I bought a Everlast 205 AC/DC and I am new to welding. I would like to experiment with aluminum welding but my electrode doesn't last very long. The arc-cone is pretty wide and I cannot establish a nice weld pot and I don't understand why.

My welder is set on AC with 40% cleaning and 140 A, 80 Hz. If I set the cleaning above 60% my electrode last only 2 seconds, but below 50% it lasts about 10-15 seconds.

Here a picture of my experiment aluminum which is a 4 mm thick plate:

enter image description here

What's wrong with my setting?

  • $\begingroup$ If you are new to welding, I would suggest starting with mild steel and getting in some practice with pools etc... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Jan 17 '19 at 8:41

On AC the electrode is supposed to form a ball end slightly larger than the diameter of the electrode, you can use the +ve/-ve balance (aka cleaning) to fine tune the formation of this ball.

You also need to make sure you are using the right electrodes, ceriated, lanthanated and zirconated are the ones generally used for AC, pure tungsten will also work but has a lower current capacity and thoriated won't work properly at all.

That also looks like a very thick chunk of aluminium. Because it has such a high thermal conductivity if you don't have enough current then you just won't get a molten puddle to form at all as heat is conducted away as fast as you can put it in,m unlike steel where you can usually at least form a puddle regardless of material thickness, even if you don't get much penetration. For a 200 amp machine I would suggest that material around 4mm thick will be a good place to start in terms of getting a feel for the process.

A fairly wide arc for AC compared to DC is normal for TIG. If your machine has frequency control you can increase the frequency to tighten the arc.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ I updated my question with more information about the setting: 140A and a 4mm thick aluminum plate. The electrode is a "blue" T-044593 2.0mm $\endgroup$ – nowox Jan 16 '19 at 20:32

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