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6 Questions About Aluminum Filler Alloy Selection

Another round of FABTECH has ended, and this years was just as exciting, innovative and informative as previous years have been. I’ve noticed quite a few videos on YouTube by companies that wanted to let others experience FABTECH even if they weren't able to make it – this is where our questionnaire comes from. Miller Electric posted this video by MAXAL – manufacturer of high quality aluminum welding wire products. In it, we go “through six key questions you should ask when selecting the proper alloy for welding aluminum.”

On a side note: Happy Thanksgiving!

As usual, transcript follows.



Hello. My name is Brian Farkas and I am the national sales account manager for Maxal. We are here at Fabtech 2011, and we’re going to talk about proper filler alloy selection.

There are roughly six basic questions you have to ask yourself in determining what is the best choice of filler for my job.

So, we get asked all the time: I have 6061; I’m going to weld it to itself. What do I use? I don’t know. I need more information, more data. So if we look at it: strength, cracking, ductility, corrosion, temperature, and anodization.

  1. So if we look at strength, is the part going to sit there and look pretty, a handrail? Or is there a lot of dynamic loading going on like a truck trailer going down the road?
  2. Cracking: the freedom of it being welded without it cracking. Very big on certain alloys.
  3. Temperature: Is that part going to see in service above 150 degrees? There are certain truck trailers that haul asphalt that’s 450 degrees. Changes the game. It’s a different alloy.
  4. Corrosion: Is it going to be in fresh water, salt water? Is it going to be in an environment where it sees a lot of road salt?
  5. Anodization: Is that part going to be anodized after welding? 4043 cannot be used if that part will be anodized; all your welds will turn black – 5356.
  6. Ductility: Is that part. . . people think that 4043 has more ductility properties because it’s a softer alloy; not the case. If you were to weld two fillet welds, one with 4043 [and] the other with 5356 and do a fracture break-over on it, 4043 would get about 30 degrees and snap. 5356 will typically fold over onto itself. Ok. So, is that part again seeing some loading in the field?

So, just by asking six simple questions: am I going to anodize? Service temperature? Corrosion? Strength? Ductility? At the end of the day you have to ask yourself: what do I want that weld to do? What am I asking of it? Sit there; look pretty? Or is there some issues that we need to know prior to picking the filler alloy selection?

Hopefully you’ve been able to learn something with us today. For more information, please visit our website at Maxal, M-A-X-A-L.com or MillerWelds.com.



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