I tried playing with aluminum welding rod today. Welded two 1/8" flat
pieces. The weld looked nice. I then took a strip from the two welded
pieces and tried to break it. it broke instantly. As it turns out, the
weld was full of luttle bubbles, like a bagel. Not useful for anything
except non load bearing applications, if that.
Do you know anything about what alloy of aluminum you are welding? Some
series alloys are classed as unweldable. I have been practicing with and
building stuff out of 6061 with decent results.
I have heard that with 6061, you need the metal in the weld region to be
at least 50% rod. This results in a much larger bead profile then is
proper for a steel weld. Ernie or somebody with more aluminum experience
than I have can probably give you a more detailed/better answer.
All TIG welding really needs clean parts before welding, and aluminum
especially. I get noticably better results if I wipe the weld area down
with an acetone or lacquer thinner soaked rag. After the solvent
evaporates, I use a stainless steel wire brush in a cordless electric
drill to clean oxide away in the weld region and weld it quickly after
cleaning. Note than you can weld aluminum without all this cleanup, but
the cleanup gives you better results.
I am not sure, it is a flat bought at Farm and Fleet, but I think that
it is 6061.
The issue is that the weld broke in the middle of it, not at the joint
of the weld and the pieces, but in the weld itself. It had no
I admit to cleaning aluminum in only a half hearted way.