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MIG and TIG gases


 
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Tim B from MA
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:52 am    Post subject: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Looking for some advice re: gas mixes for TIG and MIG. I have a Lincoln TIG 300/300 that I have been using just for stick, but have been wanting to get an Argon bottle to try my hand at TIG.

I also recently bought (cheap) a 70s vintage Miller power source set up for MIG.

My idea was to buy straight argon for TIG (which is my greater interest at this point) and use it with the MIG machine when I want to play with it. Can you use straight Argon with MIG when welding mild steel? If so, are there any down sides aside from higher cost compared to Argon CO2 mix?

Also, the MIG power source is CV DC only can this be used with a spool gun to weld with aluminum?
 
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CWL
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You can use the Argon with mig on mild steel just fine. The only draw back is that it is a little more expensive than a argon /CO2 blend.
 
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Sam from WA
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

As I do quite a lot of welding at my work, I prefer to use what is called N.O.S. (Argon-CO2 mix) for the MIG and use straight Argon in the TIG. I don"t weld aluminum as often as i do steel, but you"d probably be better off welding Aluminum with the TIG, mostly because I"m not too sure you"d be able to find a spoolgun compatible with your MIG power source. Also, we have an older MillerMatic 250 that cannot be used as a MIG, because it is setup with the spool gun and the circut boards to run the MIG and Spoolgun will not fit in the same cabinet.

Hope this Helps
 
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Tim B from MA
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:57 am    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CWL, that's exactly what I wanted to know (fine to MIG mild steel with straing argon) thanks.

Sam - I hadn't though about the hardware issues to put a spool gun on an old MIG power source - good point.

I am still wondering if you can MIG aluminum with DC or if it requires (prefers ??) AC with a high frequency start (as my understanding is for aluminum via TIG)

Thanks,
Tim
 
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Stan in Oly, WA
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hi Tim,

Argon is more conductive than CO2 and therefore, somewhat counterintuitively, doesn't run as hot because it doesn't have to. With straight CO2, your MIG welder has to overcome the higher resistance of the gas, which results in a strong arc and a lot of weld spatter. Argon with 25% CO2 is a nice welding gas at most of the voltage range a non-industrial user would use. 80% to 100% Argon mixes are known as Argon rich gases (go figure) and are the shielding gases of choice in production settings where higher voltages are normally used.

One possible problem with 100% Argon is that it transfers arc energy so well that it produces a narrow, high energy arc which heats the base metal deeply but narrowly. This can limit the fusion of the filler metal to the base metal. Picture the heat pattern as a mushroom with the stalk extrending straight down into the base metal, creating good fusion, but the bottom of the mushroom cap sitting on the surface of the base metal, limiting fusion. Being aware of this situation, you should be able to adjust your technique (slight side-to-side motion, for instance) to deal with it.

All the best, Stan
 
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have never heard of using straight argon for MIG welding steel before. CO2 is common. Maybe it can be used but I seem to recall that you needed at least 5% CO2 with the argon, most likely for the reasons Stan has mentioned. For TIG it is the most universal gas. I would have seperate cylinders. All MIG welding is done with DC current. No high frequency is needed for aluminum. Aluminum is hard to feed with a conventional MIG set up. A spool gun or pull type gun is usually used. Dave
 
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Tim B from MA
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks Stan, as always, good and detailed info. You too Dave!
 
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Stan in Oly, WA
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

I think you must be right about 100% Argon not being used for MIG. I thought I remembered the list of Argon rich gases used with MIG going up to 100%, but after reading your comments a quick search didn't turn up that information. The highest concentration I found listed was 98/2, and in that case, the 2% was oxygen. That strikes me as an interesting way to get more bang for your buck.

All the best, Stan
 
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Ryan - WI
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Tim,
You can put a spool gun on pretty much any mig welder. The only catch is that it might take an external controller. We have a set up with one of them at school. It is a box about 6 by 8 by 2 that sits on top of the welder and works as the wire speed and gas solenoid as well as a trigger sensor for the gas and the power source.
 
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T_Bone
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:42 pm    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

WOW Stan, excellant post!!!

Hi Tim,

I'll add my past posting of welding gases that may help.

My personal feelings is I would not have a problem spec'ing 100%AR on manual Mig but I would have on automatic Mig welding for the reasons Stan already covered.

My gas supplier here last quoted 100%AR at $65/200cft where as any AR common mix was $85/200cft.

I currently only stock 100%AR for both Tig and Mig as what little welding I do it's just not worth having another cylinder around. If I found myself in need of a mixed gas then I would most likey add 2%O2 to my 100%AR thru a mixing "T" using two flow meters as I have o2 on hand.


Archives 9/20/04:

Pure Argon with Mig works well on light gauge SS SM as it gives lite penetration and reduces weld splatter. Argon adds arc stability with shallow penetration, lowers weld spatter and removes oxides at the weld surface.

Helium adds high thermal conductivity with-in the arc reducing it's density. Read this as a cheap(free) amperage increase. Increases penetration and flatens the weld bead contour.

As we move to heavier SS metals we can add 1% to 5%, o2 with the Argon that helps with undercutting and adding penetration for Mig welding. Adding more than 5% o2 would cause porosity with-in the weldment.

Qxygen in amounts upto 5% can be added for broading the penetration in the center of the weld bead, controls undercutting and helps improve arc stability.

Co2 can be added but has a spatter problem on most thin gauge metals and defeats my useage. O2 on the other hand enhances the tri-mix.

When Helium is added with Argon, 75%Ar/25%He the weld bead is broader and penetration is improved on SS.

Then we can add Co2 with Argon for a mix of 75%Ar/25%Co2. The Co2 is primarly added to reduce the cost of pure Argon. We can also use pure Co2 for some SS types but weld splatter is a big problem.

Now we get the best of all worlds and end up with a tri-mix of Argon/Helium/Co2. With this mix we get the flatest weld bead profile, good penetration and very little weld splatter on SS.

We also can use a heavy consentrate of Helium and add Ar, Co2 or o2 for Mig welding SS.

What determines the cover gas, is the composistion of the filler wire and what the filler wire mfg spec's.

These cover gasses can also be used for welding other metals.

T_Bone
 
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Tim B from MA
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:47 am    Post subject: Thanks Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks Ken,

I'll put that info in my collection!
 
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varmint
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Tim B from MA wrote:
(quoted from post at 09:52:06 02/14/0Cool Looking for some advice re: gas mixes for TIG and MIG. I have a Lincoln TIG 300/300 that I have been using just for stick, but have been wanting to get an Argon bottle to try my hand at TIG.

I also recently bought (cheap) a 70s vintage Miller power source set up for MIG.

My idea was to buy straight argon for TIG (which is my greater interest at this point) and use it with the MIG machine when I want to play with it. Can you use straight Argon with MIG when welding mild steel? If so, are there any down sides aside from higher cost compared to Argon CO2 mix?

Also, the MIG power source is CV DC only can this be used with a spool gun to weld with aluminum?


there's quite a bit of info about tig here-
http://www.welding-advisers.com/Tig-welding-tips.html
 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Now that it's been mentioned, it might have been 2% that I remember. The slighest CO2 might be to give decent penetration or weld properties. I'm not sure. Your post relayed more info about gasses than I can remember. I was in school a long time ago and don't have my big text book as one of my high school teachers borrowed it and I forgot to get it back. I wish I had it. I could probably get an updated version of it from the technical school. I could use it. To those who think I act like I know everything, there! I admit it, I don't! I never did claim to however. If someone questions my advice but has at least has some qualified credentials, I have absoluely no problem with that. We can agree to disagree. Where I have a problem and will call someone out, is when they claim to have knowledge and clearly show that they don't but instead will resort to insults and belittling to make themselfs look better. I will call them out! This is not intended at anyone on this post. Several days ago, if you look in the archives, someone made a sarcastic comment to myself because I complimented an ameteur welder on his welds he posted. Thanks Stan! I have been looking for a way to clear this up for a long time. Dave
 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: MIG and TIG gases Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks! I hope that the insult throwers will read my post in answer to Stan. I never claimed to know everything but at least have some qualifications and practical (25 yrs. +) experience. I think this should give me credibility, at least I hope so. Dave
 
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