Aluminum welding wire question.
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Joined: January 15, 2012
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Location: Waterford, MI.

Aluminum welding wire question.
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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:00 am
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I've got someone who can get me aluminum welding wire on the cheap. I was wondering if its useable for chainmail? I'm not sure if there's a difference between it and aluminum wire bought off of TRL or sites/places like that. Thanks for the info!

Joined: April 18, 2011
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Location: Quitman, Texas

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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:37 am
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Zili has an excellent and very helpful article on welding wire http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.cgi?key=138027. As for my limited experience, I have some 5356 alloy aluminum mig welding wire that has been working fabulously for me so far.

Joined: January 15, 2012
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Location: Waterford, MI.

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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:17 am
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Awersome, thanks much!

Joined: November 25, 2010
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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:32 am
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The bright aluminum I got from trl is type 5356 and I don't no if the heat number makes a difference but it's S-66.

Joined: May 07, 2008
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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:14 am
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Basically every ER-5000 class wire is suitable; these are AlMg alloys that are even in thinner diameters hard enough for a bit rougher handling. AlSi alloys (ER-4000 class) are softer, AND break-prone at the same time, so I cannot recommend then, as well as the 'pure' Al, that is used e.g. to build electric fences.

Personally preferred types are ER-5183 (AlMg4.5Mn), ER-5087 (AlMg4.5MnZr), and ER-5356 (AlMg5).
ER-5554 (AlMg3) is suitable as well, but a bit softer. As it is an alloy that anodizes better than most other AlMg alloys, it's often used as basis for AA.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper Mfe.s Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Pj Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hi

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: March 26, 2002
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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:24 pm
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AVOID 4000-series alloys. I picked up a spool once from a welding supply store and the wire broke while I winded it. Luckily it came from a reputable welding supply store and they had no problem giving me a refund for this useless (for maille) material.

Any time I've procured 5000 series aluminums: 5356, 5556, and 5183, they have worked very well for chainmail, and usually the ones coming from welding supply stores are pretty good for strength (temper). Comparable in strength to the full hard selections The Ring Lord offers.


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Joined: August 30, 2008
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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:05 pm
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One exception to the 4000-Series rule is 4043... If you sometimes like mucking with twisted wire, 4043 makes for wonderful twists!

In terms of general "Wind round mandrel, make rings with it"... 4000 series is useless.


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Joined: May 07, 2008
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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:36 pm
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Oh noes - The only purpose my small remaining 4043 stock is used for by me anymore (I don't repeat the one-time mistake of buying even a single further spool of it), are Aluminium castings, where AlSi alloys have advantages over pure Al - and only for castings that don't need to be anodized thereafter. But I do definitely not more use it for maille, wireworking, or other jewellery purposes - even my amateur's work time is too precious to be wasted for working with less than even suboptimal stuff.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper Mfe.s Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Pj Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hi

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

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