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TIG Welding-GTAW
Mar 11, 2016

 

Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), also known as tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, is an arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The weld area is protected from atmospheric contamination by an inert shielding gas (argon or helium), and a filler metal is normally used, though some welds, known as autogenous welds, do not require it. A constant-current welding power supply produces electrical energy, which is conducted across the arc through a column of highly ionized gas and metal vapors known as a plasma.
 
GTAW is most commonly used to weld thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys. The process grants the operator greater control over the weld than competing processes such as shielded metal arc welding and gas metal arc welding, allowing for stronger, higher quality welds. However, GTAW is comparatively more complex and difficult to master, and furthermore, it is significantly slower than most other welding techniques. A related process, plasma arc welding, uses a slightly different welding torch to create a more focused welding arc and as a result is often automated.

 

Another advantage of TIG welding is that it used in tighter spots then other welding methods. It can also be used to weld small objects and thin metals, which is why this welding method is used in the electronics industry. TIG welding also offers very clean weld quality over other methods, with very little splatter or slag. And because it's very versatile, this method can be used to weld almost any metal into almost any configuration.

It is the preferred method when high quality welds are extremely important, such as in the aircraft and naval industries. Plasma arc welding, which is a related process, still utilizes a tungsten electrode, but plasma gas is used to form the arc. Plasma is harder to control and is typically used in a automated or mechanized process.

TIG welding does have some drawbacks, however. It’s one of the more complicated and harder to learn welding techniques, and it’s relatively slow compared to other processes. This is another case of matching the welding process to the work that needs to be performed. If you need more welding speed, or you’re not working with light or thin metals, or you’re relatively new to welding, you might be better served using another technique.

Bear in mind that oxy-acetylene welding rods are compatible with TIG welding. You'll want to use a small diameter tungsten rod. These rods are generally 36" in length, and some common diameters are 1/16", 3/32" and 1/8". youbestwelding

 

 

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