Mig welding ali

  1. s410man trainee dogsbody

    Messages:
    1,159
    wales
    A few years ago i had a go at ali mig

    Gave up pretty quickly

    Its now got to the stage i cant ignore it anymore getting more and more jobs and ideas that need it

    When i bought my lorch i got the one with 4 feed rollers in preparation for doing ali

    Would you say try it with a teflon liner and short torch or easier with a spoolgun?

    Money not really a issue i need something that works rather than something cheap then again im not after wasting it for the sake of it

    Trying to stay away from tig as theres a fair bit to do all in nice straight runs and it was originally done with a mig

    Sort of jobs will be 3 and 4mm mostly mixture of joints and lenghts from 20mm right up to 10ft runs

    Sorry for the rambling just wondering what others are using and any pointers etc

    Cheers
     
    stuvy likes this.
  2. s410man trainee dogsbody

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    1,159
    wales
    Forgot to say itll either be a lorch mpro 252 or a miller 210 that gets set up for ali
     
  3. mike os

    mike os just a little insane.....

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    Following this
     
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  4. davidjohnperry a different breed

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    This is not my forte I can wire weld well and I'm good with it from what I've been told buy a cheap binzal and replace with a teflon liner so it's simple as just changing the torch and make sure you have a good push angle it stops it sooting up so much settings you will have to try make sure you have pure argon which you probably know I'm in the same boat at the moment either I buy another torch and do the same or I just tig it might just buy a couple of 1 kg spools see how I get on
    Sorry for the name drop @HughF has a lot more experience in ally wire welding then me
     
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  5. mike os

    mike os just a little insane.....

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    what kind of current does 3 to 4mm need... non structural, I would just like to be able to stick stuff together rather than wait days for simple beackets etc
     
  6. davidjohnperry a different breed

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    At a stab depends on wire side pre heat and other variables but between 19 and 22 volts maybe
     
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  7. mike os

    mike os just a little insane.....

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    Mine is 22v so might be possible?
     
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  8. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of many trades, Master of none

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    1. 3m MB36 at a minimum.
    2. 1mm wire at a minimum.
    3. teflon liner with the steel end at the gun end to handle the heat
    4. M8 torch tips, either 1 size up (e.g. 1.2mm for 1mm wire) or designated "A" tips
    5. Remove the capilliary tube between the wire feeder and the euro connector if there is one. Leave the liner long, push it all in, and work it out so the liner is long enough to reach all the way to the feed roll. The wire must be supported the whole way.
    6. 5356 1mm wire is pretty forgiving stuff. I threw a roll into my Miller feeder with a standard 5m torch and it worked... a couple of birdsnests though.
    7. start at 21 volts and upwards. You should be able to run aluminium in spray transfer from 140amps upwards
     
  9. hotponyshoes Member

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    A 3m torch with a teflon liner and the correct tips will work fine.
    I would seriously consider a water cooled torch if trying to do 10' runs though.
    You need pure argon as well.
     
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  10. davidjohnperry a different breed

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    ah the voices of experience. Cant you use standard mig tips though
     
  11. hotponyshoes Member

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    You can just use the next size up mig tip but the alloy ones are much the same price.
    Feed issues are the big problem with alloy mig, I would do everything possible to eliminate them as it's the starts/stops of the welds that are the hard bit so you want as few as possible!!
     
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  12. davidjohnperry a different breed

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    Crater cracks and the likes hmm what's it like for heat input with mig as tig welding seems to need hotter to start and cooler as you run down the joints so if the op is doing long runs is there any issues with blow through or putting to much heat in to the parts
     
  13. hotponyshoes Member

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    It's much the same as tig except the travel speed is way way quicker. Quicker than steel mig even so the heat input is not so much of an issue.
    Distortion is a major problem rather than blow through.
    Starts are tricky, I think it was hood who told me to put a bit of scrap next to the weld and start in that then run across into the actual part if you want them to look nice.
    Craters at the end are another problem, on thinner stuff you can drop through when trying to back fill them or you can just stop welding and then fire up again to fill before the post flow stops.

    If doing it lots you can get welders with functions to deal with stops/starts.
     
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  14. James1979 Member

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    I didn’t set it up but I was with a mate the other day who was using his esab rebel to mig Ali. Not sure on setting but he had it hanging from a overhead crane. Reckoned wire feeding down is better for less jams
     
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  15. davidjohnperry a different breed

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    @hotponyshoes I might give it ago see my findings all the information in the world doesn't always transverse in to actually trying it and seeing results but it does help from knowing nothing just another bit of wire feeding experience for me really
     
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  16. daleyd

    daleyd Member

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    tom2207, stuvy and davidjohnperry like this.
  17. Hood

    Hood If it walks like a duck....

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    11,860
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    Carnoustie, Scotland
    Not sure what functions the Lorch has, for example if it has the capability to run a spool on gun or even a push-pull. If it doesn't then you would likely be better looking at one of the TecArc spool on guns that have the integrated inline control circuitry, I used one for years and they are decent although not dirt cheap (£700 or so)

    If you are going to be doing a fair bit then a spool gun or push-pull is the only way to go unless you are at a bench and can keep the torch straight. If the latter then as short a torch as possible, U Groove rollers and teflon liner and as has been mentioned get contact tips for Aluminium.

    You really need to be in spray transfer for a sound Aluminium weld so 3mm is the absolute minimum you want to go and if long runs, especially on sheet then 4mm. A pulse Mig will allow you to go right down to 1mm thick, possibly even less but I don't think the machines you mention are pulse mig.

    As has also been mentioned you will get a cold start so using a run on strip is a good idea unless of course your welder has a hot start function, if it has that then it will almost certainly have crater fill function as well.
     
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  18. davidjohnperry a different breed

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    @Hood you mention spray transfer like 26 volts
     
  19. Hood

    Hood If it walks like a duck....

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    No, won't be that high for Alu and Argon, probably 22/23v or so.
     
  20. davidjohnperry a different breed

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    Ok this sounds like something I'm going to have to try for when I build my van racking
     
    James1979 likes this.
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