Frank Armao

Contributing Writer
The Lincoln Electric Company
22801 St. Clair Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44117


Phone: 216-481-8100
Fax: 216-486-1751
www.lincolnelectric.com
Contact via email
He is a member of the AWS D1 Committee, chairman of the AWS D1 Aluminum Subcommittee, and vice chairman of the AWS D8G Automotive Aluminum Arc Welding Committee.

Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Defining cast and helix

January 5, 2015 | By Frank Armao

Q: What are cast and helix? I keep hearing about them, but no one seems to really know what they are. A: First of all, cast and helix are two separate attributes of spooled wires intended for gas metal arc welding (GMAW). The terms have no meaning for straight cut lengths of wire meant for gas...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Understanding AC and HAZ ‘cracks’

January 2, 2015 | By Frank Armao

Q: I know that when aluminum alloys are gas tungsten arc-welded (GTAW), usually we use alternating current (AC) because it give some sort of cleaning action. Can you explain what it is and how it works? A: Sure, let’s try. But before I start, let me admit that this explanation is a bit of a...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Defining arc rectification

January 2, 2015 | By Frank Armao

Q: Sometimes when I’m AC gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) aluminum, the arc will start to flutter for a while. I can see it and hear it. Usually it goes away after a few seconds. What’s going on? A: First of all, the good news is that you’re not imagining it. This phenomenon is fairly common...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Using 4043 versus 4047 filler wire

December 30, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: I usually use 4043 filler wire for welding 6061-T6 and castings. My friend told me I should switch to 4047 because it’s stronger. Is that true? It’s more expensive than 4043. Is it worth it? A: As you know, 4043 and 5356 are the most common aluminum filler alloys. In fact, these two alloys...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Cleaning aluminum before welding

December 29, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: What’s the best way to clean aluminum before welding? How long can I wait to weld it before it needs to be cleaned again? A: Preweld cleaning requires two operations: oil and grease removal and oxide removal. Before you do anything else, remove any oil, grease, or water vapor from the...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Fabricating aluminum plant boxes

December 29, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: I am bidding on a job to fabricate aluminum plant boxes. They will sit inside 4-foot-tall walls in an office. These rectangular boxes, or troughs, will be 7.5 inches tall, 7.5 in. wide, and 48 in. long, placed end-to-end to form 16-ft. dividers. I plan to use 5052 aluminum. A 1.75-in. flange,...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Passing tensile tests for 6061-T6

December 26, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: I am having problems passing the tensile tests for my procedure qualification of aluminum alloy 6061-T6 on 6-inch-diameter pipe, Schedule 120. I am using ER4043 filler metal for a gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)-gas metal arc welding (GMAW) combination process on the first joint and ER5363 on...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Aluminum arc welding with other processes

December 26, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: Columnist’s Note: This issue’s column addresses several questions subscribers have asked about shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) of aluminum. Some of you asked about a flux cored welding (FCAW) wire for aluminum and where to get it. Others asked whether aluminum has ever been submerged arc...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Arc blow, contact tips

December 24, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: Is it possible to encounter arc blow when welding aluminum? Since aluminum isn’t magnetic, I don’t think so, but my friend thinks it is. A cup of coffee is riding on your answer. A: It looks like you’d better get ready to pay up. It is possible to encounter arc blow when welding aluminum....

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: An introduction to pulsed MIG power supplies

December 19, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: What’s the story behind pulsed gas metal arc welding (GMAW) aluminum? Some think it’s great, but others say it’s just a way for equipment makers to sell expensive power supplies. A: GMAW transfers metal in three ways. At low currents, you get short-circuit transfer, in which the molten...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: TIG welding and radio frequency interface

December 18, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: When I gas tungsten arc-weld aluminum using AC, my portable radio speakers buzz. Does the high frequency that stabilizes the arc cause this? Will it hurt the radio or other electrical equipment? Can I shield adjacent equipment or minimize the effects? A: The high frequency (HF) that...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Why 6061 filler metal doesn’t exist

December 15, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: The most common grade of aluminum I see is 6061-T6, but I’ve never seen 6061 filler metal. Why is this? Why does everyone seem to weld 6061-T6 with 4043 or 5356 filler metal? A: You never see 6061 filler metal because, if it existed, it would be an awful filler metal. Virtually every weld you...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Cleaning aluminum parts

December 15, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: What’s the proper method to clean aluminum parts before welding? A: Cleaning aluminum parts before welding is a two-step process. First, remove oils, grease, and other contaminants to prevent weld porosity. Second, eliminate oxide from the areas to be welded to prevent lack of fusion and...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: New wire brand may mean new parameters

December 12, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: When I run out of aluminum gas metal arc welding (GMAW) wire and buy a different brand, it doesn’t seem to weld as smoothly. Is there that much of a quality difference among brands? A: While there may be a difference in quality, you may be experiencing something else entirely. If you’ve...

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Aluminum Welding | Articles

Aluminum Workshop: Preheating aluminum

December 12, 2014 | By Frank Armao

Q: What preheat temperature should I use when welding aluminum? I’ve heard different numbers, and I know they can’t all be right. A: Let me begin with a bold statement: If you have the right equipment, you never need to preheat when welding aluminum. I have gas tungsten arc-welded (GTAW)...

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