TIG Welding Aluminum Part 3: Puddle Control Tips

TIG Welding Aluminum Part 3: Puddle Control Tips

We’re going to start working on puddle
control. Puddle control, again not introducing any filler metal at this
time at all, is basically establishing the puddle and walking that puddle down
the piece. Now aluminum being the heatsink that aluminum gets hot real
quick. It’s kind of like driving a car downhill.
It keeps picking up speed as it gets hotter and hotter and hotter, so you’re
always constantly monitoring that puddle trying to keep the puddle width
consistent. So if you’re moving downhill you’re increasing your speed. You want to
ease up on the accelerator, or in this case, the foot pedal that controls your
heat to maintain a consistent puddle. When you get towards the edge of the
piece where there’s really not a lot of aluminum there, it gets hot real quick
and the puddle washes out so fast. You really want to ease up on that pedal
to maintain that puddle. In this case we’re going to just strike
an arc and we’re going to get our puddle established. We’re going to try and
maintain our puddle width and keep our distances from the tungsten to the
workpiece. If I lose heat or do not put enough heat
into the puddle, I lose the puddle and the arc becomes unstable. If I get too
hot or add too much current, the weld puddle starts to get too wide and starts
to wash out and become uncontrollable. I really want to try and maintain puddle
width and consistency along the entire piece. Even though we didn’t add any
filler metal it’s easy to see where I stand with my puddle and I maintain the
puddle width properly. Here you can see where I sped up and I lost some of that
puddle. Here’s where I slow down and added too much heat to the piece and the
puddle got too hot. Back to maintaining the proper puddle
width, here I was too hot on my foot control or current control and I lost
control of the puddle again. Here I wasn’t enough on the pedal and I lost
control of the puddle completely. And back to maintaining proper puddle width
and control travel speed. So this is what you’re looking for. We’re striving to get
a consistent amount of puddle width and control and speed. We try to do this
a number of times to maintain and train yourself on the puddle control keeping
that puddle width. This piece gets pretty hot, so we recommend do a sample piece,
let it set aside, and grab another cooler piece and start all over again. The
hotter this piece gets the more out of control the puddle becomes and therefore
you’re really not training yourself.

19 thoughts on “TIG Welding Aluminum Part 3: Puddle Control Tips

  1. im not new to welding but I have yet to weld aluminium via TIG, I over heat the tung tip till it melts so if you could be so kind Would you tell me what im doing wrong: is it a combo of the amps & gap too much? I know its almost imposiblr to answer without seeing me do it but what gaps and amps did you use in this case.

  2. Great tips there. I have watched this video several times now and have just realised why my puddle was going so out of control. So many test runs on the same work piece = very hot = out of control puddle! Simples!

  3. How much power should i use? and ive heard something that you have to switch the power from Ac to dc? but i dont know … please help ^^

  4. Hi @varmdal

    Let us know the type and thickness of materials you are welding with. That will go a long way in determining how to help you set your machine. In the meantime, check out the many TIG how-to resources on our website.


  5. Excellent demo. I love that analogy of a car rolling downhill. With MIG, there's no accelerator without stopping, so we usually just drive a little faster as the metal heats up (not ideal because wire speed is not adjustable in real time while on the piece).

  6. @TheBoilermakerno1 I learned to weld left handed, So I could see the weld better. It makes push or pull welding to me seem easier to control.

    It must have helped when I took the single pass test 1/4" grooved aluminum. To get FAA certified many years ago and passed the first time. I was so damn worried about the aluminum test, I almost failed the stainless steel 8% for every 12"

  7. With a really good weld, is the strength of the weld basically the same as if the two pieces of metal were forged together, or is it weaker, etc. ?

  8. Instead of going to the next piece because the metal was now very hot another idea would have been to turn the metal 90' and practice what to do at the end of the piece (as discussed @ 0:48 ).so you can do the entire next piece from beginning to end.

    These Videos are helpful for beginners and so the rest of us do not have to look at crap. I would like to see more of these including much more advanced Videos. More Dynasty and Aerowave is always welcome; Aerowave (which I have used) starts and end so nicely.

    Thanks for making this Video.

  9. Learning the weld puddle first is a great idea. Going to try that today. I'm having so much trouble with aluminum. 🙁

  10. i am TIG welder….from bulgaria. can someone tell me, how can i find a job in usa like welder. cuz my country cant give me a chance to grow up and show my all skills. i want to work for country who can give me that chance to show my skills. and to help me learn a lot of new welding tips.

  11. That was very helpful in demonstrating and explaining how the pedal is to be modulated along with travel speed. Never heard the car-running-downhill analogy before, and it helped me big time to understand the task at hand. Thanks!!!

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