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Old 09-25-2017, 06:46 PM
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Default Does alum welding rod expire?

Got to thinking today about this. Had a alum boat part cone back in for repair. I had fixed it this spring, and got to see it broke again. I got to critique my old repair. I failed to get complete fusion from both sides. I am not sure even if I did, that it would have prevented this repair, because it is a part to hold up the outboard motor, and the guy says it sometimes falls and the prop hits the ground or whatever is in the low water anyways, so it is probably more operator error.

Anyways, I was thinking that several years ago when I was making an aluminum railing, I had to use the hosfield Bender and I started on some alum pipe that had been around the shop for several years, probably at least 5. I had problems with it cracking, so started heating it up to get it to bend. Then I got some new pipe in, and that would bend without a problem with no heat. Learned that aluminum will sometimes get brittle as it ages. I think the pipe is 6061.

So today, I am reaching into the filler cabinet and I start thinking about how some of fillers in there are probably 20 years old. Should I be concerned about the age of these 4043 aluminum fillers? Or does the process of melting it start the age process again.

I am thinking most Stainless fillers would be good forever. Steel as long it is rust free.
Brass and silicon bronze last forever too?

Any ideas or opinions out there?


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Old 09-25-2017, 07:36 PM
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I think what you are seeing is age hardening.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precipitation_hardening

Your rod is fine.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
I think what you are seeing is age hardening.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precipitation_hardening



Your rod is fine.


Thanks Ron. Just when I start thinking I am pretty smart, you give a reference site that I can only understand every third word.

Definitely the more I learn the more I realize I don't know.

Thanks for the reply. Was interesting reading that alum airplane rivets are kept on dry ice until they are actually used to keep them from age hardening. I am guessing that is definitely "manufacturing and just in time delivery " procedures.


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Old 09-25-2017, 09:35 PM
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Ford on the new F-150 uses and extruded 6000 series aluminum tube for the
engine mounts and the "D" Frame around the doors. It is date stamps from
the extruded, they have hydroform the part between X and Y days old. If the
extrusion is too new or too old they have problems and high scrap rates,
between the dates very few issues. It is a really cool line to see run. I got a
tour of it last year in Dearborn.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:04 AM
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Brian, I dicker with several different fillers for repairs on aircraft and there are some cases where a weld repair is not allowed due to the alloy and it's conditions after manf. As far as Al welding at the farm things are much easier on the brain.

I'm not sure if you were/are thinking all Al rivets are Ice box aircraft rivets and thus and in a T4 of 2117, 2017, 2024. I'm sure by now there are more alloy content a bit different in these things, but the above is a known in what we have to use. To shoot these particular rivets driving forces damn near double and cold work immediately upon the start of the upset.

Meaning, if your off your game and do not get a good run on hits and bucking, deformation for the butt and setting pressures for the clamping of the rivet will begin and then end and nothing more will happen to make a good set for the rivet except drilling it out and starting over. These things cold work to an act of God immediately.

When we remove old parts to begin a repair, not only do we test what is removed to determine what exactly the material is, alloy, hardness etc, but we then do the same with the materials we receive for the repair to ensure/verify that what was sent and marked from the manf is exactly hat it is supposed to be.

Our new heat treating equipment is large enough to drive 3 full sized fords end to end for some of our stringers and longerons etc etc. that are machined in house.

Like I mentioned in another post, most of the AL repair fillers I use are in spools of wire and seems to be the most ease of storeage for me in my setting.

I have a BR at the farm house that has mostly rod and filler materials as I keep the temps year round pretty close to what is never found in a shop setting.

I also have one hell of a dehumidifier that pretty much runs 24/7 since we removed the space heaters and went to central air and heat.

I will also add that I do not ever handle a filler rod no matter what the alloy or material by the bare hand. Once I get some new, it's cleaned and then packaged separately and not touching each other. I've got Al and steel filler rod for TIG and GAS welding that are better than 40 years old and the only killer is any corrosion that may form due to conditions out of my control. That can be cleaned unless of course it is a compound in AL rod which has
a form of flux in the case of these 'mirical' rods found at farm shows etc.

I'm not a master AL guru, but being in the industry for close to 40 years, the last 25 daily, I know where to look for info and have engineers to ask for most any moment of need.

Getting back to ice box rivets, not all AL rivets used on aircraft are thus and memory tells me those alloys would be in 2117?, 2017, and 2024, but in T4 conditions. Titanium and monel rivets are simple to shoot compared to icebox. I hate them, my coworkers hate them and engineers hate to have to call them out for a repair. Your shit gets right with these things.
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Last edited by LW Hiway; 09-26-2017 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
I am guessing that is definitely "manufacturing and just in time delivery " procedures.
Absolutely correct. Besides the typical 090 hardware we use, 090 being typical bolts, screws, washers etc etc things found on drawings needed but could be found by most all suppliers. These things are ordered to be kept in stock.

Other things in particular get ordered AOG, aircraft on ground, usually shipped overnight if in stock and pricey due to that type of shipping rush.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toprecycler View Post
I am not sure even if I did, that it would have prevented this repair, because it is a part to hold up the outboard motor, and the guy says it sometimes falls and the prop hits the ground or whatever is in the low water anyways, so it is probably more operator error...

I think the pipe is 6061.
Is the outboard part cast? My guess would be that the weld didn't break, but NEXT to the weld. Cast Al is tricky, and something exposed to water will be full of crap that can affect weldability...

You want 6063 tube if you plan on bending it. Tube you measure OD, pipe ID.

I wouldn't worry too much about Al filler "going bad". I WOULD (and do) keep it in a sealed tube out of the elements and excessive humidity/temp. change.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccutter View Post
Is the outboard part cast? My guess would be that the weld didn't break, but NEXT to the weld. Cast Al is tricky, and something exposed to water will be full of crap that can affect weldability...

You want 6063 tube if you plan on bending it. Tube you measure OD, pipe ID.

I wouldn't worry too much about Al filler "going bad". I WOULD (and do) keep it in a sealed tube out of the elements and excessive humidity/temp. change.


It was my weld that broke. I could tell where I did not get 100% into the root. This time I am sure that I did, if not, is still better than last time.

Now that being said, if I did have it done 100% last time, it still probably would be back but broken in the next weaker spot. Sometimes you need some weak spot designed into a part, but some people will always find them.. As long as they are willing to pay the price to fix it, $ in my pocket.

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Now don't think that I will not stand behind my repairs. I just did a side job for a friends excerise machine. This is the third time I have worked on it. The first time, I welded up what was broke, but did not add any other strengthening parts. Two years later, it is broke again. I figure it is a weak spot in design if machine, and do a better repair with some plates added for reinforcing. Now 4 months later, the base is broken. Could my previous repair and making that part stiffer/ stronger help cause the base mount to fail. Yes, I think so. Anyways I just welded it up and chose not to add any other plates at this time, and let the guy know if it does fail again within 6 months, I will fix it again and add the plates.

This is a piece of equipment that is used in a gym setting where physical therapy takes place, and other conditioning training.

Now before anyone jumps my shit for this, I am confident that even if my welds should fail, the likelihood of someone being hurt is highly unlikely. They have been pretty good at catching on when something isn't quite right, and needs to be fixed.


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