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Flux Core Aluminum Welding Wire: What You Need to Know

Flux Core Aluminum Welding Wire is referred to as gasless aluminum welding wire, it sounds like a suitable option for a minor welding job. And one that can save you hundreds on MIG welding gas and a spool gun. Does aluminum flux core welding wire even exist? And, can you weld aluminum with a flux core welder? A simple internet search turns up interesting, but mostly unhelpful results that contribute to the confusion.


Flux Core Soldering and Brazing Wire

While these are flux-cored filler materials for joining aluminum, soldering and brazing are different processes that don't work in a welder. Arc welding is just too hot for this wire. Although not what we're looking for, brazing rods are a handy way to join aluminum material without expensive gear. If you learn this technique and keep a few rods on hand, someday you'll be glad you did.

MIG/MAG Welding Machine

Why No Flux Core Aluminum Welding Wire?

Several problems prevent the use of FCAW aluminum wire. These include usability and quality issues.


Hard to Feed

Even solid aluminum wire is soft and tricky to feed. Just imagine trying to feed a hollowed-out flux core wire without crushing and jamming. Basic wire drives just wouldn't be up to the task. It would take a specialized drive system.


Poor Flux Properties

Because of aluminum's unique characteristics, fluxes designed for carbon or stainless steel do not work. And fluxes used in soldering and brazing aren't effective at arc welding’s higher temperatures.


Also, aluminum fluxes tested for welding are extremely corrosive. This is a concern for both users and the environment. Plus, the fluxes are hygroscopic and absorb water from the air. These traits contribute to poor weld quality and excessive spatter.


 Flux Cored Wire Gas-shielded


Nature of FCAW

Flux core arc welding on steel can generate a lot of spatter. The fluid nature of aluminum at welding temps would magnify the problem. The amount of molten material expelled from the weld would reduce weld quality and appearance.


Alternatives To Flux Core Welding to Join Aluminum?

We now know that we can't weld aluminum with flux core using a wire-feed welder. So let's look at other options you can use to make a repair or build your project.


MIG Welding

You could install a spool gun on a compatible MIG Welding welder. That, along with a cylinder of 100% Argon welding gas, and a small spool of solid aluminum wire is an efficient and reliable method.


If your welder isn't a spool gun ready, or you just want to save some money, try MIG welding aluminum without a spool gun. For the price of a roll of wire, and maybe a liner, find out if your MIG welding machine is capable. A bit of patience and practice can yield surprising results.


MIG Welding Machine

TIG Welding

An AC TIG welder with pure Argon shielding gas can provide the nicest-looking welds. As with all aluminum welding, it'll take some practice. Remember, it’s a manual process that's slower than MIG. TIG is best for minor projects. In a pinch, a DC TIG welder, along with flux-coated stick welding rods, can get the job done.


MIG, TIG wire for welding of extra-low-carbon stainless steel, which welding seam metal is extra-low-carbon type. It will not create carbides in intercrystalline as lower carbon and have excellent intercrystalline corrosion resistance. For welding similar stainless steel structures, alloys, and dissimilar steels. Also, it could be used in a nuclear reactor, transition layer welding of the inner wall in the pressure vessel, and components welding in the tower.

 


AWS A5.11 ENiCrFe-3

Stick Welding

A stick welder with flux-coated welding rods is an alternative.


Soldering/Brazing

If you're into metalworking, consider adding soldering and brazing to your tool kit. Lower heat than arc welding means less risk of deforming the base metals.


Brazing and soldering are processes that have many great advantages; good joint design will result in joint strength equal to or higher than that of welding.

840℉ is the dividing line for the processes with soldering occurring below and brazing above this temperature.

 
Capillary action draws the filler to fill voids between pieces. You can even join dissimilar metals.
You can get started with a simple torch, a small bottle of MAPP gas, and some aluminum rods.


Rivets

This is so easy, yet gives a nice finished look to a project. Get a good rivet gun and some stainless steel or aluminum rivets. Drill holes. Insert rivets. Works well enough for boats and planes.
For extensive projects, a pneumatic gun can help, or here's a battery-operated model. Aluminum has unique qualities that make it an attractive project material.
Other characteristics prevent the development of a flux core aluminum welding wire having reliable weld quality that is safe and easy to use. 


Welding flux core aluminum wire Production Line Auto Weighing Machine video


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