Aluminum Welding Articles

The aluminum welding technology area has instructions, tips, and product information geared specifically toward welding this lightweight, versatile material.

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Underwater aluminum GMAW - TheFabricator.com

Underwater aluminum GMAW

May 3, 2013

The U.S. Navy has been searching for new weld-repair methods on its aluminum-hulled ships beyond dry docking, which is impractical and costly. Phoenix Intl., an underwater services company that has held the Navy’s Diving Services contract for the past 15 years, may have found one: underwater aluminum GMAW in a hyperbaric chamber.

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5 tips for successful aluminum GTAW - TheFabricator.com

5 tips for successful aluminum GTAW

March 1, 2013

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Aluminum has garnered a reputation for being difficult to weld, especially when using gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). Mastering the process isn’t as daunting as you might think. All you really need for successful aluminum GTAW is an understanding of the metal’s unique properties and the welding preparation techniques and tools you’ll need to address those properties.

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Succeed at welding thick aluminum with the right material preparation, filler choice, and equipment - TheFabricator.com

Succeed at welding thick aluminum with the right material preparation, filler choice, and equipment

December 3, 2012

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Aluminum is tough to weld, but its advantages of high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, excellent mechanical properties at low temperatures, and recyclability put it at the top of the materials list for fabrications, including many with substantial bulk. Two industry experts shared tips on how to produce good welds in thick aluminum.

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Fabricating tight ships on a tight deadline - TheFabricator.com

Fabricating tight ships on a tight deadline

February 1, 2012

For Great Lakes Shipyard, a division of the Great Lakes Towing Co., located on the Cuyahoga River’s Old River Channel just off of Lake Erie, one order posed the ship designer and fabricator’s biggest challenge in recent history: designing and fabricating not one but two aluminum ships, something the company had yet to do.

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Mig welder

Aluminum welding Q&A: About soot, porosity, and equipment

July 8, 2011

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What causes soot and porosity in aluminum welding? Do I need a push/pull gun with my GMAW machine to weld aluminum? Are robots practical for my aluminum application? These questions are answered in this first installment of a new column on thefabricator.com.

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Weldable and unweldable aluminum alloys

May 11, 2011

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Frank Armao discusses which aluminum alloys are weldable, which are not, and why.

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Achieving T6 designation for 6061

March 14, 2011

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Can you tell me the heat treatment steps necessary to produce 6061-T6? I have heard that heat treating it after welding will increase its mechanical properties.

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Tackling aluminum GMAW - TheFabricator.com

Tackling aluminum GMAW

November 22, 2010

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The reactive nature of aluminum to the welding arc, which is much more pronounced than that of other base materials, presents many challenges, including excess heat input and burn-through, porosity, poor bead appearance, poor fusion, and cracking. Technology advancements have made tackling these challenges easier by providing a balance of high travel speeds with a narrow, focused arc

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alloy welding aluminum

Welding aluminum

June 30, 2009

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The first step in learning about welding aluminum is learning about the various alloys themselves (cast and wrought)—the digits used in the aluminum designation system, the properties of the various alloys, and the considerations in matching a filler metal to a base material.

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alternating current welding

Riding the right wave in aluminum welding

May 19, 2009

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Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, often is thought of as the most difficult welding process to master. Fortunately for welders, several technological advances have occurred, forcing many to rethink their assumptions. Alternating current (AC) GTAW is no longer...

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nereus hybrid remote vehicle

The pressure's on!

April 1, 2009

Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is dedicated to researching the impact that oceans have on the Earth as a whole, and sometimes that means diving to treacherous depths to gather pertinent information. For an excursion at Challenger Deep, a portion of the South Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Marianas Islands, WHOI fabricated a hybrid remotely operated vehicle able to withstand the 15,751 PSI of pressure, allowing scientists to gather valuable data from more than 35,000 feet below sea level.

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Age before welding in T6

March 24, 2009

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Frank Armao discusses why weld strength increases when incorporating an aging cycle prior to welding in the T6 temper.

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Preventing porosity in humid environments

March 11, 2008

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I'm having problems with excessive porosity when TIG welding aluminum. My friend says it comes from water vapor in the air (it's very humid here) being broken down by the arc. Is this true? It sounds pretty far-fetched.I hope you didn't bet on this one. If you did, get ready to pay up. All porosity...

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Eliminating fine shavings from 5356 wire

January 15, 2008

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I've been using my welding equipment to weld aluminum with 4043 filler for a long time without problems. Now that I have a project that requires me to use 5356 filler, I'm having problems with fine shavings that come off of this particular wire. Eventually they clog the torch liner so that the wire...

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Wheelchair rugby players

These aren't your grandparents' wheelchairs

December 11, 2007

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Vesco Metal Craft, a manufacturer of rugby wheelchairs, makes specialized wheelchairs from 6061 seamless aluminum tubing. This violent, collision-oriented sport causes cracks in the welds' heat-affected zone, so the company sought better manufacturing methods. It added heat-treating to its process and switched to an inverter-based welding unit that gives the company's welders advanced waveform control.

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