A Complete Guide to Aluminum Pipe Welding
Aluminum is one of the lightest and wide usages metal. You can see the use of aluminum on your household thing to the airplane. This metal is strong and can increase product lifetime. Nowadays people are using aluminum on their water pipeline and aluminum pipe welding is common to work in the resident area.
In this article, we are going to talk about aluminum welding and how you can get success with aluminum welding. I and my team do a lot of research about aluminum welding and figure out all the possible solutions to the aluminum welding problem you may face or will face.
By reading this article you can also find the easy way of aluminum pipe welding techniques. So, read the full article to find out everything about the aluminum pipe welding procedure.
Aluminum pipe welding jobs are different than regular steel or other metal welding. It is not hard but you have to be careful and patience during aluminum welding, because a small mistake can ruin your whole welding process and damage the item you are welding on.
You can use a different method to weld aluminum but the most recommend one is brazing or soldering. Regular welding machines like MIG, TIG, and Stick also can useable but it is hard to perform Aluminum welding with welding machines. But if you are an expert then it is okay to weld aluminum with a welding machine. So, you can use any process of welding aluminum pipe together.
Best Welder For Aluminum Pipe Welding
Aluminum Pipe Welding Procedure
We are going to talk about the aluminum pipe welding process and give you the details about every step.
If you want to weld aluminum pipe at your house then brazing is the best aluminum pipe welding process recommend by professionals. You also do not have to be an expert or professional TIG welder to preform aluminum welding. The aluminum brazing process can create a strong bond or repair a leak on your aluminum water pipeline. Welding thin aluminum pipe brazing is the best option.
To use the brazing way you are going to need some materials, which are easy to find in the local store or online store. The first thing you are going to need is propane torch and the Bernzomatic will work fine. The second thing you are going to need is aluminum brazing rods. And for cleaning you are going to need a wire brush or sandpaper.
Aluminum Brazing Process
Before start brazing, you have to make sure that the pipe is not leaking water. Because it is hard to brazing or welding pipe with water in it. So, stop the water line before start working and make sure you drain all water. And if the pipe still leaking the water then use paper to seal the leak and it would give you several minutes to complete your brazing.
Cut in the proper size
After successfully stop the water now you have cut the aluminum pipe properly. Because you need to make sure that the aluminum pipe weld fittings fit perfectly. So, before cutting the pipe make sure the measurement is correct and after cutting the aluminum tube weld fittings match correctly. And sometimes you are going to need aluminum socket weld pipe fittings to complete the pipeline you are working on.
If you cut the aluminum pipe properly then you can start with cleaning the pipe to prepare for brazing. Use the wire brush to clean dust and dirt on the pipe and make sure you can see the first layer of the pipe. And then use the sandpaper to polish the pipe.
Join the pipe
Now you can put two pipes together and start the joining process. But first, make sure the pipe fits properly. After fitting the pipe using the proper gas torch and aluminum rod to join the pipes together. You have to heat the pipe unit the temperature reaches the melting point. To check the heat use the rod to touch the join and if it starts melting then you can complete the soldering and join the pipe.
It is important to make sure that you use proper heat. Because less heat won’t melt the consumables rod and too much heat can damage the aluminum pipe and it can cost you more. The aluminum melting point is 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and most of the aluminum brazing rod melts at around 700 degrees Fahrenheit. To reach the rod melting point it will take a maximum of 5 minutes and the rod will melt on pipe contact.
Clean the join
If you completed all the steps then you just joint the aluminum pipe properly. Now you can use the sandpaper to polish the join area and clean extra aluminum and debris on the pipe.
Repair a leak on aluminum pipe
The leak repair process is the same as the joining process. To repair and leak on the aluminum pipe you have clean the area and use the rod to fill the leakage on the pipe. And the process is easier than joining the pipe.
If you are a newbie then everything is hard for you but with patience and practice you can do it perfectly. But this is the best aluminum pipe welding method.
Aluminum Pipe TIG welding
It is hard to perform TIG welding on the aluminum pipe but not impossible. If you are an expert in TIG welding then it is okay to perform aluminum welding with it. But if you are just a beginner level welder and not an expert then it is not a good idea to use the TIG machine for aluminum welding. And it is hard to perform an aluminum pipe TIG welding process.
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But if you want to use the TIG welding machine then you have to do practice to weld aluminum. And here is the aluminum pipe TIG welding technique you need to follow.
Clean the welding area
Before start welding, you have to make sure the aluminum pipe is clean and ready for welding. If you do not clean the area properly then the join won’t be strong enough and you have to repair the pipe again. You can use a wire brush and sandpaper to clean the welding area.
During welding with the TIG machine, you have to make sure that you use suitable polarity. Because if you do not use correct polarity then you could damage the base materials it will cost you more.
Suitable current balance
When you are using aluminum pipe TIG welding process it is essential to set the perfect current balance. Without setting the proper electrode negative and positive you cannot weld aluminum with TIG welding machine. In the new model of TIG machine the current flow balance automatically but in the older version, you have to set the current flow by yourself.
Before start, the aluminum tube TIG welding process make sure you also set the correct amperage voltage. If you set amperage wrong then you could spoil the aluminum tube and fail into an accident. You need to set the amperage depending on the tube thickness, like for 1/8 inches metal needs about 125 amps. So, select correct amps to get the best welding result.
Use the filler metal
It is best practice to use filler metal during aluminum welding with TIG machine. To make a strong join you can use filler metal. By adding filler metal you have to do an extra cleaning job. But if you do not want to use then you can avoid it.
TIG welding is dangerous if you do not know how to use it properly. So, before start welding take proper safety for your security. Use welding helmet, hand gloves, apron, and make sure the welding area is clean properly.
Aluminum Pipe MIG welding
Welding aluminum pipe MIG process also available for you if you can handle it. In the MIG welding process, you are going to welding aluminum pipe with a spool gun. If you are not a professional welder then it best to avoid the MIG welding process to weld aluminum pipe. Because without proper way you can damage the pipeline and create a mass.
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But you are willing to give a try then here is the step to follow to get success with the aluminum MIG welding process.
Set the thickness
The first thing you need to do is set proper metal thickness on the MIG machine. Because different thickness aluminum pipe has a different rate of amperage and wire feed option. If you set the wrong thickness then the welding machine will spoil base metal and will cost you more.
Clean the area
Before start welding makes sure the welding area and materials are clean perfectly. You can use a wire brush and sandpaper to clean the pipe.
After cleaning the next important thing is to set the correct amperage rate. With low amps, you cannot weld the aluminum and with high amps, you can damage the base metal. So, it is essential to select proper amperage.
Wire feed speed
Wire feed speed also important in the MIG welding process. Without proper wire feed speed, you cannot weld comfortably and it will give you a hard time completing the task. So, set the correct wire feed speed depending on metal thickness.
If you want to weld aluminum then you have to use aluminum wire. You cannot use solid wire to weld aluminum, because the solid wire won’t work with aluminum. So, use aluminum wire spool to weld aluminum pipe.
Aluminum Stick welding
The stick welding process is the hardest to expert. If you want to weld aluminum pipe with a stick welding machine then you have to be an expert. Basic knowledge of stick welding is not enough to welding aluminum. To stick welding aluminum pipe you need to practice more and more.
To weld aluminum pipe you need to choose aluminum rods as consumable. After that, you need to set proper voltage and you can carefully start welding. But the stick welding method is not recommended for aluminum pipe welding process.
Aluminum Pipe Welding – Final Words
If you read the full article then I hope you get the idea about the aluminum pipe welding process. Aluminum is lightweight and it is hard to weld with a welding machine. Novice welders face so many problems during aluminum welding mad do so many mistakes. And if you are a beginner level welder then this article can help to find the proper way to weld aluminum.
So, why need to wait to start welding today and become an expert tomorrow. And if you are looking for a welding machine then you can visit our Best Welder for Beginner article. You can also find welding safety tools from Welding Safety Glasses article.