August 10, 2004
Reponding to a call from Airgas Mid-America on behalf of client Davlan Eng., ESAB provided welding equipment and expertise for welding the aluminum base of the Radome system, a portable ground surveillance radar dish used in military field operations.
Because they were welding aluminum (6061 base metal), Davlan operators had problems with cold starts causing fusion and porosity. Because of the high incidence of crater cracks, the company required a welding system with a crater fill feature that worked with a push-pull GMAW gun. Also, operators were finding that the spray arc heat was causing parts to warp beyond specification when welding thinner pieces, and they wanted to tack without crater fill.
Davlan wanted a system that would offer higher current on heavier metal, lower current on thinner metal, and no crater fill for tacking. ESAB, located in Florence, S.C., recommended its AristoMfg 400 welding system with an AristoFeed 30-4 wire feeder, the MA6 Man-Machine Interface, and a Push-Pull kit for the GMAW gun, which provided both hot start and crater-fill capabilities.
ESAB requested technical assistance from its subsidiary, AlcoTec Wire Corp. Its representative, Jerry Mirgain, recommended switching from 4043 to 4047 aluminum wire to eliminate crater cracks completely. Mirgain also helped with welding techniques. His suggestion to replace the -in. welds with 1 -in. welds reduced stops and starts and resulted in higher-quality welds.