overheading welding thin

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Sun Splinter, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. Sun Splinter
    Joined: Jan 2017
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    Sun Splinter Sun Splinter

    I'm a student working on solid core MIG overhead.

    My goal is to be able to weld overhead at the thickness of a beer can without backing...it seems a shame to crush all that aluminum and sandblasting might save it(roofing?).

    I'm currently working on 1/16" stainless steel and have produced .65 acceptable results by my own opinion(in the overhead position).

    I'm looking for any tips/trick or stories concerning the welding of thin material which may include auto-body work or fixed-position pipe work.
     
  2. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    The recycling of cans is well evolved process... without raining on your personal goals of welding prowess maybe better to focus on the 1/16th material and above.
    All the best in your endeavours from Jeff
     
  3. Sun Splinter
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    Sun Splinter Sun Splinter

    I understand that its probably impossible to weld flattened and cleaned beer cans together, but this idea is the reason I started welding in the first place and will some day attempt to do so.

    I can weld 1/8th inch stainless plate butt joints w/o backing in the overhead just fine, but 1/16th inch is sloppy...I can make maybe a quarter inch weld at a time before releasing the trigger and waiting a moment for the weld to cool else risk puncture and nozzle impairment.

    Something that would help me greatly would be a MIG gun with two triggers...one for the argon and one for the wire feed.
     
  4. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Barry Senior Member

    Most mig guns, have the double trigger situation under control. You pull the trigger back say 90% and get only argon, then complete the pull and the arc starts.

    On thin aluminum, you can pull 90% , argon flow, pull some more, arc, release back to the 90% for continued argon flow which provides cooling and inhibits oxide formation, then pull the trigger for another short arc. etc

    ie a series of tack welds but always sheilded
     
  5. Sun Splinter
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    Sun Splinter Sun Splinter

    OMG I had no idea. TY for this gold nugget.
     
  6. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Barry Senior Member

    Additionally, most beer cans have a thin plastic lining to keep the aluminum out of the drink.

    Aluminum oxide has a higher melting temperature than the aluminum alloy so the arc penetrates the oxide, the argon displaces the atmospheric oxygen to permit the weld. You need some thickness to provide some support for the aluminum while this process occurs. I doubt that the thickness of a beer can would enable you to use a mig application to make this joint. Additionally, the vaporizing of the plastic lining will certainly cause some agitation as it melts causing the aluminum to just blow out leaving a large hole.

    You might be able to solder it but you could still have some issues with the thickness.

    What is your goal of joining beer cans?
     
  7. Sun Splinter
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    Sun Splinter Sun Splinter

    No reason in particular, but the metal could make a super light wing for an RC sky boat.

    I'd probably start by plasma cutting off the ends, making a vertical slit, and sandblasting...it would be nice if I can find a way to keep the logos on though.
     

  8. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    An adhesive or thin double sided tape may be an option for joining with an overlap, not sure about plasma on the ends when a stanley knife will cut the thin material. I've seen some very clever small models/toys made in SE Asia from cut up cans- the logos part of the appeal.
    Jeff.
     
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