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Aluminum Workshop: Searching for 4043 yield and tensile strengths

November 19, 2014

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Q: I have been trying to find the yield and tensile strengths for 4043 filler metal, but so far I’ve been unsuccessful. Can you help me? Why is this data so hard to find? A: Believe it or not, the data exists. Weld metal data for virtually all aluminum filler metals was developed in the 1960s....

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Aluminum Workshop: Welding steel to aluminum—Is it feasible?

November 19, 2014

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Q: I’m building a horse trailer and I need to join some aluminum parts to the steel frame. Can I use arc welding to do this? A: Surprisingly, yours is a very common question that I feel should be addressed. While solid-state joining processes like friction stud welding and flash butt welding can...

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Aluminum Workshop: Guestimating aluminum alloys

November 18, 2014

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Q: If someone hands you a piece of aluminum, is there any easy way to tell what alloy it is? Everyone tells me I need to buy very expensive equipment to do this. A: Unfortunately, the people you are speaking with are correct. However, that’s assuming you need to know what alloy you have exactly....

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Aluminum Workshop: Where in the world is the 5052 filler alloy?

November 17, 2014

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Q: I am about to begin a project that requires me to weld a lot of 5052-O sheet material. There’s just one problem: I can’t find 5052 filler. Can you tell me why this is and what I should use instead? A: I can understand why you might think that you should weld 5052 sheet with 5052 filler...

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Arc Welding 101: Wire-feed welding, stick welding with the same machine

November 17, 2014

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Q: I would like to know if a wire-feed welding machine can double as a modest-amperage DC shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) machine if I attach an electrode holder to the output. I have been told that aluminum welding works well and is convenient using SMAW and DC. I have the aluminum roller kit...

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Aluminum Workshop: Taming 6061-T anodized tubing

November 14, 2014

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Q: I’m having a very difficult time welding 6061-T aluminum tubing that has been anodized. The weld won’t flow out correctly, I can see a lot of porosity, and the weld has a black color to it. What can I do to make the weld better? A: The problem you are describing is a common one. Let’s...

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Arc Welding 101: Advice for MIG welding a motorcycle frame

November 14, 2014

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Q: I just ran across the article you wrote about gas metal arc welding (GMAW) machines in the July/August 2004 issue of Practical Welding Today. Your article was very informative. I will be purchasing a welding machine soon and would like to know if a GMAW machine can handle a motorcycle frame. Any...

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Arc Welding 101: Electrodes and machine settings

November 13, 2014

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Q: I know how to arc weld. I took arc welding classes in high school and was certified in the state of California. Unfortunately, they never taught me about the settings and what electrodes were best for what jobs. For example, I’m rebuilding a motorcycle and I want to straighten a minor bend...

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Aluminum Workshop: What’s so bad about welding 7075, 2024?

November 12, 2014

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Q: You have discussed previously the fact that some aluminum alloys, such as 7075 and 2024, should not be welded. But I know a fabricator who occasionally welds 7075. Is he engaging in a poor practice, or is there something I don’t understand? A: I can’t really answer your question...

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Aluminum Workshop: Don’t know the alloy? Make an educated guess

November 12, 2014

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Q: I need to repair an aluminum casting, but I have no idea what specific alloy it is. What filler metal should I choose? A: You can’t tell what an aluminum alloy is just by looking at it. Realistically, you’ll probably have to choose the filler alloy without being sure which casting alloy you...

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Arc Welding 101: Blowing out metal when welding car panels

November 12, 2014

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Q: I only have a 110-V arc welding machine, and I want to weld car panels, but I keep blowing out the metal. What can I do to stop this? Can I use aluminum rods? Dan F. A: You can use aluminum rods on aluminum only, and they typically are used only for really thick pieces, about 0.25 inch and...

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Aluminum Workshop: The burning question behind welding aluminum with FCAW/SAW

November 11, 2014

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Q: I heard recently that there is a flux-cored wire available for aluminum GMAW. Is this true? If so, can you tell me who makes it? Also, why isn’t flux-cored wire more commonly available for aluminum GMAW? A: First of all, as far as I know, there is no flux-cored wire available for aluminum...

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Arc Welding 101: Advice for a first-time welder

November 11, 2014

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Q: I’m thinking about learning how to weld. I want a gas metal arc welding (GMAW) machine so I can box my 1955 GMC truck frame and install an independent front suspension. Where should I start? William S. A: Books, the Internet, videos, cable TV shows, and classes offer more information about...

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Creativity springs forth from the darkness

November 10, 2014

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A freak accident changed the life of a materials science professor at Texas Tech University. Not only does he appreciate the second chance at living, he also discovered a talent for giving discarded metal objects a second chance at living through metal sculpture.

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The Erector set meets the material handling cart

November 10, 2014

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Three friends grew up in Sweden playing with LEGO®s and Erector sets. The creations they could make were endless, but their assembly method was pretty much standardized. Why, they asked, couldn’t a similar concept apply to material handling carts in a factory?

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