Basics of TIG Welding Explained

TIG welding is the process of using electrical arcs with a nonconsumable tungsten electrode to create connections between metals. In order to create clean connections, a shielding gas is used in the area surrounding the workspace. TIG welding is also sometimes referred at as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW).

Uses of TIG Welding

TIG welding is most commonly used in projects which stainless steel or other light metals are present. Thin sections of these lightweight metals need a lighter welding touch so as not to destroy the integrity of the metal object or sheet. Those who weld note that TIG welding is a simpler process in terms of controlling the final results and the strength of the welds in the end. With stronger welds, the process is more effective, but it does take a longer time to complete. Some also find TIG welding to be more complicated to learn.

Equipment for TIG Welding

In order to use TIG welding in a project, you will need several pieces of equipment: power supply, electrode, welding torch, and shielding gases. The power supply needs to be constant as typically projects which use TIG welding need longer passes since the operator is the one holding the torch during the project. The voltage of the power source varies, depending on the project's needs and the materials being used. Alternating current is also used when variable temperatures are a concern. Alternating current prevents a buildup of heat. The electrode is made of tungsten since this material has the highest melting point and thus will not be damaged during the welding process. Tungsten alloys can also be used. The welding torch may be manually operated or automatic, depending on the operator's preference. The torch is made from metals like copper and brass which can transmit heat effectively. Shielding gases which are typically used include argon or helium, though argon is preferred.

Materials of TIG Welding

TIG welding can be used for nearly all metals, though it is typically used for aluminum, magnesium, and stainless steels. Lead and zinc are the two metals that TIG welding will not work with the process. Ideally, metals being joined should be similar in features so as to form a strong bond.

Types of TIG Welding

Hot wire, dabber, and pulsed-current TIG welding are all useful applications of the methods. Hot wire welding includes heating filler metals first before adding them to the welding pool. Dabber is used to place weld metals on thinner edges. For example, dabber might be used to build up blades on mowers and saws. Pulsed-current welding uses alternating current and works well in smaller and thinner projects.

How TIG Welding Works

In TIG welding, a constant power source will create the energy to be conducted over an arc which then goes through a column of gas and metal vapors in order to connect metals together.

TIG welding offers operators more control over the welding process and can allow you to weld in tighter spots than you might with other processes