Properly welding aluminum and advanced steels requires new methods and equipment. Their use in vehicle bodies is only going to increase over the next few years, so it is important that collision repair professionals start equipping themselves now with the knowledge and equipment necessary to properly return these vehicles to manufacturer specs.
Features offered by welders that are specifically designed for aluminum and advanced steel applications, like Chief Elektron Fusion Technologies new MIG/MAG welders, give technicians who are equipped with these modern tools more confidence about repairing the newest vehicles.
Chief's MIG/MAG Aluminum welders transform a novice or even an average welder into a good aluminum welder. Shops should invest in a welder that gives their technicians the confidence that they’re doing right. Below is that confidence, find out more...
Supply Voltage - Multiple, 3Ø
Supply Voltage - 230V, 1Ø
115/230V/60Hz +15% to -20%z
The melting temperature of the aluminum is about 660 °C while for steel is about 1500 °C. Howerver, the melting temperature of the surface oxides (alumina, Al203) is about 2000 °C, which means that surface preparation, and special care of the aluminum wire, is essential for proper welding.
Compared to steel, the aluminum thermal conductivity and thermal expansion change significantly.
The transfer of the filler material by pyulsed arc limits the heat input to the workpiece without decreasing the penetration of the fusion. When using the pulse, you work with a current which is on average lower than the transition value, which has the following advantages over not-inverter welders:
Most OEMs today require synergic pulse technology for welding aluminum.
Double pulse technology outputs high and low frequency pulses, which provides a unique welding feature over most competitors. The double pulse feature allows the weld to cool slightly during the low frequency operation. This is animportant feature when trying to weld in the vertical or overhead, horizontal positions, when the welding process may be prone to drip. In addition, the current intensity that varies between two different pulse levels, generating a bead aesthetically similar to the one obtained in TIG welding. Finally, thin pieces are deformed less due to the reduced heat transfer.
Chief offers a Puch-Pull torch. This small and very light weight torch has a roller built in the head of the torch which "pulls" the aluminum wire in tight control with the "push" action from the power unit. It is very difficult to feed small diameter, soft aluminum wire through a standard torch without running into many feed and control problems. Although it is ossible to feed larger diameter aluminm wire through a standard torch (as long as it has the proper line), but the length of the torch cable must be restricted. The 4 meter cable length of the Push-Pull torch enables the Chief welder to easily reach the areas to be welded. A spool gun can also be used for aluminum welding, but it is builky and is not typically tied back to the power unit for synergic control. The Push-Pull torch also comes with an up/down button for finder-tip control of wire-feed speed and current levels while welding, real-time, to adust for the weld conditions and for personal preferences. When working with aluminum, the ability to adjust the wire feed speed and current levels is important due to the fast heat condiuction of the base material, especially with the large diameter wire and the high amount of input energy.