TIG welding cast aluminum is one of the superior welds to do. To form a great arc shield in cast aluminum by creating a shiny surface, TIG welding works great. A welder must know how to TIG weld cast aluminum to get the desired weld.
Cast aluminum is used for the manufacture of kitchen utensils. It is widely known for its durability, and luster, and is well polished. To get that well-polished look and durability, you need to know how to do it right. TIG welding cast aluminum requires patience and focus.
Listed below are the exact steps required to TIG weld cast aluminum. All instructions will help you capture every process in detail. Follow each step carefully.
5 Simple Steps To TIG Weld Cast Aluminum:
Cast aluminum is not the average aluminum. Many beginners make a mistake by applying the same aluminum welding process to molten aluminum. That is why they remain afflicted with the problem. The right steps are mentioned below.
Step-1: Essential Appliances
If you are someone who doesn’t like to organize your work, know that there will always be something missing from your work. To avoid this, arrange them around.
- Tig Torch;
- Hand gloves (made for welding only);
- Welding helmet;
- TIG Welding machine 200 AMP.
Step-2: Assembling The Pieces Of Equipment
Before any step, remember to put on gloves and a helmet. If you are a beginner, try to use high-quality gloves. Keep all tools near you. Any kind of negligence can harm you. Then place everything securely ensuring your comfort and safety.
It will help to get the job done without any hesitation. Arrange the wires in an organized way so they don’t get confused. If it takes time, let it be.
The assembly of the equipment is one of the essential steps according to the experts. They suggest preparing the area to make the job more efficient and that’s why a smooth and durable weld is achieved.
Step-3: Configuration Of The Welding Machine
First, turn on your device by connecting all the necessary plugs. Wait a bit to prepare it. Switch it to AC power. If you choose to use direct current, welding for cast aluminum will not be appropriate. Save the AC balance to a lower number.
It depends on the type of arc you expect and also the thickness of the metal. Thereby, set the AC frequency to 30% positive and 70% negative. Not too low or high, keep it on a 30/70 cycle.
The heart of every welding technique is the welding machine. Depending on the machine, the perfect weld seam is achieved. Therefore, the welding machine has a great influence. Incorrect selection of welding equipment can be stressful.
Getting the required output is necessary from the welding machine to supply during the configuration. If you find any glitches redo the whole process, and never hesitate to allow more time to solve it.
Step-4: Cast Aluminum Welding
Coming to the main step, get ready for a good weld for your aluminum casting. Start holding the torch while keeping a quiet distance from the workpiece. Everything should be visible to you.
Slowly move the gun over the welding area. Being a non-consumable process material, it requires no filler rod. However, there are no downsides to using one.
In this step, try to be patient all the time. Welding cast aluminum gets dirty sometimes. Take some gaps between the welds. A thick workpiece needs more than one bead.
Rushing through the process can make the weld not only unusual but also can ruin the surface you need to melt. Noticing any overheating is normal. Take some time and start again.
Step-5: Final Touch To The Weld
The piece you are working with can be anything. It doesn’t matter which one it is. It always matters how it looks and its durability. As you may have already known, cast aluminum is one of the lighter metals. Therefore, you have to give some final touches to get the best.
Completely fulfilling the whole process, brush your workpiece with a metal brush. Inspect the weld. Look for any dissimilarities which can be fixed by welding that part again. But, do not proceed if you feel like forming extra beads. Let it cool down and you are all done with the weld.
These are the most efficient techniques that you can apply to TIG welding cast aluminum.
3 Things To Be Conscious Before TIG Welding Cast Aluminum:
The things that are about to discuss are often misunderstood by many welders. Since cast aluminum has a very high melting point, some welders fail to configure the machine as per guidance. To go along with them, follow the issues mentioned below.
- Selection Of TIG Torch:
TIG torch is where the tungsten electrode is present. It represents a safe good arc cleaning to your weld. For that reason, you need to use the correct one for your weld.
You might be working with a small part of cast aluminum and for that, a sizable TIG torch is not mandatory. Standard size selection is the best for it. Apart from all of that, make sure you are using the right torch according to your base metal.
- Sharpening Of The Tungsten Electrode:
TIG welding doesn’t use any external electrodes like stick welding or so. In particular, it uses tungsten and because of its high melting point, it can overheat for hours and won’t melt for a single time. This is why it gets blunt just like a pencil.
After many welds, it will get uneven which will not form the smooth electric arcs you are expecting. Pull out the tungsten and sharpen it. Fine tungsten will also result in a nice weld. Hence, it is an important issue to consider.
- AC Balance:
Balance of AC is one of the biggest issues to look at before you take any step for TIG weld. More specifically, on a TIG weld, it depends a lot. You really cannot expect a fair amount of weld without setting the correct percentage of AC balance.
It ensures the frequency that is happening per second in the AC cycle of your machine. Too much positive or less negative is not the appropriate way. Confirm the balance more accurately as you can.
4 Tips To TIG Weld Cast Aluminum:
To make it easier for you, I have some very useful tips for you. Applying them will be a smart move.
Tip-1: Use a foot paddle that will send a signal to the torch. It washes away the pain of arranging wires and all. You can easily have a wireless connection with better stability in your work. Just use a receiver and get the feeling of working as an expert.
Tip-2: If you don’t have any kind of machine to sharpen the electrode, simply detach it from the torch and rub it on sandpaper for some time. This is always a handy tip to use.
Tip-3: Dust or any type of specks of dirt can get stuck on the workpiece. Wash everything away with the help of a brush. Clean it until you notice it is all free. It will increase the percentage of a nice weld.
Tip-4: Before every weld, remember to clean your gas cup. A neat gas cup enables the supply of gas during the weld. You can clean with a brush or something sharp. Do not apply too much pressure, it can break the component.
What Is The Best Way To Weld Cast Aluminum?
Cast aluminum is a durable metal used for various purposes. It has a vast amount of use in the parts of vehicles. TIG welding is the best way to weld cast aluminum. However, it is the most preferable way to weld it. Regular cast aluminum is lighter. That is why TIG welding is the appropriate weld for it.
It doesn’t require any external gas to weld. The gas forms itself and it creates a good formation of arcs too. Using the base metals as the filler metal works with AC. Alternating current provides the control of the oxides by giving them a smooth finish.
Is Cast Aluminum Hard To Weld?
Cast aluminum is one of the most difficult metals to weld. Even a slight piece of cast aluminum can take a pretty good amount of time if you want a precise weld. Applying correct AC balance, frequency, and all the other essential setup is the only way to gain a better result. This is why it is hard to weld cast aluminum.
Caution and time require the most here. By applying the TIG welding method, you can easily weld cast aluminum, but you have to do it with precision. Therefore, it becomes difficult when it comes to the result.
Can You Weld Cast Aluminum With A Stick Welder?
Welding cast aluminum is workable with a stick welder. Stick welding is typically done with heavy metals like steel, iron, copper, etc. Aluminum can also be done with stick welding but it gets rough rather than smooth. Because of a light material, it cannot handle the big arcs formed by stick welding.
Generally, TIG welding is the most appropriate way to do it. It is because of the good arc cleaning, cleaning of the oxides, and working with the base metal. Using the TIG welding method provides more smoothness to the surface.
Can You TIG Weld Cast Aluminum With DC?
Direct current fails to provide the back and forth flow of negative and positive during the process. The formation of oxides is seen during the cast aluminum welding. These oxides form a rough surface when the DC comes into play. DC fails to control these oxides, which is why it is not expected to do a good weld.
Also, Ac balance helps to obtain comparatively a better outcome than using dc. For that reason, you will get an unusual weld. In short, dc is not an impossible method to choose, it will work but not better.
Do You Tig Weld Cast Aluminum On Ac Or Dc?
AC and DC both work in welding cast aluminum. The alternating flow of current works the best on TIG welding cast aluminum. AC helps to determine the welding correctly by no direct current flow.
Alternating flow gives a good clean arc solution and makes every weld perfectly balanced. More heat is generated and the formation of oxides is seen when AC is used in cast aluminum.
Can You TIG Weld Steel To Cast Iron?
TIG welding steel to cast iron is only viable under certain conditions. Steel is very light and TIG welding only applies to those base metals that are heavy to work with. You can TIG weld steel to cast iron, but it will break when the arc is dried out.
Similarly, cast iron has the presence of carbon. It is a very expensive process and the weld should be done only when the weld is not critical. TIG welding steel to cast iron is also strictly not recommended by the experts. Be mindful of that too.
Is Brazing Aluminum As Strong As TIG Welding?
Brazing aluminum and TIG welding is an arguable discussion in the welding industry. Professionals choose both of them. Brazing aluminum is a really strong process, but TIG welding doesn’t fall behind. Both of them apply different techniques with strong durability.
But the most important factor is the skill you have. If you are a skilled welder, you can get a strong result by applying both methods. Since many different welding techniques don’t apply to aluminum, you can choose one of them.
A beginner or an expert must know how to TIG weld cast aluminum. It is no different from other welding methods. From applying the steps to examining each problem, this method is a big deal. Learning every detail is highly mandatory from the point of view of professionals.
All the steps and issues presented in this article are entirely gathered from the research of welding experts and myself. If you have further queries, let me know. I’ll get to it real soon.
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