a duck....

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    As has been said Mig is much faster than Tig, probably 3x or more.
    Tig is pretty but in my opinion not as strong, likely because you don't have so much metal deposited in the weld, it would take 3 passes of Tig to have roughly the same as one pass with Mig.
    Tig is good for thin materials but the thicker you go the amperage needed quickly ramps up, for example a 200 Amp tig is 6 - 8mm max.
    Standard Mig is good for heavier stuff, as has been said 4mm in sheet form is about as thin as you want to go, well actually 3mm is doable but I tended to avoid it if at all possible. The reason for that is you really need to be in spray transfer mode for a sound aluminium mig weld so that means lots of heat.
    I now have a pulse Mig so thin Alu is easy with it and also it is fairly neat in appearance.
     
  10. Hitch

    Hitch Moderator Staff Member

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    I've done ally mig on a fair few things...
    Truck bodies, aluminium cladding frames (80mm angle) and lots of,
    Just about any jobs where speed is important, but aesthetics not quite so much.
    Tig is pretty slow compared to a nicely setup mig.
    I used to mig up ally wall cappings and such, the weld is hit off after anyway.

    I'd keep tig for jobs where it needs to look nice, or a good amount of control was needed, or even a job where the mig was setup with the wrong wire.
     
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  11. tom2207 Member

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    Tig is slow ,,, sow gets very expensive , more tie to pay for , means more gas to pay for , mor electric to pay for , and if you want a big fillet , as mentioned x3 for everything , so that takes a process from being three times as expensive to six or seven times as expensive , Tig has its place in fine details and thin pretty things , but if you want to chuck loads of metal in , has to be mig .
     
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  12. hotponyshoes Member

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    The ability to tack with one hand on the mig torch and one hand holding the parts together is a major advantage with mig as well.
    Or at least for the stuff I do where it is usually made on the fly rather than having everything set up in a jig in advance.
     
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  13. metalmelt Member

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    Totally agree with Hood and Hitch, basically a case of horses for courses.

    If used correctly then MIG is often better, particularly sequencing for minimising distortion and for weld strength.
     
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