I have been wanting to learn to tig weld for a long time. So, as an early Christmas present, I ordered the bundled Tig 200 and Plasma 60 from Eastwood. The Tig 200 is an entry level AC/DC inverter unit allowing to weld steel and aluminum. After it arrived, I spent the next few days practicing on thin .063 aluminum; basically the most difficult stuff to weld. After running through an entire 125 cf tank of argon, and finding just the right settings, etc.... I decided to embark on my first welding fabrication project.... A new diffuser.
I had the stock diffuser in place with a few minor mods to help improve performance: https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f163...o-mods-221297/
... but wanted to create a single piece unit, of an optimized design.
The stock and aftermarket diffusers all use a basic flat ramped cross section, which limits the amount of expansion possible (diffuser angle), before the flow separates from the diffuser. I wanted to see if I used a curved gradually increasing cross section, how much air expansion I could get, before I got flow separation. I started by conducting some basic CFD analyses and it turns out, you can get quite aggressive with the ramping. But this type of design certainly creates fabrication challenges. So with my basic design layed out, I got some large sheets of .063 aluminum and went to work. The plasma cutter made cutting the curved pieces a breeze. But again, welding such thin aluminum takes practice, patience, and a good heat sink behind the material you are welding.
I also fab'd up a new low profile exhaust tip. Welding stainless steel is a breeze compared to that aluminum...
This is what I ended up with. I still have to install some black aluminum mesh to cover the exhaust/license plate bracket to give it a finished look...
Fortunately, being a complete novice at tig welding, much can be hidden with a grinder and flat black paint.... but overall I am very pleased with the result.
I think the next project will be a new front splitter, incorporating a front diffuser...