Electronics > Mechanical & Automation Engineering

electrolytic cleaning with tig welder? (first results)

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So a electrolytic cleaning machine is expensive.

I know you can make a transformer box thing, but here is my observations

the tig welder I have has very low current settings (down to 1Amp), but it has inrush current or somehting. I tried to test it with a DMM shorted out with a good fuse, and it blew the fuse. Most lab supplies set to similar parameters current limited at 1a will not blow the fuse, even with their capacitances. This means that its a beefy charge.

If I put a carbon brush on the welder with an adapter, I assume that during contact it might surge a bristle and cause it to fuse or something. I saw a few videos and the brushes seem to lose bristles alot.

The solution I thought might be

1) use a light bulb in series to limit current
2) use a big power resistor in series to limit current

Has anyone tried this? I assume the main reason tig machines are typically not used for this is because they have that surge from the capacitors or whatever that tend to damage carbon brushes as contact is being made and broken.

I really like the idea that I can just splice a resistor in the cable and it just becomes a dinse connector attachment without any other fabrication manufacturing or expenses.

I ordered two carbon fiber brushes on Ebay. I was laughing hard at cougartron prices. My plan is to put it in a ground clamp for welding and see if it works. Thought about using legitimate cougartron parts at first but my stomach started to hurt because of how bad the prices are. And I think its possible just to thread a burndy lug splice to fit a cougartron thread (aka called the 'metric thread') so you can add a brush to a cable lug like a hand piece (if you get cable, brush handle, and brush, its like 600$!!!!!!0

also solutions for electropolishing and cleaning are welcome in this thread

Two options might be mixtures of phosphoric and sulfuric acid and also citric acid and sodium bisulfate

would love to hear about the secret sauce additives that they put in these things.

these I guess are different then the usual stuff people talk about, since these brushes seem to run at high current in the tens of amps on small surface area, not the tank style - slow solutions.

beware this post!! its not correct! use 3/8-28 for chinese m10

Ok if you fell into this trap be aware.  >:(

The brushes sold say M something thread.

This is not a 1.0mm thread. Not a 1.25. Not a 1.5.  >:(

Its a fucking Mx x 0.9 thread.  >:(

So you need a specialty tap. Which you can get on eBay, but still.  >:(

It kind of fits into a 3/8x28. But for high currents you really need the right thread. Talk about a smelly troll  >:(

Otherwise you might be able to braze it on a adapter with the brush underwater or something, but I don't expect good results. if anything, get over sized one, then file it down to a acceptable shaft size, carefully. And yes I am sure I tried it on all the dies, the gauge is very clear that you can either try a 28 or a 0.9. The fronius website says 0.9.  >:( >:(

I bet silver high conductivity epoxy on a 3/8-28 thread would do it too for medium use.

I tried the tig brush with a variac set to 20V with a 1 ohm 25 watt current limiting resistor.

I made like 30% citric acid solution and tried it on my first TIG stainless weld, which has heavy sugaring on the back and alot of color on the front, along with mega distortion from going too slow.

It cleaned it up pretty good but the resistor started glowing. The weld itself looks fairly silver, and the area immediatly around it (2mm) looks nice, but after that there is a grey kind of cloud surrounding it. I ordered some weld cleaning polishing solution to try it with next.

But in my opinion, it would still be alot easier and nicer to post polish with the cleaning that it did manage to do. I hope for better results from the real solution (which may be an acid mix, or just phosphoric acid).

Not sure if I need a limiting resistor, but I find the variac kind of scary. DOn't want to experiment more until I made a nicer limiter circuit.

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here is the bottom side, I spent less time on it

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It looks like your puddles are too big and movement/penetration is inconsistent. Practice making a stack of dimes.  Cleanliness will reduce the amount of cleanup.


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