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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

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