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Posted: 10/11/2005 7:40:56 AM EDT
I would like to attack a aluminum rail to a steel receiver, can it be done?


the receiver is 1.0mm thick and it cant be screwed on because of clerance underneath, steel rails are very expensive,
aluminum can be found everywhere far and between.

what can I do?
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:42:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By donovan007007:
I would like to attack a aluminum rail to a steel receiver, can it be done?


the receiver is 1.0mm thick and it cant be screwed on because of clerance underneath, steel rails are very expensive,
aluminum can be found everywhere far and between.

what can I do?



Kill Kill Kill!
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:45:20 AM EDT



short answer: NO

there are ways to bond unlike materials (and i'm not talking glue or screws here), but most of those ways involve EXTREMELY expensive, exotic, dangerous, all of the above processes.


Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:47:57 AM EDT
Couldn't you just braze/solver solder it ?
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:48:04 AM EDT
Long answer, somehow, yes.

Look at the rear of an aluminum dump truck bed. The hinge is steel and the body is aluminum. There is a weld of some sort there. I don't know how they do it, but it is a steel-aluminum weld.

For your purposes though, no.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:51:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 7:52:40 AM EDT by Kharn]
What's this for, an AK? What kind of rail, weaver?

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:55:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Kharn:
What's this for, an AK? What kind of rail, weaver?

Kharn




yes, it is for a ak.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:55:54 AM EDT
JB Weld or some other strong 2-part eepoxy should work depending on the amount of stress you intend to load this piece with.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:01:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 8:02:11 AM EDT by wildearp]
Devcon Pro-steel epoxy. Rough up both surfaces.

It has been holding the front sight on my Remington 870 for years.

JB will let you down on this one.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:03:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By donovan007007:

Originally Posted By Kharn:
What's this for, an AK? What kind of rail, weaver?
Kharn


yes, it is for a ak.

Where're you putting it that you cant rivet it in place?

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:06:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DDiggler:
Long answer, somehow, yes.

Look at the rear of an aluminum dump truck bed. The hinge is steel and the body is aluminum. There is a weld of some sort there. I don't know how they do it, but it is a steel-aluminum weld.

For your purposes though, no.



Better go stick a magnet on the parts.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:16:29 AM EDT
They do it all the time on big cruise ships. The main, lower hull is usually steel, and the top levels are aluminum to keep the ship from being too top heavy. If you look, you can usuall see the special seam, where the two metals meet. I dont know how they do it, but it is a special type of weld. One of the reasons why the new QM2 is so freaking heavy is that the entire ship is steel, as it is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship, and needed to be more sea worthy.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:17:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 8:19:17 AM EDT by DDiggler]

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By DDiggler:
Long answer, somehow, yes.

Look at the rear of an aluminum dump truck bed. The hinge is steel and the body is aluminum. There is a weld of some sort there. I don't know how they do it, but it is a steel-aluminum weld.

For your purposes though, no.



Better go stick a magnet on the parts.



I have. I've done a lot of welding. One is steel, the other is aluminum.

As a matter of fact, I've had to MIG weld on the steel hinge before, and I've welded on the aluminum on the bed.

Someone told me that it is an epoxy weld of some sort.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:30:32 AM EDT
I seen some wheels like that.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:30:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Gooch:
They do it all the time on big cruise ships. The main, lower hull is usually steel, and the top levels are aluminum to keep the ship from being too top heavy. If you look, you can usuall see the special seam, where the two metals meet. I dont know how they do it, but it is a special type of weld. One of the reasons why the new QM2 is so freaking heavy is that the entire ship is steel, as it is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship, and needed to be more sea worthy.



They use an explosion welding process for the transition joints between dissimilar metals.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:35:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rkbar15:

Originally Posted By The_Gooch:
They do it all the time on big cruise ships. The main, lower hull is usually steel, and the top levels are aluminum to keep the ship from being too top heavy. If you look, you can usuall see the special seam, where the two metals meet. I dont know how they do it, but it is a special type of weld. One of the reasons why the new QM2 is so freaking heavy is that the entire ship is steel, as it is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship, and needed to be more sea worthy.



They use an explosion welding process for the transition joints between dissimilar metals.



Half the time I tried aluminum welding it looked like 'explosion welding.'
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:40:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 8:43:48 AM EDT by Ranxerox911]

Originally Posted By donovan007007:
I would like to attack a aluminum rail to a steel receiver, can it be done?


the receiver is 1.0mm thick and it cant be screwed on because of clerance underneath, steel rails are very expensive,
aluminum can be found everywhere far and between.

what can I do?



Yes, welding aluminum to steel can be done, but since you are balking at the price of a steel rail, this type of welding won't save you any money. Your biggest problem is that welding will distort the receiver possibly making it useless, or at best, inaccurate.

Are there any thick areas of the receiver you can drill and tap to mount a base for the rail? What about using rivets?
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:56:45 AM EDT
One word, Belzona. IF you can obtain it. And it is so expensive you won't be saving any money.
This shit is unbelievable, I had to remove a bearing on a Caterpillar dozer final drive that was put on with the stuff.........

After cutting the bearing race in five places with a torch, each of the five pieces pulled a layer of steel off of the shaft. Like I said, incredible stuff.
I hear you have to sign a release to purchase the stuff if you can even find someone who will sell it to you.

Link Posted: 10/11/2005 9:00:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DDiggler:

Originally Posted By rkbar15:

Originally Posted By The_Gooch:
They do it all the time on big cruise ships. The main, lower hull is usually steel, and the top levels are aluminum to keep the ship from being too top heavy. If you look, you can usuall see the special seam, where the two metals meet. I dont know how they do it, but it is a special type of weld. One of the reasons why the new QM2 is so freaking heavy is that the entire ship is steel, as it is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship, and needed to be more sea worthy.



They use an explosion welding process for the transition joints between dissimilar metals.



Half the time I tried aluminum welding it looked like 'explosion welding.'



Yea I got that problem too.. Its fun trying though
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 9:03:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:

Originally Posted By donovan007007:
I would like to attack a aluminum rail to a steel receiver, can it be done?


the receiver is 1.0mm thick and it cant be screwed on because of clerance underneath, steel rails are very expensive,
aluminum can be found everywhere far and between.

what can I do?



Kill Kill Kill!



Damn that was hilarious!
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 11:23:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DDiggler:

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By DDiggler:
Long answer, somehow, yes.

Look at the rear of an aluminum dump truck bed. The hinge is steel and the body is aluminum. There is a weld of some sort there. I don't know how they do it, but it is a steel-aluminum weld.

For your purposes though, no.



Better go stick a magnet on the parts.



I have. I've done a lot of welding. One is steel, the other is aluminum.

As a matter of fact, I've had to MIG weld on the steel hinge before, and I've welded on the aluminum on the bed.

Someone told me that it is an epoxy weld of some sort.



It might be an epoxy bond, but that would not be classified as a welded joint.

I would be interested in hearing what weld process and filler rod(s) you used to join these alloys.

The Russians have done some mixed alloy welding but no one else I know of has employed that process. What they are really doing is more closely kin to diffusion bonding, not fusion joining of the parts. The difference in melting temperatures of these two material is so large that common processes are excluded.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 11:24:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 11:24:45 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]
Nope, stop being cheap - get a steel rail
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 12:25:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Nope, stop being cheap - get a steel rail



+1

I've built a shitload of AKs and I would never consider an aluminum rail.

Al doesn't have the resistance to abrasion and fatigue strength of real steel.

If your feeling that cheap run to Home Depot and pick up a foot of 3/4" square steel tubing and dremel it.

Viola! Cheap rails . . . just harden the ejector properly and keep them level when you're bolting/spot welding/riveting/epoxying them in.

Disconnector
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 4:37:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bob243:

Originally Posted By DDiggler:

Originally Posted By rkbar15:

Originally Posted By The_Gooch:
They do it all the time on big cruise ships. The main, lower hull is usually steel, and the top levels are aluminum to keep the ship from being too top heavy. If you look, you can usuall see the special seam, where the two metals meet. I dont know how they do it, but it is a special type of weld. One of the reasons why the new QM2 is so freaking heavy is that the entire ship is steel, as it is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship, and needed to be more sea worthy.



They use an explosion welding process for the transition joints between dissimilar metals.



Half the time I tried aluminum welding it looked like 'explosion welding.'



Yea I got that problem too.. Its fun trying though



You guys crack me up. Explosion welding is actually very cool technology to weld aluminum to steel and other metals.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:40:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Silver_Surfer:
I seen saw some wheels like that.



Fixed it for ya....

Spelling Nazi of me..I know, but It's one of my pet peeves.

Tall Shadow
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:08:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:10:04 PM EDT
you can.

Ferrari welds alumanium body panels to steel frames on some of there cars.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 1:02:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JBowles:
you can.

Ferrari welds alumanium body panels to steel frames on some of there cars.



Got a source? I would like to look this over.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 1:16:49 PM EDT
I have been using a golf shaft epoxy for some time. It has a lap shear streght of 2850 psi. Works great. Be paitient as it takes a day or so to cure and does not form as well as JB.

JB lap shear is 1040 psi

http://www.golfsmith.com/products/9095
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 2:47:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By JBowles:
you can.

Ferrari welds alumanium body panels to steel frames on some of there cars.



Got a source? I would like to look this over.



Ferrari uses some type of specially treated steel foil that forms the weld/bond between the tubular steel frame and the aluminum body. I don't know exactly how the process works though.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 2:51:28 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 2:55:24 PM EDT
Some steel is hot clad with pure aluminum. Such sheet steel CAN be RSEW to aluminum...it is like a series of overlapping pressure spot welds made with resistance, hence the acroynym, Resistance Seam Electrical Weld.

But there is no rod/wire to FCAW, GTAW nor are there SMAW electrodes for aluminum to steel. The melting points are far too great in difference and the metaluragy does not allow for any intermediate alloy. Small amounts of aluminum in steel will effectively deoxidize it but remelting will cause these to flux out.

Soldering is also fraught with these limitations. Another problem is thermal expansion. This would make the weld/braze joint highly stressed when cool.. RSEW overcomes these by incredibly small HAZ (heat affected zone).

Furthermore, weld joints in aluminum are VERY weak unless they are subsequently heat treated and made of such an alloy. Welding returns the material to dead soft and all aluminum alloys in the dead soft state are nearly worthless.

Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:23:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2005 4:31:44 PM EDT by A_Free_Man]
Welding would require equipment and experience way beyond what most here could do.

Where're you putting it that you cant rivet it in place?

Actually, this is the most practical solution posted here.

I would use a combination... use epoxy, let it harden, and poprivet, too. Insert the rivet from the inside, which would leave the flat head inside. The hole on the aluminum rib could countersunk to make room for the expanded end of the rivet.

And I would use steel rivets, not aluminum.

Another solution for sheet metal, if there is clearance behind, is to use "Riv-nuts". These are aluminum, or better, steel inserts that are installed with a tool similar to a pop rivet gun. I use these on a non-firearm product for attaching steel brackets to sheet aluminum. In the USA look for Marson products, Klik Rivet-nuts. I use the #39200 tool, and have both metric and inch mandrels.

See here:

www.bollhoff-rivnut.com/id10.htm

www.alcoa.com/fastening_systems/commercial/en/product.asp?cat_id=635&prod_id=1077

www.huck.com/marsoncorp/Klik%20Rivet-NutsRibbedStyle.htm

fasteningconcepts.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=FC&Category_Code=RVT


Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:33:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2005 4:35:20 PM EDT by desertmoon]

Originally Posted By vito113:
An electron beam welder might do it… a touch pricey though!

ANdy



Capacitance Discharge Welding might work, too......but also a bit on the expensive side. Of course, considering the surface areas you are working with it would probably just blow the whole works apart.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:42:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:

Another solution for sheet metal, if there is clearance behind, is to use "Riv-nuts". These are aluminum, or better, steel inserts that are installed with a tool similar to a pop rivet gun. I use these on a non-firearm product for attaching steel brackets to sheet aluminum. In the USA look for Marson products, Klik Rivet-nuts. I use the #39200 tool, and have both metric and inch mandrels.




Be sure you don't install them into a blind space where you can't get to the back side; riv-nuts are okay for a one time screw installation, or maybe a very few remove/install cycles, but they will eventually (sooner than later) lose their grip and turn with the screw. At that point, you need access so you can grap the tail with a Mexican socket set so the screw can be turned out.

Punkin nuts are similar, and they also suck for extended use.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:44:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Gooch:
They do it all the time on big cruise ships. The main, lower hull is usually steel, and the top levels are aluminum to keep the ship from being too top heavy. If you look, you can usuall see the special seam, where the two metals meet. I dont know how they do it, but it is a special type of weld. One of the reasons why the new QM2 is so freaking heavy is that the entire ship is steel, as it is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship, and needed to be more sea worthy.


They bond the Al mast to the steel superstructure on the BURKE-class DDGs. As I understand it, it's not really welding so much as explode the metals together.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:48:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rkbar15:

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By JBowles:
you can.

Ferrari welds alumanium body panels to steel frames on some of there cars.



Got a source? I would like to look this over.



Ferrari uses some type of specially treated steel foil that forms the weld/bond between the tubular steel frame and the aluminum body. I don't know exactly how the process works though.



Sounds like a braze process.

Welding requires fusion of two parts into a single, homogenous part.

Diffusion bonding is more closely related to welding than bonding.

Brazing is a metallurgical bonding process, a direct analog of bonding two parts with plastic adhesives except that the adhesive is metallic and is applied to joint via heat. Brazing is not welding.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:49:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By donovan007007:
I would like to attack a aluminum rail to a steel receiver, can it be done?


the receiver is 1.0mm thick and it cant be screwed on because of clerance underneath, steel rails are very expensive,
aluminum can be found everywhere far and between.

what can I do?



A number of years ago I had a steel bolt brazed to an aluminum crankcase. The man who did it for me "buttered" one of the parts (I believe that it was the aluminum) with German silver and then brazed them both together with a bronze rod. It held together very well.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:54:02 PM EDT
This thread is already long enough, so I hate to add more, but have you tried calling or e-mailing Brownell's tech line? They give out free advise whether you buy from them or not and they might have some neat ideas. www.brownells.com

Hope that helps some,
Robert
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:55:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By DDiggler:

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By DDiggler:
Long answer, somehow, yes.

Look at the rear of an aluminum dump truck bed. The hinge is steel and the body is aluminum. There is a weld of some sort there. I don't know how they do it, but it is a steel-aluminum weld.

For your purposes though, no.



Better go stick a magnet on the parts.



I have. I've done a lot of welding. One is steel, the other is aluminum.

As a matter of fact, I've had to MIG weld on the steel hinge before, and I've welded on the aluminum on the bed.

Someone told me that it is an epoxy weld of some sort.



It might be an epoxy bond, but that would not be classified as a welded joint.

I would be interested in hearing what weld process and filler rod(s) you used to join these alloys.

The Russians have done some mixed alloy welding but no one else I know of has employed that process. What they are really doing is more closely kin to diffusion bonding, not fusion joining of the parts. The difference in melting temperatures of these two material is so large that common processes are excluded.


If I can remember, I'll get a picture of the weld. It looks just like a regular MIG/TIG weld, goes right into each metal, typical welding pattern.

To clarify, I did not ever join the aluminum to the steel myself. I have welded on the steel portion, with the MIG set up for steel, and I have welded on the aluminum portion at a different time, set up with the aluminum welder.

The truck beds I'm thinking of are made by Ti-Brook and it's the hinge in the rearmost top corner, if you happen to see one parked somewhere.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:59:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By The_Gooch:
They do it all the time on big cruise ships. The main, lower hull is usually steel, and the top levels are aluminum to keep the ship from being too top heavy. If you look, you can usuall see the special seam, where the two metals meet. I dont know how they do it, but it is a special type of weld. One of the reasons why the new QM2 is so freaking heavy is that the entire ship is steel, as it is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship, and needed to be more sea worthy.


They bond the Al mast to the steel superstructure on the BURKE-class DDGs. As I understand it, it's not really welding so much as explode the metals together.



Explosion welding has been around for a while, but it's hard for me to picture why this process would be chosen for this assembly - I would sure like to see the structural details to help me understand if there is a good case for this method, or if it's something the Navy or the builder just wanted to try.

After the fall of the Soviet Union there was basically a huge raid on their metallurgy, welding, and wind tunnel technology, and I believe the US was late to the game behind France and Japan. At any rate, there are several reports of innovative Soviet weld technology, including joining of dissimilar metals, that we were either just had no interest in developing here, or were too arrogant to investigate (before the fall). I doubt that it's a slam dunk, and I'll bet there are plenty of corrosion and fatigue problems with these joints, particularly in high performance structures.
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