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Old 11-10-2017, 03:47 PM
flakey flakey is offline
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Default Aluminium welding flux

Hi everyone.
I have a few tubs of tm technologies aluminium welding flux that have not been opened or used, however they have all solidified, Iím guessing through moisture ingress, can anyone tell me if I could crush it back into a fine powder with a pestle and mortar and use it, or shall I bin it.
Thanks Fintan
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:29 PM
robtg robtg is online now
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I called Tm Technologies with that same question and was told to use it, no problem. I have been using it for a few months now without any problems. I just break off a chunk and mix with water. ---RG
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:03 AM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtg View Post
I called Tm Technologies with that same question and was told to use it, no problem. I have been using it for a few months now without any problems. I just break off a chunk and mix with water. ---RG
Right-o.
If the flux is clean and free of fly offal and bug spewtle then it is ready to use. So grab a clean stub of wood dowel and do the polka with the end of it in the jar to break up the chunks back into powder, measure out, and mix with H20 and go.
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Old 11-11-2017, 02:30 AM
flakey flakey is offline
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Thanks guys
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:45 AM
Peter Tommasini Peter Tommasini is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flakey View Post
Hi everyone.
I have a few tubs of tm technologies aluminium welding flux that have not been opened or used, however they have all solidified, Iím guessing through moisture ingress, can anyone tell me if I could crush it back into a fine powder with a pestle and mortar and use it, or shall I bin it.
Thanks Fintan
Bin it !
Peter
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:03 AM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Yes, you might want to dump it all in one bin and then break it up and then divide it back into its jars - good idea, Peter !!
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Old 11-11-2017, 02:35 PM
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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Somewhat related to this thread, I read in the aluminum welding booklet which Kent publishes that his flux should not be mixed with distilled water only mineral water. I would have thought that mixing the flux with an unknown of minerals and salts would be a problem. Any explanation? Is this true with all such fluxes or just Kent's? I have always tried to use distilled water with other fluxes and never had a problem that I am aware of. Perhaps mineral water would have yielded better performance. Sparkling or non?

Rick
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Old 11-11-2017, 03:18 PM
Maxakarudy Maxakarudy is offline
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Some english panel beaters prefer methylated spirit, tap water seems to be ok for me
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:50 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Mullin View Post
Somewhat related to this thread, I read in the aluminum welding booklet which Kent publishes that his flux should not be mixed with distilled water only mineral water. I would have thought that mixing the flux with an unknown of minerals and salts would be a problem. Any explanation? Is this true with all such fluxes or just Kent's? I have always tried to use distilled water with other fluxes and never had a problem that I am aware of. Perhaps mineral water would have yielded better performance. Sparkling or non?

Rick
Hi Rick,
I get this question a lot.

I've tested dozens of "waters" across the US and overseas, too. Glacier water, ancient water, mineral, sparkling, purified and spring.

Iron is the enemy of aluminum gas welding flux as it neutralizes it dead, dead, dead. So, we stay away from iron pipes, city tap water, and local well waters in iron-soaked locales such as Bethlehem, PA and Nevada County, CA.
Period.

Years ago I tried a number of distilled waters, also, seeking the penultimate AGW experience, Nirvana or better.
No joy.
I have some double -distilled triple-de-ionized reagent grade water here that came with an MSDS .... Special box ..... Tinted lab-grade bottle/jar .... $$$.
.... No joy.

Overall test results: Distilled water yields not as active a flux mix as with spring/mineral water, effervescing or non.
My theory: the aluminum gas welding flux formulae were developed approx. 1910 - 1930 A.D., waay back when we still had clean naturally-mineralized water available across the US.
Using "commonly-available" water was probably one of the criteria for the chemists working on these fluxes (the AGW fluxes numbered over 40 different ones back in 1956 - just the AGW fluxes, alone). So I surmise they availed themselves of a dozen samples from large industrial locales for testing their flux formulas, and something in those common minerals is accounted for in that chemistry. I cannot think of any other reason, and am open to further thinking on this topic.
(I have been in communication with a number of flux manufacturing companies over the years, and my dealings have been with the tech-reps or the master chemists in the labs there.)

Personally, I do not mind using Gerolsteiner, Evian, Fiji, or San Pellegrino waters, at all. They sure seem to work better than distilled, so I recommend "not tap water, not distilled, and not local well water" in favor of good clean bottled spring water, because of my own careful testing. But, I may be wrong, and some source of distilled H2O may give better results than I have seen, so far.

In general, I'd recommend trying a few different bottled spring waters, like I have done on many occasions. You can always drink them if they are sub-par for welding - as I know a lot of people are drinking waters that I cannot weld with ....
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Last edited by crystallographic; 11-11-2017 at 08:56 PM.
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