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Thread: 250 PI Sputtering Arc when welding AC Aluminum

  1. #1

    250 PI Sputtering Arc when welding AC Aluminum

    Hey guys, I've had a 250 PI for about 5 years now, and I've been happy with it, it's held up pretty well with no major issues. I don't do much Aluminum welding, but when I do I have a sputtering arc issue. The arc sputters whenever I ease off the pedal, especially at the end of a weld or when trying to pulse the pedal. It still welds ok, but it seems to get worse the longer I work. It does affect the appearance of my welds when it's hard to hold a steady arc. Sometimes it's very difficult to get the arc started, and it will just sputter like crazy. Scratch starting will usually start it right up. For this instance, I was lap welding 1/4" 6061 using 3/32" 2% Thoriated Tungsten and 3/32 rods, 4043 I believe. AC Freq is maxed, AC Balance is about halfway, line pointing straight up. Adjusting balance does not seem to help the issue. Below is a video where you can hear the problem. Also, here are 3 pictures of my welds. I was just screwing around, but the first picture is my first weld, and they got progressively worse from there. Any ideas or suggestions?


    First weld:

    Second, sputtering gets worse:


  2. #2
    Authorized Longevity Dealer dzljon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Jacksonville Florida
    what method are you using to prep the tungsten? belt sander, grinding wheel, etc?



  3. #3
    I switched to a brand new 1/8" Tungsten for the last one. I cut the end off with cutters and light it up on an aluminum plate to ball the end.

  4. #4
    If the Tungsten gets scummy or I dip it I either cut off the end or grind it off on a dedicated wheel I use.

  5. #5
    So no suggestions? Should I try adjusting the HF Start?

  6. #6
    Looks a little dirty to me. Are you sure you are getting shield gas or maybe a leak in your gas line? Also are you scratch starting, the way you worded your post made me think you were. Big no-no on aluminum.
    Last edited by poodle; 03-07-2016 at 03:29 PM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member tigqk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Boyle alberta
    Hi,you are blowing out your torch this is what that sound is, and it is restarting w/o hf. Go into pulse
    settings and max out your current and then set your pulse somewhere way lower and freq take a guess, this will create a square waive with a frequency that will stabilize the tendency to go out.May have to play. Ok.
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