wire

Steel and aluminum boatbuilding. See: "Boatbuilding Methods", in left-hand column of the Home page, for information about alloys.

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mwga
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wire

Postby mwga » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:53 pm

For welding 5052 do you use 4043 or 5356 mig wire?

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Cec
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Re: wire

Postby Cec » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:24 am

Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

mcmbuilder
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Re: wire

Postby mcmbuilder » Sat May 02, 2009 2:15 pm

You can use either one for 5052. However if your boat is a saltwater boat I would use the 5356, a little better on the corrosion properties. DO NOT MIX THE ALLOYS in other words do not use 4043 over 5356 or vis-versa.

Kevin Morin
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Welding wire alloys for Marine Alloys

Postby Kevin Morin » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:38 pm

Got an email from someone asking about this topic, so I'm bumping it (here)to make this discussion more current.

The question is; can 4043 wire/filler be used on 5052 alloy aluminum? The answer (solely my opinion after 30k hours looking at the aluminum arc) is avoid 4043 at all costs- in all conditions, for all alloys. Yes, 4043 will join 6061 or 6063 alloys 'fairly well' but.... the fact remains that 4043 alloy requires an extremely well 'diluted' puddle to obtain the results shown on many manufacturers' performance tables.

Fact; if you don't get 'good' or deep arc penetration, with greater than 70% dilution or 'mixing' of the 4043 filler alloy with the parent metal: your weld will not stand a min. break bend test. (if you don't know what that test is- and don't regularly perform these tests on your own welds: you should not be welding on aluminum joints where "life and limb" may be dependent.)

Fact; 4043 has a huge silicone percentage of alloy- silicone reduces the 'as-welded' strength of ANY joint where it is present over other alloys' contributions to durability, hardness, strength and flexibility.

Fact; 4043 should NEVER be used on 50 series marine alloys- only on 60 series and then only if the joint will not be loaded at or near the original parent material's mechanical properties.

5356 alloy is the correct alloy for all 5000 series and all 6000 series alloys and if the work is on a boat this is the only alloy to give consistent, high strength and bend test proof joints. (there could be some discussion about 5083 being joined with other alloys but I'm not addressing that here)

I have not used the newer 4943 alloy, that is now beginning to be accepted more widely. However, until a welder conducts full bend break testing on ANY alloy, with their power supply, feeder, over different joints- no one can say "one wire does all". On the other hand; I'll say NEVER use any 4043 alloy on a boat- for any reason: EVer!!

sorry not to reply to my email, I mentioned I'd go on record here with a reply, hope you find this topic and my emphatic statement about welding filler alloys?

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

Yofish
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Re: wire

Postby Yofish » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:29 pm

New kid on the block here but not new to AL welding. I'm here tonight because of a wonderful thread I ran into while doing some research. That wonderful thread was by Professor Morin on this site. Without going into that, I have something to add re 4943 wire.

Though I love it for certain uses (like above water cabins) I can say that my home-spun destructive bench tests have been rather disappointing. I've had occasion to build fuel tanks that are not large (40-60 gals) and mig them, always with 5356. Being smallish, they are for the most part outside corner with two broken 'halves' clamshelled. I've never had a problem with this method, no failures, etc. In WANTING this new wire to be miraculous, I still did tests and found it not to be a hell of a lot better than 4043. But is, alas only somewhat. Doing some tests of outside corners by smashing 2"x 2" angles cut from prime territory on a longer run, they ALL failed with the same CLINK-SNAP at a certain blow (or vise smash)velocity. Pretty much like 4043, and very un-much like 5356. The result is I'd never use it on a tank that gets sloshed, nor would I ever build the hull of a sea boat with it. Though it does not seem to suffer hydrogen porosity as 5356 (can) does, that dark grey fracture zone looks as sound a slate.

The primary reason I was attracted to it was the purported greater strength along with this, in my mind, I added much less smut factor therefore all be good! Not, except the smut. Now having said all this, 4943 does have some qualities...

Kevin Morin
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Re: wire

Postby Kevin Morin » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:22 am

Yofish,
I've posted the longer building technique threads here because the site is home to mostly home-builders who might benefit from a "How To" thread? Unfortunately, not a large number of this Forum's readers and participants build in the Miracle Metal, like we do, so I also wanted to encourage those who might be persuaded that there are some simpler methods of doing a welded metal build- manually.

I'm getting ready to bump a couple of those longer threads in the (hopefully) near future with some updates.

The Matheson LWS in Nikiski gave me a 1lb. roll of 4349 to try but I've not gotten around to re-rolling on to the TIG gun spools and doing some coupons to test- given your report on bending the outside corner welds- I may not be in any hurry to get those tests done!

(We) Sure would welcome a build thread here in the Metal category of the Forum? Yofish Skiffs are sweet looking boats with very clean lines; not to mention, build threads are always well read and followed even if not everyone is planning an aluminum welded skiff in their future!

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

Yofish
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Re: wire

Postby Yofish » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:06 pm

Kevin, I forgot to add my 'disaster' when tacking the last skiff using the new wire. When putting on sides I sometimes jack up the off side when one side is put on in order to make it easier for me as I work alone. This racks the whole bottom. I tack from the outside as it easier to operate the overhead falls I use to aid. Well, about halfway putting on the off side (the only way I can do it alone is aft forward) I heard a 'tink' sound and rising from the floor was regaled with watching the already put on side unzip itself! Tink, tink, tink until it hit the more solid tacks forward needed because of the strain caused by the increasing curvature. Last time I use the wire without increasing tack length, which I don't like as it's just more work to remove. Which means I won't do it again! Added to the misery because of my shop size, it was hard against one wall thus I could not move the whole so as to address it the problem easily. Automatic assumptions are to be avoided. My arse has been bit tooo many times, you'd think that after awhile one would just stop with that. But NO.

Kevin Morin
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:36 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: wire

Postby Kevin Morin » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:48 am

Yofish,
I'd say that was confirmation that the 4943 alloy may be useful in some cases for castings? or maybe other alloys besides 5086/5052/5083? but not very reliable for a small dime size (or smaller) tack like those used on the chine while shaping the boat.

For those reading who're not familiar with Yofish's skiffs- he doesn't use a full frame method of building- the topsides are added to at the outer chine seam in and edge to edge fit- starting at the bow and working aft- using a very clever and extremely simple tool he designed to pull curvature into the topsides while it hangs over the bottom.

Most of the Glen-L and K.Hankinsen designs in this catalog use a set of full transverse frames to form a shape - then the bottom halves and the topsides are added onto that frame work. In this more traditional work method- both panels, bottom halves and topsides, are fitting edge to edge- along the vertical keel bar for the bottom, and along the chine for the topsides to bottom chine seam: however- the frames and longs can also be used to help hold the hull panels in place using this method.

In Yofish's method of work- the topsides are added onto the hull while the keel is down, and there are not full width transverse frames up the topsides- the shape of the outline of the topsides has a chine cut that results in a bow cone and transition through a cylinder about 1/4 to 1/3 (LOA) aft the bow stem- into a more or less flat after run aft the master section.

This could be framed using transverse frames- but..... since the welded aluminum boat becomes totally one piece of metal- there are alternative framing methods. In the skiffs used very commonly in Alaska, we add a longitudinal along the inside of the topsides (doubles are rod shelf) that is overly wide- not just a flat bar - although some use that material. Also at the sheer, we usually ad a very wide guard deck-or sheer clamp- or walk-a-round deck (lots of terms) and that too adds transverse stiffness to the topsides.

Therefore, while frames can be used- they add manhours and material that may not be needed in the final welded out boat? (So) Yofish doesn't use full sized/ full sheer height transverse ribs..... this leaves the chine seam totally reliant on the tacks holding the topsides lower edge to the bottom's upper and outer edge- at the chine.

If these tacks come undone- before there are longer intermediate welds to fully secure the seam- the side has to be pulled off, the tacks sanded to original edge and the work of rehanging has to be repeated- not exactly appealing since the entire event was solely because the 4943 alloy tacks just didn't offer the same (historically reliable) strength as 5356 in the same set of tacks.

I'd estimate Yofish has done plural dozens of skiffs, and is the only skiff builder I know who works alone (I'm too lazy to event try) so I added all of the "back story" to help readers see: when it comes to 40series filler alloy? Just Don't Do It!! Even if 5356 does have some Manganese soot on the tacks and welds; wiping away black soot is a small price for this old welder to pay for the reliability of the filler alloy's strength in both tacks and welds.

Many years ago in the Kenai River a first time builder, who "knew it all" used 4043 wire to weld an entire skiff- and it came un-welded at the chine seams in the surf at the mouth of the Kenai River! Let the builder beware! "Not all alloys are created equal."

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin


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