Aluminum Welding

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TIG Welding Aluminum

The TIG machines at the Asylum are capable of welding aluminum but are typically set up for welding steel using 1/16" electrodes. These have a red band and are known as 2% thoriated.

The electrodes needed for aluminum welding will have either a green band (pure tungsten) or grey band (2% ceriated). These are available at most any welding store. Since aluminum welding requires more current, an electrode of greater diameter than 1/16 is also likely needed along with the hand piece hardware to accommodate it.

In order to run the gambit of size (.040, 1/16, 3/32) you will need to have different collet, collet bodies, and ceramic lens (also known as a nozzle or shield). I recommend getting a set up for whichever torch you will be using most often. The actual torch size will be based on the torch body which can be read off the machine but the Asylum machines use #17 and #18 hand pieces and the parts for these sizes are interchangeable.

When figuring out which consumables you will need, Miller has a great resource on their site here. This will help you figure out exactly what you will need for most common welds. They also have a free mobile app for use on your cellphone as well.

Miller also has a series of articles with accompanying videos on YouTube covering the basics of welding aluminum:
TIG Welding Aluminum Basics 1: Keys to Puddle Control
TIG Welding Aluminum Basics 2: Coordinating Movement & Filler Deposition
TIG Welding Aluminum Basics 3: Forming and Controlling the Puddle
TIG Welding Aluminum Basics 4: Introducing Filler Metal to the Puddle

See also: Welding - Beginner Guide to Aluminum

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