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What You Need to Successfully TIG Weld

What You Need to Successfully TIG Weld

TIG welding requires the most pieces of equipment out of any welding process. Making sure you have what you need and that you’re using it correctly can make or break a welding project. One of the main principles for TIG welding is control. Each part of your TIG welding set up will help you better control your welding projects.

TIG Torches

Most TIG torches that come with welders are air cooled. However, some welders who work at higher temperatures prefer to use a water cooled torch that brings faster relief from the heat of welding. Welders tend to be divided about the necessity of a water-cooled torch, but those who use them say they make life easier for them.

Another feature of TIG torches is greater control on the torch handle itself. Since one hand is tied up with feeding the filler metal during TIG welding, a torch with all of the settings you need can help you control the heat input for your job.

Choosing Your Electrode

The best electrode for your job will provide enough current to make a clean, strong weld, but it will also make it easy to strike an arc and provide a stable arc while welding. The type of metal and weld joint will determine the kind of electrode you choose as well.

Although TIG electrodes are considered “non-consummable,” they will burn off over time. The less burn off, the better your weld will be. This is why long-lasting thoriated electrodes are popular, even though they give off radioactive dust when ground down. Be sure to wear a respirator when using these electrodes.

Lanthanated electrodes offer many of the same benefits as thoriated, and they do not have radioactive elements in them. Ceriated are also excellent choices since they function well at low amperages and provide easy arc starts. All three of the electrodes mentioned here can be used for AC or DC welding.

Grinding Wheel

A grinding wheel is an essential accessory for TIG welding since the electrode needs to be ground down to either a ball or a tip depending on your project. Grinding wheels need to be kept clean of contaminants that could ruin the electrode. When done grinding, be sure to wipe off your electrodes with a cloth that won’t leave any residue on the electrode.

Shielding Gas

The main difference between the various shielding gas mixtures for TIG welding is the heat transfer that each gas permits. Helium is often used for thicker metals because it transfers more heat than pure argon. For thinner metals such as aluminum, a mixture of helium and argon will prevent the weld from becoming too hot.

Ed C.


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