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As a basic description, we can say that 4043 is an aluminum filler alloy with 5% silicon added and that 5356 is an aluminum filler alloy with 5% magnesium added.
There are some misconceptions within the industry that you can successfully weld any aluminum base alloy with either 4043 or 5356 filler alloy. But this is not the case. However, there are many common structural aluminum base alloys, that can be welded with either 4043 or 5356. One such alloy is 6061.
One of the frequently asked questions from most of the welders is - When should we choose one of these filler alloys over the other?
When the filler alloy selection chart allows the use of either 4043 or 5356 as filler for a specific base alloy, as a guide, we may wish to consider the following facts about each of these filler alloys:
It is wise to use the filler alloy selection chart to assist with the selection of the most appropriate filler alloy to be used. It is also wise to conduct procedure qualification testing to evaluate the filler alloy selected to verify its performance characteristics.