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Old 10-06-2023, 11:04 AM
BTromblay BTromblay is offline
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Default filler rod selection for 5000 series aluminum

Hi,

I have a aluminum car project that will be coming to my shop soon and looking for advice on filler rod material selection. At this time, I cannot disclose the manufacture or model of the car due to a NDA, what I can say is the car was built in France in 1937 and I had a sample of the material tested by a metallurgical lab in Milwaukee. The original body was made from 1mm (.040") 5754 aluminum and more than likely I will repair the body with using .040" 5052-H32 aluminum. My research so far shows that 5356 filler rod would be an accepted material and I will make test samples to confirm. My concerns, cracking during the shaping process post weld and cracking due to fatigue in the future.

Looking for ideas,

Thx
Bill
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Old 10-06-2023, 09:49 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Bill, I would try 1100 rod on some test panels.

The 'book' says to use 4043 on 3003. I bought some early on but quickly discovered that 4043 simply would not shape. Instead it cracked and fractured. I switched to 1100 rod and never looked back.

I know nothing about 5356 so take the above with a grain of salt.

I'd talk to Jim Hery. He's worked on European cars of that era.
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Old 10-07-2023, 02:50 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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If you have spare aluminum sheet of this alloy you might snip off some edges and try that standard old method....
... (might be what was done at Saoutchik for DuBonnet)...
.... current 5182, 5754 sheet might also offer melt-in/workability ....
...weld filler 5554 ....
... Somebody worked it out long decades past ....
... = not a biggie ....
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Last edited by crystallographic; 10-07-2023 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 10-07-2023, 04:46 PM
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5356 filler rod is what I use to weld 5052. It TIG welds nice and easy with this alloy filler. I've never tried to gas weld 5052 although the book says it's gas weldable.

I tend to only use 5052 in situations where it doesn't need to be metal shaped after welding, a smooth door skin for example. Other examples are inner door frames and underbody support panels. My experience in trying to work the welds on 5052 is that it's somewhat easy to crack the weld. With a fat, proud bead on it, no cracking. Grind/file the bead off and work the metal, it tends to crack at the weld joint, even after annealing.

If I were ever to try to use 5052 for shaped body panels requiring some welding, I'd figure out how to gas weld it. Otherwise be prepared for some level of re-welding to fix cracked joints.
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Old 10-07-2023, 05:38 PM
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Last Molsheim that I worked upon, we replaced the engine bonnet panels with newly made ones given decades of damage and butchery. We used the stripped and cleaned (but damaged) original panels as donor material for all the other shaped patch panels -- and also cut into strips for welding rod for welding of original panels. Gas welds only with flux. I remember the aluminum when analyzed was about 3.5% magnesium content for hardening and typical of the time period. It didn't like TIG welding at all. Just my experience and your own experience may vary.
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Old 10-07-2023, 09:34 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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I am re-reading the original query, and the specific problem is not welding 5052, but welding 1mm (.040") 5754 aluminum to 5052.

I have made/repaired a lot of polished aircraft P51 wingroot fairings from 5052, gas welded the 5052 seams, pounded them flat and polished them out.
Zero Problems. Piece of cake (for me).

But this is NOT the problem being asked a solution for, right? (Go back and re-read the first post in this thread)

"What is the filler needed to successfully join 5754 to 5052?"

My own best guess, after looking at maybe 10-15 choices I have on hand here, is 5554 - OR snipped edges from the original sheet - IF AVAILABLE.
(and I have more possible weld filler alloys, also - Rockmount Rsrch, included.)

Testing by welding and pounding out will be the only test needed.

(See my sig- tag by Lloyd Rosenquist, below)




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Old 10-08-2023, 04:10 PM
BTromblay BTromblay is offline
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Hi,

Thank you for the responses, the following is a little more detail on why I asked the question.

What we know.
My customer and I know, the car was built in 1938 as a streamliner race car coupe in France, in 1939 the car was put into hiding do to the up and coming German occupation. In 1946 the car re-appears out of hiding and the roof was cut off and was turned into a roadster/rally car.

The project now is to restore the car to the original 1938 configuration and build the missing roof. Due to value, authenticity and preservation, the customer wants as much as possible of the original body to be used and will require welding of the new to the old. I was able to cut out a 8 inch square piece for weld testing out of a scrap panel piece.

My first test was TIG welding 3003-H14 with 1100 filler to the then unknown material sample. First weld cracked where the filler rod met the original piece. I sheared out the weld, improved my cleaning technique and welded it again with the same filler, I got a good result-ish.
IMG_20231008_145626.jpg

I have been doing this long enough now to be able to notice the difference in material hardness and stiffness. I noticed that the unknown material was more resistance to bending than the 3003-H14, both being .040" thick when welded together. My light bulb went off (however dim lit) and I send a sample in for testing to confirm a hunch. The test results came back 5754 and confirmed my suspicion (the light got brighter in the room) and it makes sense, 5000 series material increases dent resistance for a thin material application of a race car.

I have good success with welding aluminum now using different processes, grades and thicknesses. I will test 5554 filler as Kent has recommended, once I get more of the scrap original panel pieces and .040" 5052. I have used body panel as welding rods before and I find it a pain. Ok for small pieces but long seams just become not as fun.

No matter how nice something looks when done, if a crack forms, they will only remember the welder who held the torch.

Thx

Bill
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