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Old 03-06-2009, 11:44 PM   #1
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Low temp. aluminum welding

Has anyone done aluminum repairs with these new low temp welding rods? I've seen demos on u tube using just propane that are amazing.

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Old 03-06-2009, 11:48 PM   #2
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I've always been interested in getting into aluminum welding, but the equipment was so expensive. I'll watch this thread with great interest.


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Old 03-07-2009, 02:20 AM   #3
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Let's Clarify...

Good Morning All,

The clips on YouTube where they use a propane, or map gas torch is soldering. It’s a bonding process but should in no way be considered welding. Welding of any material, aluminum, steels, and other alloys can be performed in different ways, but joining only happens when you have the localized coalescence of the materials. What this means is that there must be enough localized energy input at the weld joint to melt the both materials being joined. Notice the underside view of the complete “weld” in the video.

Welding can be done with a torch (not like the one in the video), electric arc, or friction. Production welding of aluminum alloys is routinely performed using GMAW, GTAW, and Friction Stir Processes. GMAW and GTAW processes are within the cost and skill abilities of the any metals enthusiast. Friction stir unfortunately is not, but it’s really cool to watch, and offers high joint efficiencies (post welding joint strength).

The higher equipment costs are typically associated with wire feed devices (GMAW) because aluminum wire is softer as compared to steel wires of the same diameter. With aluminum a push/pull wire feed is used to avoid birdnesting of the wire. The power supply also operates at a higher frequency, and can employ pulse technology to keep heat input levels lower (reducing distortion).

I will be gald to help anyone on the forums with the occasional welding question if I can.



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Old 03-07-2009, 07:13 AM   #4
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There is even more. Welding of any nature (as you described) requires a great deal of heat. This heat, even when performed under very controlled conditions cahnges the "temper" of the metal. The welded spot contains stresses set up by the processes itself. In order to relieve these these stresses the weld and surronding arrea must be "Stress Relieved" or "Annealed" or "Heat Treated" to prevent cracking in the metal surronding area. That is why Airplanes and Helicopters are still riveted, screwed or glued together to prevent the need for this "heat treatment" to relieve created stresses. Non-Critical welding jobs (car chassis, trailer chassis, car fenders(metal)) can get by due to the over kill in material. Critical welds (pressure vessels, pressure hulls etc) must be brought up to a predescribed temperature, welded, then cooled slowly to prevent the embrittlement of the metal (setting up of stresses also) which will lead to cracking under load(pressure). These welds are also usally xrayed for cracks, gaps fissures etc. to ensure a perfect weld.
Riveting on the other hand if done properly (the hole being one and a half times the diameter of the hole from the edge of the material or the next hole) suffers none of the stress problems. The only issue is that the bore of the hole be smooth to prevent cracking.
My two cents worth.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:40 AM   #5
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As per the original question here, I have used the aluminum bonding rods and if used properly it does a decent job. I fixed pin hole leaks on a hot water tank .The process is more like braising then welding.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:01 AM   #6
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Has anyone done aluminum repairs with these new low temp welding rods? I've seen demos on u tube using just propane that are amazing.
I just bought a kit from these guys yesterday, it should be here in a couple of days. I too was impressed by the demo and have been looking for some way to fill a bullet hole in my Caravel. I plan on practicing with this stuff on scrap aluminum and then see how it polishes up.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

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Old 03-07-2009, 09:25 AM   #7
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My brother-in-law had an older car that had leaked out all the freon due to a rubbed through hole in an aluminum line. We went to the big box store and bought several of the low temp. rods. Got home and drove a spike through an empty beer can and gave it a go. Looked good, so my b-i-l crawled under the car and welded/brazed the hole shut, re-charged the unit and it worked just fine. The ac was still working a year later when he sold the car.

The stuff is amazing.

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