TIG Welding Aluminum: AC Balance Control

TIG Welding Aluminum: AC Balance Control


Read and follow all labels and the
owner’s manual carefully before installing or operating your machine. Hi,
I’m Brent Williams with Miller® Electric and we’re going to discuss the benefits
of using AC balance control for welding aluminum, so you can set and adjust this
useful feature for optimum results. Let’s take a closer look at AC balance control.
AC is preferred for most aluminum applications because it provides
cleaning action that helps to remove surface oxides. Let’s start with a little
background information. All metals form oxides. On steel it’s known as rust and
we know it’s there because you can see it. Other metals like aluminum form an
invisible oxide layer. What’s special about aluminum is that the surface
oxides melt at a higher temperature than the base metal. It’s critical to remove
the oxides because they cause welding problems. AC produces cleaning action
that helps to remove the surface oxides and AC balance controls the amount of
cleaning action based on how heavy the oxide layer is. A few pointers will take
the mystery out of this useful feature and help you get the most out of your
Miller Dynasty®. To set AC balance, make sure the machine is in AC and push the
wave shape button to select balance control. Then turn the control knob to
set the balance percentage. To begin, look at the condition of the aluminum that
you’ll be welding. Whether it’s new and shiny or has a dull gray appearance will
be your first indication of where to set the balance control. A balance setting
of 75 percent on a Dynasty is a good starting point for most applications.
However, if the material has been in service for some time or it’s been
exposed to the elements, oxides are likely to be heavier than with newer
material. If that’s the case, you may want to begin with a slightly lower setting,
say 65 to 70 percent, which gives you more cleaning action.
Over time experience will guide your judgment on where to begin. And remember,
a slight adjustment may be all you need. Once you begin welding, you’ll need to
look for a few indications that you have the proper setting. When you strike an
arc, look at the surface appearance of the puddle. It should be shiny and clean
without a heavy film or any particles floating on the surface. If you see dark
spots in the puddle, adjust the AC balance down because you need a little
more cleaning action. If the puddle appears shiny and clean, but you have a
wide etching zone around the weld, turn your balance up because you have too
much cleaning action. Another result of having the balance set too low is
tungsten balling. What this means is your tungsten will melt back and not stay
sharp. When you have the AC balance adjusted correctly, you’ll see a bright
shiny puddle without anything floating on the surface. You’ll also be able to
maintain a pointed tungsten. Now we’ve covered the basic guidelines for setting
your balance control. You’ll probably find that the optimum setting is in the
neighborhood of 65 to 75 percent. Don’t be concerned about this. You’ll likely
find a sweet spot that works well for most applications and requires very
little adjustment. The range of adjustment provides flexibility for
advanced applications and extreme conditions. I hope this information about
AC balance control helps you get the results you’re looking for. If you have
additional questions, make sure to visit MillerWelds.com and click on the
resources tab. Thanks for watching.

30 thoughts on “TIG Welding Aluminum: AC Balance Control

  1. there really needs to be better international standards for this feature on all AC tig machines.. i find it really irritating that every machine operates differently.. its not rocket science.. and in this video you didnt mention how the % relates to EN or EP for the miller machines. It makes no difference what the brand is, the functional standards should be the same for all brands of machine.

  2. Miller agrees that it would be nice if there was a standard to make things easier as an industry. Since there isn’t, Miller has chosen to use what we have historically used when discussing what results in an arc when adjusting the AC balance: “%” as it relates to balance control, refers to percentage of DCEN (DC-) versus DCEP (DC+) in an AC arc. When it comes to Miller products, this is consistent for all our AC capable TIG machines when the balance setting is adjustable.

  3. @andy205ro and @marek0086 – If so, lame attempt. Keep it out of the gutter, boys. And yes, have a great new year!

  4. does that mean i dont need to clean aluminium with a stainless wire brush before i start welding, if i have ac balance setting?

  5. Ah, so you're the guy in the video. You presented the info well, sorry about the eyebrow comment, it really is just a bit distracting. Good luck working @ Miller!

  6. The Dynasty 200 DX is the best machine on the market, light weight, welds great, frequency adjustment to focus the bead. I have a trailblazer 300 and can run my Dynasty off of the Trailblazer. It lets me weld anything anywhere.

  7. And what if i have black spots on puddle and i should make balance down, but at the same time i get my tungsten melting to big ball ?
    Should i change tungsten ?

  8. IF WE SAY 70% balance that means that the electrode is joint with negative pole 7times and 3 times with positive?

  9. There's no need to prep your aluminum prior to welding. Adjust the balance, and you'll be on your way to quality welding. For the real grayed salty looking surfaces you'll want your balance closer to 30%. Good luck with that.

  10. So, maybe I need to up-grade from my 1956 P&H '300' AC/DC TIG welder?  Perhaps a newer machine to go along with my 1981 MillerMatic 200 MIG….?

  11. man nice beed! my dad taught me . he had his own business.we,put up slot of tank farms.all stainless,and carbon.only well "it" 4;5 times .video was clear and concise! thank you!!!

  12. What would an oscilloscope show when ac balance is adjusted? Is it as simple as adjusting the midpoint of the sine wave, created by adding a baseline negative current on top of a simple sine wave?

  13. What type of of tungsten in the video ? Red or green ? I’m using red tungsten to use on the ac it work but not too long the tip got mess up .

  14. First one with shiny puddle he kept his filler wire in the shield. The second one with pepper in the puddle he kept taking the filler out of the shield, letting the oxygen attack the hot metal of the filler and then shoving it back in the puddle. No matter what the settings, if you do that you will all get pepper

  15. What about the independent en/ep balance control?
    If balance is set to 75 can that setting be fined tuned even further

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