How to Weld Aluminum with a Mig Welder

MIG welding is not difficult if you know its insights. And the precautionary measure should always be obeyed. Although there are many applications of a MIG welder, today we are dedicatedly talking about how to weld aluminum with a MIG welder. If you are a beginner welder, doing things beforehand can result in either injury or bad welding. Therefore, consulting a guide becomes the reasonable approach every amature welder should opt for. So without wasting any more time, let’s read this post.

Welding of Aluminum with a Mig Welder

Welding aluminum with a MIG welder is not a walkover, but it can be made so. With practice and following guidelines in mind, you should be accompanied by an expert welder for best results. Unlike mild steel, aluminum welding demands more heat. However, if you have material thinner than 18-gauge aluminum will need a TIG welder.

Keep the Material Thickness Highlighted

Before you weld aluminum using a MIG welder, the thickness should be in accordance with the welder. Recommended thickness of aluminum that can be MIG welded is 14 gauge and heavier. Majorly, the output capacity of the MIG welder is what tells the thickness that is ideal to weld. However, aluminum which is thinner than14 gauge (.074 inch) might need the specialized pulsed MIG.

Ensure the Cleanliness

The next step for aluminum welding with a MIG welder is to ensure the cleanliness of the aluminum material. Remove the lubricants, oiliness, dirt, and other scum that the material has on it. For oxide removal, you should do it after degreasing by using a quality stainless wire brush. However, you can also use a hand wire brush or a cup wire brush as well. For using a power brush you should always keep the rpms and pressure low; it prevents the material surface from smearing.

Opt for the Ideal Gas

Choosing the right kind of gas to weld aluminum with a MIG welder is highly recommended. Aluminum is a non-ferrous metal for which it needs 100% argon shielding gas. The flow rate should be 20 to 30 cubic feet per hour.

Process for Welding Aluminum with the MIG Welder

Use the spray transfer mode in the MIG welder while you weld aluminum. This is a fluid-like process that transfers the molten metal droplet from the end of the electrode toward the molten pool. While doing so, be very careful to handle the heat because spray transmission features too much heat that makes a larger weld pool; it can be a challenge to handle that. Again, you should not use that on materials that are thinner than 14 gauges.

Set the Gun and Wire Feeding Options

For aluminum welding with MIG welders the choice of the gun matters. Usually, the spool guns are used to feed aluminum wire and that helps in soft aluminum wires. Moreover, if you use a spool gun it will greatly decrease the wire tangle because of the fact that wire feeds only by a few inches.

Go for the Right Filler Metal

While welding aluminum with a MIG welder, you should always know its alloy base. As a rule of thumb, the common aluminum filler wires are ER4043 and ER5356. However, you can also take supervision from your local welding distributor or aluminum filler metal dealer for precise advice for wire alloy fitting.

Conclusion

If you are doing a precise task that needs control such as MIG welding aluminum you need to use the guidelines accurately. Although MIG welding for aluminum is not an easy task, if you are ensuring the right equipment and know-how to MIG weld, you can surely do that.

 

About Samantha Joel

Meet Samantha, a Certified Welding Educator (CWE) and Certified Resistance Welding Technician (CRWT) from the American Welding Institute. She loves Welding Stuff, and apart from being a professional in welding jobs, it's her hobby too. She's working part-time blogger and reviews welding equipment here.