Use carbide bits and blades
Use lubricants (cut dry)
Use higher speeds for cutting and prepping
Use oxy-fuel to cut aluminum
Use band saws with 3 to 4 teeth/in.
Carbon arc gouge
Remove plasma and laser cuts (1/8 in.)
Use power wire brushes with excessive pressure (smears aluminum)
Clean surfaces before wire brushing
Direct air tool exhaust toward weld joint
Aluminum can be alloyed with several other elements such as copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and silicon.
Each of these can be added alone or in combinations for various considerations such as strength, fluidity, corrosion
resistance, and ductility.
Working with aluminum is much like working with wood. Most power tools using carbide blades are suitable for cutting and
prepping joints for welding. These will remove metal quickly and will not leave a residue behind like grinding pads and stone
cutting wheels. The chips left behind contain most of the heat from the cut, and therefore, coolants or other lubricants are
Once the cut is made, the surface should be as clean as possible. Carbide router bits also work well for joint preparation
where rounded edges are preferred as they take heat better than sharp edges, which can result in oxides.
Avoid Plasma/Laser Cut Micro Cracks in Welds
For heat treatable aluminum alloys, 1/8 in. (3 mm) of material shall be removed by machining from plasma arc and laser
cut edges that will be welded. - AWS D1.2
are potential crack starters in aluminum welds.