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Overview of TIG Welding

Person TIG welding

TIG welding is somewhat similar to Mig welding except it can weld a larger variety of metals and is great for creating art as well. TIG welding allows you to weld steel, stainless steel, Chromalloy, aluminum, nickel alloys, magnesium, copper, brass, bronze, and even gold. It is great for home, building things, repair, or even automotive welding.

TIG welding creates a high quality clean weld, which makes it ideal for when appearance counts. You do not need to concern yourself with sparks or splatter because you only use the necessary amount of filler metal needed in the welding puddle. Because you do not need flux due to the Argon gas used, (most common gas used with TIG welders) there is no slag to block your view of your weld puddle. Another benefit of TIG welding is you do not need to change gas source for different jobs. Argon gas can weld any metal at any thickness with TIG welding.

As long as the metal you are welding is free of any oil, grease, paint, zinc, or lead TIG welding does not create any harmful fumes or smoke, however for a good weld the metals do need to be clean prior to welding. Like Mig welding, with TIG welding you can also weld in any position, and safer in the majority of situations then with Mig welding. However, proper safety gear as suggested by the manufacture should still be worn. With any welding, there are always risks of injury.

Some common problems that TIG welders come across are generally fairly simple to correct. If you are burning through tungsten to quickly, it could be due to inadequate gas flow, you are operating on electrode positive rather then negative, using the wrong size tungsten for task, or you are using gas containing oxygen or CO2 instead of Argon gas to name just a few. If your gas flow is incorrect check your hose, gas valve, and torch to make sure they are not restricted or kinked, and check the tank to make sure you are not out or close to out of gas. For most operations of TIG welding your gas flow should be set at 15 to 20 cfh. The general size tungsten used for general-purpose welds is 3/32″ at 220 amps maximum.

Tungsten comes in 5 commonly used grades that are color coded. The pure grade is color coded green and provides a good arc stability for arc welding and is the least expensive. The Ceriated is color coded orange and also has a easy arc starting, good arc stability, and longevity. Thoriated is color coded red and has a higher current capacity then the Ceriated and has a high resistance to weld pool contamination, however it is more difficult to maintain balled end on AC. Lanthanated is color coded gold and is similar to thoriated. Zirconiated is color coded brown and is probably the most preferred over all of them. It is excellent for AC welding. The higher quality tungsten will always give you the best results. You may pay a little more, but your work will definitely show it.



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