Removing Welding Smut from Aluminum

Article From: Products Finishing, from Anodizing Technologies

Posted on: 11/1/2001

Question: We are welding 6063 aluminum extrusions and are looking for an efficient way to remove the welding smut from the parts.

Question:

We are welding 6063 aluminum extrusions and are looking for an efficient way to remove the welding smut from the parts. What do you suggest? R.W.

Answer:

There are probably several different approaches you could use. The approach you choose might be based first upon the volume of parts you are producing, and then on how much of a capital investment you are willing to make. There are a couple of ways that make sense to me from a production standpoint. You can decide which might be the best method for your situation.

The first method would be to set up a chemical cleaning process that would include the following steps:

  • Aqueous alkaline or acid cleaner
  • Rinse
  • Acid desmut or acid etch (or optional step of caustic soda etch followed by acid desmutting and rinse)
  • Rinse

    The second method would be to wire brush or grind the parts clean.

    You don't say what you intend to do with the parts after they are cleaned. Will you be applying a corrosion inhibiting or decorative finish? If so, the process above may want to be modified somewhat to accommodate the finishing. Feel free to contact me for additional discussion.

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