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Can I repair broken cast aluminum?


 
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Zachary Hoyt
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Joined: 07 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:45 am    Post subject: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

While I was moving the old stove out of the building after putting
the new stove in I heard a crack as I went over about a 2"
threshhold. I hadn't meant to go over it that roughly, it was one
of those moments where things got ahead of me. This piece
forms one corner of my dearly beloved warehouse dolly. The
deck is expanded steel of a kind and it is about 2' x 4-1/2' with
a heavy caster on each corner. I got it at an auction last year for
$12.50 and it has been very handy. I am wondering if there is
any way I can reasonably repair this that will hold. The break is
clean, the main member is about 1/4" thick. The broken area is
under tension when there is a load on the dolly so I think it
would require a very strong bond if I were to try some sort of
epoxy or JB Weld type of thing. I don't know anyone around here
who welds aluminum, and I don't know if this part is weldable
anyway. Is there such a thing as a company that I could mail it
to to be welded? I have never heard of such a thing, but this
piece is light enough that it would be easy to mail. Any advice
will be much appreciated.
Zach


 
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bison
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Joined: 28 Dec 2001
Posts: 4137
Location: northern alberta

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:52 am    Post subject: Re: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I would build one out of steel...much stronger.
 
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Mike M
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Joined: 31 Mar 1998
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Someone with a TIG welder could try it and see if it welds.

The idea of building a new part from steel is a good one. Looks easy enough to build with some pipe and flat steel and a welder.
 
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Dr. Walt
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Joined: 06 Sep 2012
Posts: 2039
Location: Pahrump, Nevada

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

As far as welding is concerned, I would take (or send) it to a Certified AIRCRAFT Welder. They should be able to weld it without any problems and Guarantee the Weld. I've done a fair amount of welding over the years, but when it comes to Aluminum I'll take it to someone that does Aluminum Welding for a living.

Personally, I would just fabricate a new part out of STEEL, it would be much stronger and a lot cheaper than having that broken part welded. JMHO


Doc :>)
 
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Welding man
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If it is cast Aluminum,could be some alloy,or magnesium,it can easily be Tig welded. I have been fooling with this stuff for a lot of years and the only way I can tell for sure is strike an arc on it and see.I would be glad to try it for you. E-mail is open.
 
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SDE
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I think the suggestion, to make one out of steel is a good one.Engineers make thing cheaper and lighter and so it is very possible to make a replacement part that will be better and stronger than the original.
SDE
 
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Zachary Hoyt
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Joined: 07 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks, I sent you an email.
Zach
 
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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

replicate it in mild steel. it will be stronger than the original, and WAY stronger than a repaired sht metal like that one is likely ( alloy )
 
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Davis SC
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Could be anything from Magnesium, to Zamak, which is just pot metal.
 
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Stick welding
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That almost looks like pot metal except it has that bolt in it which would make you think it is some kind of aluminum alloy. Cast aluminum is easily TIG welded. Hobart/Maxal has a new 4943 TIG rod that welds nicer than 4043 and also has similar strength to 5356. Pot metal can be repaired with something like Aladdin 3 in 1 brazing rods.
 
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David G
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I repair broken cast aluminum? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

JB would never hold, my dad told me never could weld pot metal.
 
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