September 25, 2003
I want to buy a small gas metal arc welding (GMAW) machine, preferably one that runs from 120-V input power. Most of my welding will be steel, but I would like to weld aluminum occasionally. Can these machines really weld aluminum? I've heard a lot of different opinions. Some companies claim their...
August 28, 2003
I'm looking for a new GTAW power supply for AC aluminum welding. I had intended to buy a conventional transformer unit, but several people have told me to buy an inverter-based power supply. Which one is better for my application?Inverter-based power supplies do have some advantages over...
July 24, 2003
It's easy to look at such a long-established technology as welding and believe that little or no technology development is taking place. In truth, however, the capabilities of welding power supplies are changing constantly and rapidly, especially in the area of inverter technology. These power supplies are suitable for welding aluminum alloys, including thin aluminum alloys.
June 12, 2003
For about 40 years, a great debate in welding is whether to use constant-current or constant-voltage power supplies when using gas metal arc welding on aluminum. Constant-current power supplies made sense 30 years ago and are still used in some applications today, but for most applications, constant-voltage power supplies are suitable for gas metal arc welding aluminum.
April 10, 2003
When I weld any aluminum alloy, I see a covering, light gray to black in color, over the weld. I see it when I gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW), but it's worse when I gas metal arc weld (GMAW). What is it? Does it affect the mechanical properties of the weld? How do I get rid of it?A common occurrence...
February 27, 2003
I've heard different opinions about which size and type of tungsten electrode I should use to gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW) aluminum. Could you clear up this subject for me?As you know, we use direct current electrode negative (DCEN), or straight polarity, to weld steels and stainless steels. For...
February 13, 2003
Editor's Note: This is the second installment of a two-part article. Part I covers the properties, characteristics, and applications of aluminum as a structural metal. Part II explores the use of structural aluminum in the design of the U.S. Botanic Garden's conservatory in Washington, D.C.
November 7, 2002
Editor's Note: This is the first installment of a two-part article. Part 1 covers the properties, characteristics, and applications of aluminum as a structural metal. Part II explores the use of structural aluminum in the design of the U.S. Botanic Garden's conservatory in Washington, D.C.