Millermatic 130 mig welder and aluminum

Gang,
Quick question.... we have a millermatic 130 at work and use it for
regular steel welding and some stainless welding - and it works fine.
Following the advice of the welding shop, using Argon/CO2 mix for the
gas and running at 20 cu ft on the regulator. Works good and getting
good welds on both regular steel and the stainless. This welder was
"in place" when I started working there and they had spools of copper
coated steel, stainless and also aluminum. I have tried the aluminum
on a couple of different occasions - without any success. My
questions would be:
1. Can this welder actually weld aluminum?
2. Would the gas or the liner have to be changed in order to weld AL?
3. If it is capable, and since there is a variable speed on the wire
feed and 4 settings for heat, what would be the recommended settings?
4. Any out - of - the - ordinary prep work have to be done (like
cleaning to shiney and pre-fluxing with some kind of paste?
I've tried (as mentioned) without success, but I can place a nice blob
of what looks like overheated aluminum on top of the piece to be
welded, but it certainly is no "weld" in any sense of the term. Any
input on this would be appreciated.
Thanks, Ken.
Reply to
Ken Sterling
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I'm by no means an expert on the subject but it's been covered many times here in the past so I'll throw in what I remember. :-)
The first problem is that you shouldn't use an argon/CO2 mix. You should be using straight argon.
Here's a link that should help:
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Hate to send you to a Lincoln site when you're using a Miller welder but it's the best explanation I've found. Miller has some info on the subject but not as informative:
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Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Reply to
Keith Marshall
Theoretically , Yes. In any practical sense, No.
Yes Argon gas and a teflon gun liner.
Usually you have to practically max out the machine to weld aluminum and you will be limited to 1/8".
Just clean.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Thanks for the links - good reading - however, it appears that this little welder isn't going to handle what I was expecting. (Basically, it can weld aluminum, but don't expect much - :-) ) I already have the teflon liner in place (although probably contaminated by sending steel and stainless through it, on other jobs). Probably not worth the effort to get a tank of argon, another liner, etc., just for a "half-decent weld". Ken.
Reply to
Ken Sterling
Kinda what I was thinking before my post, Ernie.......
Already have a liner in the hose, but would have to get a tank of straight Argon....The liner is probably contaminated by welding with steel wire and stainless wire on other jobs....
Although I can see some instances where 1/8" would be a repair, but where I've needed it has been on a lot heavier stuff than 1/8".....
Thanks, Ernie for the post.. I am satisfied with the job this welder does on regular steel and on stainless (both normally are thinner materials to be repaired). I can get these heavier aluminum pieces welded when I need to, but I just thought that when I tried the aluminum, that I was doing something extremely wrong. (I guess I was, in reality), but I guess this is just the wrong kind of a machine to expect it to do what I needed. Thanks again. Ken.
Reply to
Ken Sterling

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