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MANUFACTURING

ENGINEERING INSTRUCTIONS
MEI 6.1.2
TITLE: MANUAL M.I.G. WELDING OF ALUMINUM Issue: 4
18 Apr 98
Page 1 of 56
Status: Established Class: ALL
REVISION RECORD
ISSUE DESCRIPTION OF CHANGE DATE

0 FIRST ISSUE 09 05 73
1 Revised 29 10 73
2 Para’s 1.0, 2.0, 10.1.9 revised/rewritten on new format 06 07 88
3 Revised to new computer format/MIL-STD-454, Requirement 13 12 05 97
changed to MIL-HDBK-454, Guideline 13
4 Para 10.3 deleted from page 11 (page left intentionally blank) 08 04 98

PROPRIETARY NOTICE: THIS PUBLICATION CONTAINS PROPRIETARY INFORMATION OF CAE INC. AND SHALL NOT BE
REPRODUCED, COPIED OR USED FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN CONSIDERATION OF THE TECHNICAL
CONTENTS WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF A DULY AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE
OF CAE INC.

APPROVED
B. Samiec (08 Apr 98)

ORIGINATOR & DATE QUALITY ASSURANCE ENGINEERING MFG. ENGINEERING


CAE 5469 DEC 92
1.0 SCOPE

This instruction covers the Manual Metal Insert Gas (MIG) welding of
aluminum alloys ASTM 1100, 3003, 5052, 5083, 5454, 6061, 6063, 6351
and X7004 for both commercial application and military welding to MIL-
HDBK-454, Guideline 13.

2.0 REFERENCE DOCUMENTS

MIL-STD-248 Qualification Tests for Welders


(other than Aircraft weldments)

MIL-HDBK-454 Structural Welding


Guideline 13

MIL-W-8604 Welding of Aluminum Alloys, Process for

AWS A2.4-79 Welding Graphic Symbols, for (AWS)

QP B-27 Control of Structural Welding

3.0 MIG versus TIG

The MIG process is generally best suited for the manual welding of
aluminum over 1/8 inch thick, in all positions. No flux is used, and MIG
welds require little or no finishing. The Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) process
is usually preferred to MIG for making welds that require quick changes in
position and direction, such as butt welding of pipe and joining complex
shapes, and for welding aluminum under 1/8 inch thick.

Refer to Manufacturing Engineering Instruction 6.1.1 (MEI 6.1.1) for TIG


welding process.

4.0 COMMERCIAL versus MILITARY

Commercial application MIG welding shall be in accordance with this


instruction.

Military welding per MIL-HDBK-454, Guideline 13, shall be in accordance


with this instruction and the following additional requirements:

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
4.1 The welding operator shall be qualified before the start of production per
MIL-STD-248 in accordance with CAE Quality Procedure B-27 (QP B-27).

4.2 Each welded assembly shall be marked to identify the welding operator.

4.3 ASTM 6063 and 6351 heat treatable aluminums cannot be welded without
design authority approval. (Ref: MIL-W-8604).

4.4 Lap joints in material over .083 inch thick require design authority
approval. (Ref: MIL-W-8604).

5.0 CALL OUT OF MEI ON ENGINEERING DRAWING

5.1 The designer should, where practical, design weldments using the joints
shown in this procedure consistent with required structural and stress
requirements.

In order to specify a particular joint, it is only necessary to show the AWS


welding symbol for the joint. Using the procedure (section 10)
corresponding to the symbol all the parameters required to produce the
welded joint may be readily determined.

When a welded joint is required that is not shown in this instruction, the
required welding procedure must be detailed on the engineering drawing.

5.2 For commercial welding the engineering drawing shall be annotated “Weld
in accordance with MEI 6.1.2.”

5.3 Where military welding is required the engineering drawing shall be


annotated “Weld in accordance with MIL-HDBK-454, Guideline 13 (MEI
6.1.2)”.

6.0 EQUIPMENT

MRS 10.23.5 - Miller Welder


MRS 10.23.9 - A.O. Smith Welder

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
7.0 PREPARATION

7.1 Cleaning

Aluminum must be clean before welding is started. Cleaning requires the


removal of all foreign matter that might contaminate the joint and is most
effective if done just prior to welding.

One of the following methods must be used:

Method 1: If parts to be welded to not appear dirty, simply wipe joint area
with cloth soaked in Trichloroethylene and then wipe with a dry, clean
cloth.

Method 2: Degrease parts to be welded by suspending in a vapor


degreaser until condensation stops. Remove and ensure parts are dry
prior to welding.

Method 3: In cases where parts to be welded have an excessive oxide


film, as the result of water staining, heat treatment or anodizing, disc-grind
or file the edges to be welded without the use of lubricants. Wire brushing
is not recommended as this spreads grease and does not remove it.

7.2 Positioning & Aligning

Align and clamp parts to be welded using standard clamps and shop-aids,
or welding jigs if specified on process sheet.

Ensure that root openings and joint design specifications are met as per
welding procedures (section 10).

Use a temporary backing plate on reverse side of joint whenever practical,


for control of size and shape of penetration bead, made from aluminum
and grooved directly under joint, the groove width being the size required
to control the penetration.

Whenever practical, the joint to be welded should be positioned so that


the welding is done in the flat position on butt joints and the horizontal or
flat position on T or lap joints.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
8.0 FILLER ALLOYS

Unless otherwise specified on the drawing or process sheet, select filler


wire alloy from table (Figure 1) as follows:

8.1 Find the alloys to be joined from among those along the top and down the
left hand side, trace to where the vertical and horizontal columns intersect.
The recommended filler alloys are shown in bolt type.

Figure 1

(2) For electrical connections.


(3) For better colour match after anodizing.
(4) For pipe.
(5) For prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

Filler Alloys for MIG Welding Wrought Aluminum Alloys


Alloys to be 1100 5052 5083 5454 6063 X7004
joined 3003 6351
6061
X7004 5356 5356 5336 5356 5356 5356
6063 4043 5356 5356 5356 4043
6351 5356 5254 5554 5356(3)
6061 5254(4)
5454 5254 5554 5356 5554(5)
5356 5254 5254
5356 5356
5083 5356 5356 5356
5254 5254 5254(4)
5052 5356 5356
5254 5554
5254(4)
1100 4043(2)
3003

9.0 WELDING

9.1 Fit the MIG electrode wire of the correct alloy (see section 8) and diameter
as per procedure (section 10) onto the welding machine. This includes
fitting the correct size of freed rolls, conduit liner, inlet and outlet guides,
and contact tube.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
9.2 Fit the correct gas nozzle, set the shielding gas flow and power source as
specified in procedures (section 10) for the joint to be welded. Set wire
feed speed.

9.3 A.C.C. (Constant Current) power source requires a “scratch-start” for the
wire feed. The controls in the wire feeder must be so arranged that with
the trigger on the torch depressed, the act of touching the electrode wire
to the work strikes the arc and starts the wire feed mechanism.

9.4 A.C.A.V. (Constant Arc Voltage) power source works equally well with
either a “scratch-start” or a “running-wire start” to strike the arc. For a
“running-wire start” the controls in the wire feeder are so arranged that the
depression of the trigger on the welding torch starts the wire feed
mechanism: the arc strikes when the electrode wire touches the work.

9.5 The MIG process feeds filler immediately the arc is struck. The arc is
powerful and soon heats up the work. However, it requires special
manipulation to avoid a cold start. If possible, start the arc on a run-on
tab. See Figure 2 for recommended torch working angles.

9.6 Where possible, use both hands on the torch for steadier manipulation.
The arc should at all times be completely outside the gas nozzle so that it
does not overheat the torch. Hold the gas nozzle about half an inch from
the work. This distance allows you to see the arc clearly and yet maintain
an adequate shield of inert gas. Vertical welding should be carried out in
the upward direction.

9.7 The arc voltages given in the procedure will give the correct arc length. A
short arc (low are volts) is used to penetrate the work, to produce small
fillet welds and to deposit the root pass in a multi-pass weld. In the
procedure for multi-pass weld, note that lower arc volts are specified for
the root pass than for the capping passes. A longer arc is specified for
the capping passes which require less penetration than the root. To
lengthen the arc, adjust the arc voltage to the new value. This may result
in a slight reduction in current, but it is not usually necessary to make an
adjustment to the current control.

9.8 The MIG arc is powerful and, if you break the arc by releasing the trigger
on the torch, this sudden stop will leave a large crater which may crack. If
possible, break the arc on a run-off tab.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
Figure 2
Torch Positions in Manual MIG Welding
o o
NOTE: Torch Angles - see Figure 2. The work angle is normally 90 for butt joints and 45 for T and lap joints.
The torch angle (forehand) is usually 5 to 15 degrees. When pieces of unequal thickness are joined, direct the
torch slightly towards the thicker member to obtain equal melting.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.0 WELDING PROCEDURES

The welding procedures specified in this section of the instruction are


proven production practices which if precisely followed, will make sound
welded joints in aluminum efficiently. The quality of the weld must
however, always remain the responsibility of the welder.

10.1 How to Use the Procedures

The following is a brief outline of the information to be found on each


procedure sheet:

10.1.1 Metal Thickness. This heading specifies the thickness of metal that can
be joined by the Procedure. The thickness shown, unless otherwise
stated, applies to both members of the joint, from 1/8 to a maximum
thickness of one (1) inch.

When welding members of unequal thickness use the Procedure for the
average of the two thicknesses. For some thicknesses two Procedures
are given. Use whichever is more convenient.

10.1.2 Fillet Size. Procedures are given for fillet sizes up to and including 1
inch. For some sizes additional Procedures are given for edge prepared
joints. Where the design allows the size of stress carrying fillet welds may
be modified as follows:

For joining materials up to 1.0 inch thick the fillet shall not be less than
one-third of the thickness of the thickest section connected.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
For joining materials over 1 inch in thickness fillet shall not be less than
3/8 inch in size.

Use the procedure to match the size of fillet selected.

10.1.3 Electrode Wire Diameter. The wire size specified in a procedure is the
one best suited for welding that particular joint.

10.1.4 Welding Current. The welding currents listed in the Procedures were
measured with an ammeter during welding and are true values. Since the
calibration of the current setting on the power source may not be accurate
the use of an ammeter is necessary to set the current to a Procedure.

10.1.5 Arc Voltage. The arc voltages given were measured between the contact
tube and the work. The voltage drop in the welding cables has thereby
been eliminated from the readings. Voltages measured at the power
source are usually from 1 to 3 volts higher than the values given in the
procedures. The exact difference depends on the length and size of the
cables, the number and condition of the connections, and the current
flowing. If necessary, use a separate voltmeter connected between the
contact tube and the work to set the voltage to a procedure.

10.1.6 Arc Travel Speed. Given speeds are the fastest possible for proper
penetration at the specified welding current. In multi-pass fillets, arc travel
speed for the first pass is relatively slow to ensure deposition of enough
filler metal to resist cracking.

10.1.7 Shielding Gas. The gas flow and the gas nozzle size given in the
procedures provide the necessary gas coverage to shield the weld pool
under normal shop when welding in a draft or outdoors.

10.1.8 Joint Detail and AWS Weld Symbol. Under this heading are given root
opening, form and dimension of edge preparation, and where applicable
the dimensions of temporary backing.

10.1.9 Welding Symbols. Welding symbols in the procedures are in


accordance with AWS A2.4-79.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.2 Index to Welding Procedures (Manual MIG) for Welding with 4043
Filler Alloy

Joint Type Position Section # Sheet #


BUTT Joints:
Temporary backing Flat 10.4 13
No backing Flat 10.5 14
Temporary backing Horizontal 10.6 15
No backing Horizontal 10.7 16
Temporary backing Vertical 10.8 17
No backing Vertical 10.9 18
Temporary backing Overhead 10.10 19
No backing Overhead 10.11 20
Joint Type:
Butt Joints permanently Flat 10.12 21
backed: Horizontal 10.13 22
Vertical 10.14 23
Overhead 10.15 24
T Joints: Horizontal 10.16 25
Vertical 10.17 26
Overhead 10.18 27
Lap Joints: Horizontal 10.19 28
Vertical 10.20 29
Overhead 10.21 30

10.2.1 Abbreviations:

B - indicates back gouge before making pass.


R - indicates weld pass made on the reverse of the side on which the first
pass was made.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
(PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK)

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.3 Index to Welding Procedures (Manual MIG) for Welding with 5356,
5254, 5554 Filler Alloy

Joint Type Position Section # Sheet #


Butt Joints:
Temporary Backing Flat 10.22 31
No Backing Flat 10.23 32
Temporary Backing Horizontal 10.24 33
No Backing Horizontal 10.25 34
Temporary Backing Vertical 10.26 35
No Backing Vertical 10.27 36
Temporary Backing Overhead 10.28 37
No Backing Overhead 10.29 38
Butt Joints Flat 10.30 39
Permanently backed: Horizontal 10.31 40
Vertical 10.32 41
Overhead 10.33 42
T Joints permanently
backed:
Single-bevelled
Double-bevelled Horizontal 10.34 43
Horizontal 10.35 44
T Joints: Horizontal 10.36 45
Vertical 10.37 46
Overhead 10.38 47
Lay Joints: Horizontal 10.39 48
Bevelled Horizontal 10.40 49
Bevelled Vertical 10.41 50
Vertical 10.42 51
Overhead 10.43 52

10.3.1 Abbreviations:

B - Indicates back gouge before making pass.


R - Indicates weld pass made on the reverse of the side on which the first
pass was made.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.4 Procedure - Butt Joints - Flat - Temporary Backing
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.5 Procedure - Butt Joints - Flat - No Backing
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.6 Procedure - Butt Joints - Horizontal - Temporary Backing
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.7 Procedure - Butt Joints - Horizontal - No Backing
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.8 Procedure - Butt Joints - Vertical - Temporary Backing
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.9 Procedure - Butt Joints - Vertical - No Backing
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.10 Procedure - Butt Joints - Overhead - Temporary Backing
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.11 Procedures - Butt Joints - Overhead - No Backing

Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061,
6063, 1100, 3003.

The manual MIG welding of butt joints overhead without backing is not
recommended. If no access can be gained to the reverse side to provide
temporary backing, the work should be positioned for welding in the flat.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.12 Procedure - Butt Joints - Permanently Backed - Flat
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.13 Procedure - Butt Joints - Permanently Backed - Horizontal
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.14 Procedure - Butt Joints - Permanently Backed - Vertical
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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Page 23 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.15 Procedure - Butt Joints - Permanently Backed - Overhead
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.16 Procedure - T-Joints - Horizontal
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.17 Procedure - T-Joints - Vertical
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.18 Procedure - T-Joints - Overhead
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.19 Procedure - Lap Joints - Horizontal
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.20 Procedure - Lap Joints - Vertical
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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Page 29 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.21 Procedure - Lap Joints - Overhead
Procedures for welding with 4043, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100,
3003.

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Page 30 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.22 Procedure - Butt Joints - Flat - Temporary Backing
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 31 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.23 Procedure - Butt Joints - Flat - No Backing
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 32 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.24 Procedure - Butt Joints - Horizontal - Temporary Backing
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 33 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.25 Procedure - Butt Joints - Horizontal - No Backing
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 34 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.26 Procedure - Butt Joints - Vertical - Temporary Backing
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 35 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.27 Procedure - Butt Joints - Vertical - No Backing
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 36 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.28 Procedure - Butt Joints - Overhead - Temporary Backing
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.29 Procedure - Butt Joints - Overhead - No Backing

Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys:
5083, 5052, 5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

The manual MIG welding of butt joints overhead without backing is not
recommended. If no access can be gained to the reverse side to provide
temporary backing, the work should be positioned for welding in the flat.

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Page 38 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.30 Procedure - Butt Joints - Permanently Backed - Flat
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 39 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.31 Procedure - Butt Joints - Permanently Backed - Horizontal
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 40 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.32 Procedure - Butt Joints - Permanently Backed - Vertical
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 41 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.33 Procedure - Butt Joints - Permanently Backed - Overhead
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 42 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.34 Procedure - T-Joints - Permanently Backed - Horizontal - Single
Bevelled
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 43 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.35 Procedure - T-Joints - Permanently Backed - Horizontal - Double Bevelled
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 44 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.36 Procedure - T-Joints - Horizontal
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 45 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.37 Procedure - T-Joints - Vertical
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 46 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.38 Procedure - T-Joints - Overhead
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 47 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.39 Procedure - Lap Joints - Horizontal
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 48 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.40 Procedure - Lap Joints - Horizontal - Bevelled
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 49 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.41 Procedure - Lap Joints - Vertical
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 50 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.42 Procedure - Lap Joints - Vertical - Bevelled
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 51 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
10.43 Procedure - Lap Joints - Overhead
Procedures for welding with 5356, 5254. 5554, filler alloy. Parent alloys: 5083, 5052,
5454, 6351, 6061, 6063, 1100, 3003, X7004.

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Page 52 of 56
CAE 5505A SEPT 95
11.0 PROBLEMS AND TYPICAL CAUSES

11.1 Problem: Arc will not start

Usual Cause:
• wrong polarity (electrode should be positive)
• welding circuit is incomplete
• work is not grounded
• flow of shielding as is insufficient
• wrong wire feed speed or welding current

11.2 Problem: Arc length fluctuates; erratic electrode wire feed.

Usual Cause:
• poor operation of wire feed motor or governor
• poor operation of wire straightener
• insufficient or excessive feed roll pressure
• wire feeder line voltage fluctuates
• contact tube is in poor condition (rough inner walls, sharp shoulders,
contaminated by weld spatter, or plugged with wire shavings)
• contact tube is overheating
• wrong size of contact tube
• poor current pick-up in contact tube (wire too straight)
• electrode wire is kinked (electrode wire should be level-wound and free from
kinks)
• excessive or erratic friction in electrode conduit or torch (conduit must be in
good condition,, of the correct size and length, and free from internal
obstructions and sharp bends)
• poor operation of electrode wire spool brake
• electrode wire spool is unbalanced

11.3 Problem: Burnback. A burnback occurs when, due to insufficient wire


feed for the current being used, the arc lengthens until it fuses the
electrode to the contact tube.

Usual Cause:
• irregular or insufficient wire feed due to same defects causing erratic wire
feed (see Arc Length Fluctuates, 11.2)
• wrong power source settings
• inadequate torch cooling
• no contact between work and voltage pick-up lead from the control box

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
11.4 Problem: Bead profile too high.

Usual Cause:
• arc too short
• insufficient edge preparation
• travel speed too slow

11.5 Problem: Bead profile too low.

Usual Cause:
• too much edge preparation
• wrong fit-up - excessive gap
• travel speed too fast

11.6 Problem: Dirty weld bead. A small amount of black smut on the surface
of beads and plate with the aluminum-magnesium alloys (5356, etc.) is
not a defect.

Usual Cause:
• wrong polarity (electrode should be positive)
• inadequate inert gas shielding due to:
• insufficient gas flow
• wrong gas nozzle size
• spatter accumulation inside gas nozzle
• damaged gas nozzle
• contact tube off center in relation to gas nozzle
• wrong gas nozzle-to-work distance
• wrong torch angle
• drafty environment (shield work)
• wrong torch angle
• arc too long
• dirty work or electrode wire (oil, water, hydrated oxide)
• water leaks in torch
• impurities in shielding gas (moisture or air leakage)

11.7 Problem: Undercut.

Usual Cause:
• wrong torch angle
• wrong work angle
• current too high
• wrong arc length
• weld too close to edge of work

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
11.8 Problem: Cracks.

Usual Cause:
• wrong combination of parent alloy and filler alloy
• weld bead too small
• too much restraint applied to the joint during welding

11.9 Problem: Porosity.

Usual Cause:
• dirty work (oil, water, hydrated oxide)
• dirty backing
• poor quality electrode wire (bad storage)
• water leaks in torch
• air leak in shielding gas supply
• poor quality shielding gas (rarely found)

11.10 Problem: Smut or oxide inclusions.

Usual Cause:
• arc too long
• dirty work or baking
• air leaks in shielding gas supply
• wrong torch angle

11.11 Problem: Not enough penetration.

Usual Cause:
• wrong edge preparation
• current too low
• arc to long
• travel speed too fast

11.12 Problem: Too much penetration - weld burns through.

Usual Cause:
• wrong edge preparation
• wrong fit-up - excessive gap
• current too high
• arc too short
• travel speed too slow

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95
11.13 Problem: Overheating of power source.

Usual Cause:
• excessive power demand
• poor functioning of cooling fan
• dirty rectifier stacks
• loose electrical connections in power source

11.14 Problem: Overheating of torch, torch leads and power cables.

Usual Cause:
• insufficient cooling of torch and torch leads
• current in excess of torch rating
• torch leads on power source too small
• frayed or worn leads, cables or loose connections

11.15 Problem: Overheating of the wire feed motor.

Usual Cause:
• excessive friction between electrode wire and conduit
• maladjusted wire spool brake
• wire feed rolls too tight
• wrong alignment of gears and rolls in wire feeder
• wrong gear ratio of wire feeder
• inadequate capacity of wire feed motor
• wrong brushes in wire feed motor

11.16 Problem: Poor visibility of arc and weld pool. You must be able to see
the arc and weld pool at all times.

Usual Cause:
• wrong position of work
• wrong work or forehand angle
• small or dirty lens in helmet
• wrong nozzle-to-work distance
• insufficient access for torch or helmet

12.0 QUALITY ASSURANCE

Inspection and control of welding shall be in accordance with QCII 153/13


and QP B-27.

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CAE 5505A SEPT 95