What is TIG Welding?
What Is TIG Welding?
TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding is a common type of arc welding process that uses an electric arc with a TIG electrode. This electrode is made with tungsten that doesn’t burn off or dissolve when subjected to heat.
Unlike MIG welding where a continuous wire is fed through, TIG welding usually does not use a filler to fuse metals. It uses a handheld gun with long rods instead. Hence, it gives the welder more precision control, making it ideal for micro welding or fusing small and thin materials.
Like MIG welding, TIG welding also needs an inert shielding gas to protect the weld’s integrity, and the electrode and weld joint from airborne contaminants. However, it requires highly specialized training and takes longer to do than MIG welding. But if done right, the weld assembly comes out stronger and cleaner.
TIG welding is suitable for a wide range of non-ferrous materials like alloy steels, carbon steels, and alloys of copper, nickel, stainless, aluminum, titanium, and magnesium.
Many industries heavily rely on TIG welding for their manufacturing processes because of its ability in welding thin sheet metals with great precision. Industries like aerospace, automotive, power generation, food and beverage, petrochemical, and nuclear benefit from its capability to do meticulous jobs that require incisiveness.
From metal piping to guided missiles, TIG welding is a valuable fabrication process that binds and secures with a high level of reliability.
Gases Used in TIG Welding
The strength and aesthetics of a weld heavily depend on the type of shielding gas used. For TIG welding, argon, helium, and the mixture of the two result in good quality weld work.
This shielding gas in pure form is preferred because it protects the molten metal from oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen that can result in poor weld formation and appearance. Being a noble inert gas, it does not react to metal and so it preserves the proper form of the metal fusion.
With its easy ionization property, argon also helps set up and stabilize the arc even when you need an extended arc length.
Helium is also used for TIG welding due to its inert properties, high heat capacity, and deep weld penetration. It is usually applied to welding thick parts of aluminum, magnesium alloys, and copper—metals known for their high heat conductivity.
Argon and Helium Mixture
TIG welders sometimes use a mixture of helium and argon to save on costs (helium costs more than argon). The compound’s usual ratio is 75% He and 25% Ar. Less helium in the blend could result in lower penetration and poor weld quality.
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