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The Everyday
Pocket Handbook
for Gas Metal Arc
Welding (GMAW)
of Aluminum
Compiled as a useful tool for
on-the-job welding personnel by the
AWS Product Development Committee
Number 8 in a series
2
NOTE: Although care was taken in choosing and presenting the data in this guide, AWS cannot guarantee that it is
error free. Further, this guide is not intended to be an exhaustive treatment of the topic and therefore may not include all
available information, including with respect to safety and health issues. By publishing this guide, AWS does not insure
anyone using the information it contains against any liability or injury to property or persons arising from that use.
Edited by
Lee G. Kvidahl
Ingalls Shipbuilding
© 1998 by American Welding Society. All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
3
Basic Safety Precautions ...........................................4
Typical Joint Geometries for Arc Welding
of Aluminum.........................................................6
Designations for Wrought Alloy Groups ..................9
Chemical Composition of Wrought Aluminum
Filler Metals........................................................10
Typical Aluminum Filler Metal Properties
(As-Welded Condition).......................................11
Guide to the Selection of Filler Metal for General
Purpose Welding.................................................12
Influence of Shielding Gas on Weld Profile............15
Typical Procedures for Gas Metal Arc Welding
of Groove Welds in Aluminum Alloys with
Argon Shielding..................................................16
Typical Procedures for Gas Metal Arc Welding
of Fillet Welds in Aluminum Alloys with
Argon Shielding..................................................18
Typical Procedures for Flat Position Gas Metal
Arc Welding Groove Welds in Aluminum
Alloys with Large Diameter Electrodes..............19
Joint Geometry Types ............................................. 21
Typical Procedures for Gas Metal Arc Welding
of Fillet Welds in Aluminum Alloys with
Large Diameter Electrodes and Argon
Shielding............................................................. 22
Aluminum Welding Wire........................................ 23
Preparation of Aluminum for Welding ................... 24
Storage of Base Metal......................................... 24
Storage of Consumables ..................................... 24
Plate Edge Preparation........................................ 24
Cleaning Prior to Welding .................................. 24
Oxide Removal with Wire Brushing................... 25
Shielding Gas Purity........................................... 25
Tips to Make the Aluminum Welding Job
Easier .................................................................. 26
Troubleshooting...................................................... 27
Basic Welding Symbols and Their Location
Significance........................................................ 28
Location of Elements of a Welding Symbol ........... 30
Table of Contents
4
Burn Protection. Molten metal, sparks, slag,
and hot work surfaces are produced by welding,
cutting, and allied processes. These can cause
burns if precautionary measures are not used.
Workers should wear protective clothing made
of fire-resistant material. Pant cuffs, open pock-
ets, or other places on clothing that can catch
and retain molten metal or sparks should not be
worn. High-top shoes or leather leggings and
fire-resistant gloves should be worn. Pant legs
should be worn over the outside of high-top
shoes. Helmets or hand shields that provide pro-
tection for the face, neck, and ears, and a head
covering to protect the head should be used. In
addition, appropriate eye protection should be
used.
Electrical Hazards. Electric shock can kill.
However, it can be avoided. Live electrical parts
should not be touched. The manufacturer’s
instructions and recommended safe practices
should be read and understood. Faulty installa-
tion, improper grounding, and incorrect opera-
tion and maintenance of electrical equipment
are all sources of danger.
All electrical equipment and the workpiece
should be grounded. The workpiece lead is
not a ground lead. It is used only to complete
the welding circuit. A separate connection is
required to ground the workpiece. The work-
piece should not be mistaken for a ground
connection.
Basic Safety Precautions
5
Fumes and Gases. Many welding, cutting,
and allied processes produce fumes and gases
which may be harmful to health. Avoid breath-
ing the air in the fume plume directly above the
arc. Do not weld in a confined area without a
ventilation system. Use point-of-welding fume
removal when welding galvanized steel, zinc,
lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese, brass, or
bronze. Do not weld on piping or containers
that have held hazardous materials unless the
containers have been inerted properly.
Compressed Gas Cylinders. Keep caps on
cylinders when not in use. Make sure that gas
cylinders are chained to a wall or other struc-
tural support.
Radiation. Arc welding may produce ultra-
violet, infrared, or light radiation. Always wear
protective clothing and eye protection to pro-
tect the skin and eyes from radiation. Shield
others from light radiation from your welding
operation.
Refer to AWS/ANSI Z49.1, Safety in Welding,
Cutting, and Allied Processes, for additional
information.
6
Typical Joint Geometries for Arc Welding of Aluminum (Not to Scale)
7
Typical Joint Geometries for Arc Welding of Aluminum (Continued) (Not to Scale)
8
Typical Joint Geometries for Arc Welding of Aluminum (Continued)
9
Designations for Wrought Alloy Groups
A system of four-digit numerical designations is used to identify wrought aluminum alloys. The first digit indicates the
alloy group as follows:
Aluminum, 99.0% and greater 1XXX*
Major Alloying Element:
Copper 2XXX
Manganese 3XXX
Silicon 4XXX
Magnesium 5XXX
Magnesium and Silicon 6XXX
Zinc 7XXX
Other elements 8XXX
Unused series 9XXX
*For 1XXX series, the last two digits indicate the minimum aluminum purity (e.g., 1060 is 99.60% Al minimum). The second digit in all groups
indicates consecutive modifications of an original alloy, such as 5154, 5254, 5454, and 5654 alloys.
10
Chemical Composition of Wrought Aluminum Filler Metals
Filler
Alloy
Elements, wt. %
a
Other
Elements
Al Si Fe Cu Mn Mg Cr Zn Ti Each Total
1100 Note b Note b 0.05–0.20 0.05 — — 0.10 — 0.05
c
0.15 99.0 min.0
1188 0.06 0.06 0.005 0.01 0.01 — 0.03 0.01 0.01
c
— 99.88 min.
2319 0.20 0.03 5.8–6.8 0.20–0.40 0.02 — 0.10 0.10–0.20 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
4009
d
4.5–5.5 0.20 1.0–1.5 0.10 0.45–0.60 — 0.10 0.10–0.20 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
4010
e
6.5–7.5 0.20 0.20 0.10 0.30–0.45 — 0.10 0.20 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
4011
f
6.5–7.5 0.20 0.20 0.10 0.45–0.70 — 0.10 0.04–0.20 0.05
f
0.15 Remainder
4043 4.5–6.0 0.80 0.30 0.05 0.05 — 0.10 0.20 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
4047 11.0–13.0 0.80 0.30 0.15 0.10 — 0.20 — 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
4145 9.3–10.7 0.80 3.3–4.7 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.20 — 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
4643 3.6–4.6 0.80 0.10 0.05 0.10–0.30 — 0.10 0.15 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
5183 0.40 0.40 0.10 0.50–1.00 4.3–5.2 0.05–0.25 0.25 0.15 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
5356 0.25 0.40 0.10 0.05–0.20 4.5–5.5 0.05–0.20 0.10 0.06–0.20 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
5554 0.25 0.40 0.10 0.50–1.00 2.4–3.0 0.05–0.20 0.25 0.05–0.20 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
5556 0.25 0.40 0.10 0.50–1.00 4.7–5.5 0.05–0.20 0.25 0.05–0.20 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
5654 Note g Note g 0.05 0.01 3.1–3.9 0.15–0.35 0.20 0.05–0.15 0.05
c
0.15 Remainder
a. Single values are maximum, except where otherwise specified. e. Same composition as A356.0 cast alloy.
b. Silicon plus iron shall not exceed 0.95 percent. f. Beryllium content is 0.04 to 0.07 percent. Same composition
c. Beryllium shall not exceed 0.0008 percent. as A357.0 cast alloy. Used for GTAW rod only.
d. Same composition as C355.0 cast alloy. g. Silicon plus iron shall not exceed 0.45 percent.
11
Typical Aluminum Filler Metal Properties (As-Welded Condition)
Filler Alloy
Minimum Shear Strength
All-Weld-Metal
Ultimate Tensile Strength
ksi MPa ksi MPa
1100 7.5 52 13.5 93
2319 16.0 110 37.5 258
4043 11.5 79 29.0 200
5183 18.5 128 41.0 283
5356 17.0 117 38.0 262
5554 17.0 117 33.0 230
5556 20.0 138 42.0 290
5654 12.0 83 32.0 221
12
Guide to the Selection of Filler Metal for General Purpose Welding
a,b,c
Base Metal
201.0,
206.0,
224.6.
319.0, 333.0,
354.0, 355.0,
C355.0.
356.0, A356.0,
357.0, A357.0,
413.0, 443.0,
A444.0.
511.0, 512.0,
513.0, 514.0,
535.0.
7004, 7005,
7039, 701.0,
712.0.
6009, 6010,
6070.
6005, 6061,
6063, 6101,
6151, 6201,
6351, 6951. 5456 5454
1060, 1070,
1080, 1350
ER4145 ER4145 ER4043
d,e
ER5356
e,f,g
ER5356
e,f,g
ER4045
d,e
ER4043
e
ER5356
g
ER4043
e,g
1100, 3003,
Alc. 3003
ER4145 ER4145 ER4043
d,e
ER5356
e,f,g
ER5356
e,f,g
ER4043
d,e
ER4043
e
ER5356
g
ER4043
e,g
2014, 2036 ER4145
h
ER4145
h
ER4145 — — ER4145 ER4145 —

2219 ER2319
d
ER4145
h
ER4145
e,f
ER4043
e
ER4043
e
ER4043
d,e
ER4043
d,e
— ER4043
e
3004, Alc. 3004 — ER4043
e
ER4043
e
ER5356
i
ER5356
i
ER4043
e
ER4043
e,i
ER5356
g
ER5356
i
5005, 5050 — ER4043
e
ER4043
e
ER5356
i
ER5356
i
ER4043
e
ER4043
e,i
ER5356
g
ER5356
i
5052, 5652
l
— ER4043
e
ER4043
e,i
ER5356
i
ER5356
i
ER4043
e
ER5356
f,i
ER5356
i
ER5356
i
5083 — — ER5356
e,f,g
ER5356
g
ER5183
g
— ER5356
g
ER5183
g
ER5356
g
5086 — — ER5356
e,f,g
ER5356
g
ER5356
g
— ER5356
g
ER5356
g
ER5356
g
5154, 5254
l
— — ER4043
e,i
ER5356
i
ER5356
i
— ER5356
i
ER5356
i
ER5356
i
a. Service conditions such as immersion in fresh or salt water, exposure to specific chemicals, or a sustained high temperature [over 150°F (66°C)] may
limit the choice of filler metals. Filler metals ER5183, ER5356, ER5556, and ER5654 are not recommended for sustained elevated-temperature service.
b. Recommendations in this table apply to gas shielded arc welding processes. For oxyfuel gas welding, only ER1188, ER1100, ER4043, ER4047, and
ER4145 filler metals are ordinarily used.
c. Where no filler metal is listed, the base metal combination is not recommended for welding.
d. ER4145 may be used for some applications.
e. ER4047 may be used for some applications.
f. ER4043 may be used for some applications.
g. ER5183, ER5356, or ER5556 may be used.
h.–m. See table footnotes on next page.
13
Guide to the Selection of Filler Metal for General Purpose Welding
a, b, c
(Continued)
Base Metal
,5154,
l
5254
l
5086 5083
,5052,
l
5652
l
5005,
5050,
3004,
Alc. 3004 2219
2014,
2036,
1100,
3003,
Alc. 3003
1060, 1070,
1080, 1350.
1060, 1070,
1080, 1350
ER5356
e,f,g
ER5356
g
ER5356
g
ER4043
e,g
ER1100
e,f
ER4043
e,g
ER4145
e,f
ER4145 ER1100
e,f
ER1188
e,f,k,m
1100, 3003,
Alc. 3003
ER5356
e,f,g
ER5356
g
ER5356
g
ER4043
e,g
ER1100
e,f
ER4043
e,g
ER4145
e,f
ER4145 ER1100
e,f

2014, 2036 — — — — ER4145 ER4145 ER4145
h
ER4145
h
— —
2219 ER4043
e
— — ER4043
e,g
ER4043
d,e
ER4043
d,e
ER2319
d
— — —
3004, Alc. 3004 ER5356
i
ER5356
g
ER5356
g
ER5356
e,f,i
ER5356
f,i
ER5356
f,i
— — — —
5005, 5050 ER5356
i
ER5356
g
ER5356
g
ER5356
e,f,g
ER5356
f,i
— — — — —
5052, 5652
l
ER5356
i
ER5356
g
ER5356
g
ER5654
f,i,l
— — — — — —
5083 ER5356
g
ER5356
g
ER5183
g
— — — — — — —
5086 ER5356
g
ER5356
g
— — — — — — — —
5154, 5254
l
ER5654
i,l
— — — — — — — — —
a.–g. See table footnotes on preceding page.
h. ER2319 may be used for some applications. It can supply high strength when the weldment is postweld solution heat-treated and aged.
i. ER5183, ER5356, ER5554, ER5556, and ER5654 may be used. In some cases, they provide: (1) improved color match after anodizing treatment,
(2) highest weld ductility, and (3) higher weld strength. ER5554 is suitable for sustained elevated-temperature service.
j. ER4643 will provide high strength in 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) and thicker groove welds in 6XXX alloys when postweld solution heat-treated and aged.
k. Filler metal with the same analysis as the base metal is sometimes used. Filler alloys ER4009 or R4009, ER4010 or R4010, and R4011 meet the
chemical composition limits of R-C355.0, R-A356.0, and R-A357.0 alloys, respectively.
l. Base metal alloys 5254 and 5652 are useful for hydrogen peroxide service. ER5654 filler metal is used for welding both alloys for low-temperature
service [150°F (66°C) and below].
m. ER1100 may be used for some applications.
14
Guide to the Selection of Filler Metal for General Purpose Welding
a, b, c
(Continued)
Base Metal
201.0,
206.0,
224.6.
319.0, 333.0,
354.0, 355.0,
C355.0
356.0, A356.0,
357.0, A357.0,
413.0, 443.0,
A444.0
511.0, 512.0,
513.0, 514.0,
535.0
7004, 7005,
7039, 701.0,
712.0
6009,
6010,
6070.
6005, 6061,
6063, 6101,
6151, 6201,
6351, 6951. 5456 5454
5454 — ER4043
e
ER4043
e,i
ER5356
i
ER5356
i
ER4043
e
ER5356
f,i
ER5356
i
ER5554
h,i
5456 — —
ER5356
e,f,g
ER5356
g
ER5556
g
— ER5356
g
ER5556
g

6005, 6061, 6063,
6101, 6151, 6201,
6351, 6951
ER4145 ER4145
e,f
ER4043
e,i,j
ER5356
i
ER5356
e,f,i
ER4043
d,e,j
ER4043
e,i,j
— —
6009, 6010, 6070 ER4145 ER4145
e,f
ER4043
d,e,j
ER4043
e
ER4043
e
ER4043
e,i,j
— — —
7004, 7005, 7039,
710.0, 712.0
— ER4043
e
ER4043
e,i
ER5356
i
ER5356
g
— — — —
511.0, 512.0,
513.0, 514.0, 535.0
— — ER4043
e,i
ER5356
i
— — — — —
356.0, A356.0,
357.0, A357.0,
413.0, 443.0,
A444.0
ER4145 ER4145
e,f
ER4043
e,k
— — — — — —
319.0, 333.0,
354.0, 355.0,
C355.0
ER4145
h
ER4145
e,f,k
— — — — — — —
201.0, 206.0, 224.0 ER2319
d,k
— — — — — — — —
a.–m. See table footnotes on previous page.
15
DIRECT CURRENT ELECTRODE POSITIVE (DCEP)
Influence of Shielding Gas on Weld Profile
16
Typical Procedures for Gas Metal Arc Welding of
Groove Welds in Aluminum Alloys with Argon Shielding
Section
Thickness
Welding
Position
a
Joint
Geom-
etry
b
Root Opening No. of
Weld
Passes
Electrode
Diameter
Welding
Current
(DCEP),
A
Arc
Volt-
age,
V
Shielding Gas
Flow Rate
c
Travel Speed
in. mm in. mm in. mm ft
3
/h L/min in./min mm/s
0.06 1.6 F
F
A
G
0
0.09
0
2.4
1 .030 0.8 70–110 15–20 25 12 25–45 10.5–19.0
0.09 2.4 F
F,V,H,O
A
G
0
0.12
0
3.2
1
1
.030–.047
.030
0.8–1.2
0.8
90–150
110–130
18–22
18–23
30
30
14
14
25–45
23–30
10.5–19.0
9.7–12.7
0.12 3.2 F,V,H
F,V,H,O
A
G
0.09
0.19
2.4
4.6
1
1
.030–.047
.030–.047
0.8–1.2
0.8–1.2
120–150
110–135
20–24
19–23
30
30
14
14
24–30
18–28
10.2–12.7
7.6–11.8
0.19 4.8 F,V,H
F,V,H
O
F,V
H,O
B
F
F
H
H
0.06
0.06
0.06
0.09–0.19
0.19
1.6
1.6
1.6
2.4–4.8
4.8
2
1
2
2
3
.030–.047
.047
.047
.047–.062
.047
0.8–1.2
1.2
1.2
1.2–1.6
1.2
130–175
140–180
140–175
140–185
130–175
22–26
23–27
23–27
23–27
23–27
35
35
60
35
60
16
16
28
16
28
24–30
24–30
24–30
24–30
25–35
10.3–12.7
10.3–12.7
10.3–12.7
10.3–12.7
10.5–14.8
0.25 6.4 F
F
V,H
O
F,V
O,H
B
F
F
F
H
H
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.12–0.25
0.25
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
3.3–6.4
6.4
2
2
3F,1R
3F,1R
2–3
4–6
.047–.062
.047–.062
.047
.047–.062
.047–.062
.047–.062
1.2–1.6
1.2–1.6
1.2
1.2–1.6
1.2–1.6
1.2–1.6
175–200
185–225
165–190
180–200
175–225
170–200
24–28
24–29
25–29
25–29
25–29
25–29
40
40
45
60
40
60
19
19
21
28
19
28
24–30
24–30
25–35
25–35
24–30
25–40
10.3–12.7
10.3–12.7
10.5–14.8
10.5–14.8
10.3–12.7
10.5–16.9
a. F = flat; V = vertical; H = horizontal; O = overhead.
b. Refer to pages 6–8.
c. Nozzle ID = 5/8 to 3/4 in. (15.9 to 19 mm).
17
Typical Procedures for Gas Metal Arc Welding of
Groove Welds in Aluminum Alloys with Argon Shielding (Continued)
Section
Thickness
Welding
Position
a
Joint
Geom-
etry
b
Root Opening No. of
Weld
Passes
Electrode
Diameter
Welding
Current
(DCEP),
A
Arc
Volt-
age,
V
Shielding Gas
Flow Rate
c
Travel Speed
in. mm in. mm in. mm ft
3
/h L/min in./min mm/s
0.38 9.6 F
F
V,H
O
F,V
O,H
C-90°
F
F
F
H
H
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.25–0.38
0.38
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
6.4–9.6
9.6
1F,1R
2F,1R
3F,1R
5F,1R
4
8–10
.062
.062
.062
.062
.062
.062
1.6
1.6
1.6
1.6
1.6
1.6
225–290
210–275
190–220
200–250
210–290
190–260
26–29
26–29
26–29
26–29
26–29
26–29
50
50
55
80
50
80
24
24
26
38
24
38
20–30
24–35
24–30
25–40
24–30
25–40
8.5–12.7
10.3–14.8
10.3–12.7
10.5–16.9
10.3–12.7
10.5–16.9
0.75 19.0 F
F
V,H,O
F
V,H,O
C-60°
F
F
E
E
0.09
0.12
0.06
0.06
0.06
2.3
3.2
1.6
1.6
1.6
3F,1R
4F,1R
8F,1R
3F,3R
6F,6R
.062–.094
.094
.062
.062
.062
1.6–2.4
2.4
1.6
1.6
1.6
340–400
325–375
240–300
270–330
230–280
26–31
26–31
26–31
26–31
26–31
60
60
80
60
80
28
28
38
28
38
14–20
16–20
24–30
16–24
16–24
5.9–8.5
6.8–8.5
10.3–12.7
6.8–10.3
6.8–10.3
a. F = flat; V = vertical; H = horizontal; O = overhead.
b. Refer to pages 6–8.
c. Nozzle ID = 5/8 to 3/4 in. (15.9 to 19 mm).
18
Typical Procedures for Gas Metal Arc Welding of
Fillet Welds in Aluminum Alloys with Argon Shielding
Section
Thickness
Welding
a
Position
a
No. of
Weld
Passes
Electrode Diameter
Welding
Current
(DCEP),
A
Arc
Voltage,
V
Shielding Gas
Flow Rate
b
Travel Speed
in. mm in. mm ft
3
/h L/min in./min mm/s
0.094 2.4
F,V,H,O
1 0.030 0.8 100–130 18–22 30 14 24–30 10–13
0.125 3.2 F
V,H
O
1
1
1
0.030–0.047
0.030
0.030–0.047
0.8–1.2
0.8
0.8–1.2
125–150
110–130
115–140
20–24
19–23
20–24
30
30
40
14
14
19
24–30
24–30
24–30
10–13
10–13
10–13
0.19 4.8 F
V,H
O
1
1
1
0.047
0.030–0.047
0.030–0.047
1.2
0.8–1.2
0.8–1.2
180–210
130–175
130–190
22–26
21–25
22–26
30
35
45
14
16
21
24–30
24–30
24–30
10–13
10–13
10–13
0.25 6.4 F
V,H
O
1
1
1
0.047–0.062
0.047
0.047–0.062
1.2–1.6
1.2
1.2–1.6
170–240
170–210
190–220
24–28
23–27
24–28
40
45
60
19
21
28
24–30
24–30
24–30
10–13
10–13
10–13
0.38 9.6 F
H,V
O
1
3
3
0.062
0.062
0.062
1.6
1.6
1.6
240–300
190–240
200–240
26–29
24–27
25–28
50
60
65
24
28
31
18–25
24–30
24–30
8–11
10–13
10–13
c
0.75
c
19.0 F
H,V
O
4
4–6
10
0.094
0.062
0.062
2.4
1.6
1.6
360–380
260–310
275–310
26–30
25–29
25–29
60
70
85
28
33
40
18–25
24–30
24–30
8–11
10–13
10–13
a. F = flat; V = vertical; H = horizontal; O = overhead.
b. Nozzle ID = 5/8 to 3/4 in. (15.9 to 19 mm),
c. For thickness of 0.75 in. (19 mm) and larger, double-bevel joint with a 50 degree minimum groove angle and 0.09 to 0.13 in. (2.3 to 3.3 mm) root face
is sometimes used.
19
Typical Procedures for Flat Position Gas Metal Arc Welding Groove Welds
in Aluminum Alloys with Large Diameter Electrodes
Section
Thickness,
T
Joint Geometry
Electrode
Diameter
Shielding
Gas
Weld
Pass
b
Arc
Voltage,
V
Welding
Current,
(DCEP),
A
c
Travel Speed
Type
a
α F
in. mm Degrees in. mm in. mm in./min mm/s
0.75 19.0 A 90 0.25 6.3 0.156 4.0 Ar 1
2
28 450
500
16 6.8
1.00 25.4 A 90 0.13 3.3 0.188 4.8 Ar 1,2 26.5 500 12 5.1
1.25 31.8 A 70 0.18 4.6 0.188 4.8 Ar 1,2 26.5 550 10 4.2
1.25 31.8 B 45 0.25 6.3 0.156 4.0 Ar 1
2
Back
25
27
26
500 10
10
12
4.2
4.2
5.1
1.50 38.1 A 70 0.18 4.6 0.188 4.8 Ar 1
2
3,4
26
27
29
550
575
600
10 4.2
1.50 38.1 A 70 0.18 4.6 0.219 5.56 Ar 1
2
27
27.5
650
675
8 3.4
1.75 44.5 A 70 0.13 3.3 0.219 5.56 Ar 1,2
3,4
26
27
650
600
10 4.2
1.75 44.5 B 45 0.25 6.3 0.188 4.8 Ar 1,2
3,4
Back
28
30
30
600
550
550
10
14
10
4.2
5.9
4.2
a. The joint types shown on page 21 are referred to by letter in the indicated column under joint geometry.
b. All passes are welded in the flat position, odd numbers from one side and even numbers from the other side with joint designs (A) and (C). Joint is
backgouged prior to depositing the back weld.
c. Constant current dc power source and constant-speed electrode drive unit.
20
Typical Procedures for Flat Position Gas Metal Arc Welding Groove Welds
in Aluminum Alloys with Large Diameter Electrodes (Continued)
Section
Thickness,
T
Joint Geometry
Electrode
Diameter
Shielding
Gas
Weld
Pass
b
Arc
Voltage,
V
Welding
Current,
(DCEP),
A
c
Travel Speed
Type
a
α F
in. mm Degrees in. mm in. mm in./min mm/s
2.00 50.8
A 70 0.2 4.6
0.188 4.8 He 1,2,3,4 32 550 10 4.2
2.00 50.8 B 45 0.3 6.3 0.188 4.8 Ar 1.2
3–7
Back
28
26
28
600
500
550
10
14
10
4.2
5.9
4.2
3.00 76.2 A 70 0.18 4.6 0.219 5.56 Ar-25%He 1,2
3,4
5,6
7–10
25
23
26
27
650
500
650
625
9
10
9
9
3.8
4.2
3.8
3.8
3.00 76.2 C 30 0.50 12.7 0.219 5.56 He 1,2
3–6
29
31
650 10 4.2
a. The joint types shown on page 21 are referred to by letter in the indicated column under joint geometry.
b. All passes are welded in the flat position, odd numbers from one side and even numbers from the other side with joint designs (A) and (C). Joint is
backgouged prior to depositing the back weld.
c. Constant current dc power source and constant-speed electrode drive unit.
21
Joint Geometry Types
α
α
α
22
Typical Procedures for Gas Metal Arc Welding of Fillet Welds in
Aluminum Alloys with Large Diameter Electrodes and Argon Shielding
Fillet Size
Electrode
Diameter
Weld Pass
a
Welding
Current,
A
b
Arc Voltage,
V
Travel Speed
in. mm in. mm in./min mm/s
0.50 12.7 0.156 4.0 1 525 22 12 5.1
0.50 12.7 0.188 4.8 1 550 25 12 5.1
0.63 16.0 0.156 4.0 1 525 22 10 4.2
0.75 19.0 0.156 4.0 1 600 25 10 4.2
0.75 19.0 0.188 4.8 1 625 27 8 3.4
1 25.4 0.156 4.0 1
2, 3
600
555
25
24
12
10
5.1
4.2
1 25.4 0.188 4.8 1
2, 3
625
550
27
28
8
12
3.4
5.1
1.25 31.8 0.156 4.0 1, 2, 3 600 25 10 4.2
1.25 31.8 0.188 4.8 1
2, 3
625
600
27
28
8
10
3.4
4.2
a. Welded in the flat position with one or three passes, using stringer beads.
b. Constant-current power source and constant-speed electrode wire drive unit.
23
Aluminum Welding Wire
Fraction Decimal Millimeters
Feet
Approximate
Wire Gauge per lb. per kg
— 0.23 0.6 2083 4592 23
— .030 0.8 1215 2678 20-1/2
— .035 0.9 900 1984 19
— .040 1.0 704 1552 18
3/64 .047 1.2 520 1146 17
— .059 1.5 308 679 15
1/16 .062 1.6 290 639 14
— .079 2.0 172 379 12
3/32 .093 2.4 130 287 11
1/8 .125 3.2 70 154 8
5/32 .156 4.0 45 99 6-1/2
3/16 .187 4.7 31 68 4-1/2
1/4 .250 6.3 20 44 2
24
Storage of Base Metal. Base metal should
be stored inside in a dry room, and covered to
prevent a buildup of shop dust.
Storage of Consumables. Aluminum rods
and coils of filler metal should be stored indoors
in a dry room, and ideally should be kept warm.
Once the package is opened, the filler metal
should be stored in an oven to avoid moisture
buildup on the metal surface. A storage tem-
perature of 100°F (40°C) is adequate, but the
manufacturer’s recommendation should be
consulted.
Plate Edge Preparation. Aluminum plate
edges can be prepared by any of the conven-
tional mechanical machining processes.
The plasma arc cutting process can be used
to make square edge or bevel cuts in aluminum.
When plasma cutting the 2XXX, 6XXX, or
7XXX series alloys, it may be necessary to
mechanically remove as much as 1/8 in.
(3.2 mm) from the plasma cut edge to eliminate
the crack-prone heat-affected zone. The series
1XXX, 3XXX, and 5XXX aluminum alloys are
not as crack sensitive and can usually be welded
as-cut.
Cleaning Prior to Welding. Several excel-
lent metal cleaners are available on the market,
and the metal fabricator should study the fea-
tures of each. After the cleaners have done their
job, the surfaces to be welded should be given a
final wipe with a clean cloth soaked in acetone.
Since acetone and similar cleaning agents are
highly flammable, care must be taken to avoid
exposing the fumes or open containers to a
source of ignition.
Preparation of Aluminum for Welding
25
Compressed air, which may contain moisture or
oil from the compressor, should not be used to
blow off areas cleaned by solvents.
Oxide Removal with Wire Brushing.
Some fabricators have found it helpful to wire
brush the area to be welded after chemical clean-
ing and before the final wipe with acetone. This
should be done with a stainless steel wire brush
used only for brushing aluminum. The wire
brush is dedicated to brushing aluminum to
avoid bringing in impurities from other work
pieces. While brushing, the operator should be
careful to avoid smearing the surface of the alu-
minum and trapping impurities under the smears.
Shielding Gas Purity. Argon, helium, or
mixtures of the two can be used for gas metal
arc welding of aluminum. Shielding gas used
for welding aluminum should have a dew point
no higher than –70°F (–57°C). Using shielding
gas with a higher dew point may result in poros-
ity in the weld.
For an expanded discussion of the shielding
gases to be used when arc welding aluminum, see
the AWS Handbook, Eighth edition, Volume 3.
A simple way to check for argon purity is to
strike a gas tungsten arc on a clean piece of
6061 aluminum. Holding the torch stationary,
form a puddle. If the puddle has a bright, silvery
appearance, the gas is pure enough for welding.
If a brown spot appears to be floating on the
puddle, there is a problem with gas purity. Note
that the argon may be of adequate purity, but the
shielding gas may pick up impurities because of
holes in the gas hose.
26
• Use the proper welding power source. A
constant current unit is best for welding alu-
minum because it does not permit the high
current surges produced by constant voltage
machines. These surges cause arcing inside
the guide tube which results in deposits that
impede wire feed.
• If the torch cables are more than 12 ft
(3.6 m) long, a push-pull wire feed system
should be considered.
• Feed rolls with a U-groove rather than a
V-groove or knurled surface should be used.
Make sure that drive roll pressure isn’t exces-
sive, because that will tend to distort the wire.
• A straight barrel torch should be used rather
than a goose-neck torch to minimize friction
in the wire feed system.
• Teflon or nylon wire feed conduits should be
used to reduce friction in the wire feed sys-
tem. When aluminum particles from the wire
feed rolls accumulate in the conduits, the
conduits should be replaced. Some users
report improved operation by blowing the
particles out using argon, but usually it is
best to replace the worn parts.
• After a burnback, it is best to replace the
whole length of electrode in the conduit.
Otherwise, the slightest kink in the wire left
in the conduit may cause another jam.
Tips to Make the Aluminum Welding Job Easier
27
Problem Possible Cause Remedy
Porosity Contamination from dirt on plate or wire Clean base metal
Keep filler metal clean and dry
Contaminated shielding gas Shield weld area from drafts
Check hoses for leaks
Poor arc starting Bad workpiece connection Reconnect workpiece cable
Weld cracking Wrong filler metal See filler metal selection guide
Electrode burnback Insufficient wire feed Increase wire feed speed
Worn or dirty conduit liner Replace liner
Color mismatch after anodizing Use of 4XXX filler metal See filler metal selection guide
Troubleshooting
28
Basic Welding Symbols and Their Location Significance
Refer to AWS A2.4, Standard Symbols for Welding, Brazing, and Nondestructive Examination, for more information.
29
Basic Welding Symbols and Their Location Significance (Continued)
30
Location of Elements of a Welding Symbol