I have come across so many people confuse TIG welding with other practices like heliarc welding. What is TIG welding? In this case, the initials stand for Tungsten Inert gas. However, before, it was called TIG, its name was ‘Heliarc’ because when the process was invented, the gas that was being used was heliarc.
However, some experts discovered that argon was working better and called it TIG as inert gas could either refer to argon or helium. But wait a bit, other experts discovered that adding hydrogen on small amounts worked better for some details. The term ‘Inert” was no longer holding true and so the intellectuals agreed that there was a need for a new name.
Thus, the current technical name of what was referred to as Heliarc or TIG Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). However, we have so many people who still refer to it as Heliarc or even TIG.
In fact, more individuals refer to it as TIG Welding and not Gas Tungsten Arc Welding. You can get these services from Contract Manufacturing Specialists of Ohio.
What is TIG Welding
TIG welding refers to akin to gas welding because the welder holds the torch on one hand and manipulates the filler with the other hand. It is considered to be more difficult than the other processes of arc welding because it requires you to use both hands. In most cases, welders use a foot pedal amperage and this introduces an additional layer of difficulty.
The TIG torch can either be air-cooled or water-cooled and is designed to provide both welding currents as well as shielding gas through a tungsten electrode. A ceramic nozzle will direct the shielding gas to the welding puddle while internal copper parts such as the collet body and the collet hold the electrode in place. For very low amperage and where you need to pinpoint the arc, the tungsten electrode has to be sharpened for applications. The heat melts the metal making the welding puddle come from the arc that is created from the workpiece and the tungsten electrode. The welder shields the arc using helium, argon, or a mixture of the two. For certain alloys, sometimes, you add hydrogen in very small percentages to improve the flow of the puddle. The arc is very clean, quiet, and smooth when you use DC current. If you set the TIG welding machine on the alternating current, it is still smooth and clean but slightly noisier.
The Metals That Can be Used in the TIG Process
You can use almost any metal in TIG welding. You can weld low alloy steels and carbon such as 4130 chromoly steel and 1010 carbon steel, stainless steel such as 17-7ph, 321, and 304, Nickel alloys like Hastelloy X and iconel 718, magnesium alloys such as az31b, aluminum alloys such as 5052 and 6061, Titanium alloys such as 6a14v and commercially pure, Cobalt alloys such as 1605 and 6b, copper alloys such as pure copper and Nibral bronze using the TIG welding process.
Learning the TIG Welding Technique
Several websites out there offer the fundamentals for the TIG welding process. However, both practice and training are critical if you want to excel in practice. Therefore, you should get a website that has a reputable TIG welding expert. You can also use TIG training DVDs because some of them focus on using different types of materials. When learning how to TIG, practice is the main aspect that comes into control. When it comes to the metal that you are welding, you have to pay close attention to the element of clean. Here are some of the key instructions that TIG welders use to accomplish their tasks.
For nickel alloys, stainless steel, steel, and many other metals except magnesium and aluminum, you set the TIG welding machine to the direct current electrode negative i.e. DCEN straight polarity.
High frequency is always set to begin but the setting is inbuilt for newer inverters. Post flow is set to a minimum of 10 seconds, if equipped, the A/C balance is set to the DCEN default setting. Amperage and contractor switches are set to remote. Again, this setting is the default for newer inverters when you set the TIG mode.
For TIG aluminum welding, you will set the A/C balance to approximately 7, the polarity to A/C, and the high frequency to continuous. All the other machine settings above are similar to the TIG welding steel.
You should set this to approximately 15 cfh. The all-purpose shielding gas to virtually TIG weld anything is Argon. After getting some seat time, you may require some 50/50 helium/argon for the TIG welding aluminum.
There is water-cooled and air-cooled Tig torches. Besides, there are little ones and big ones for each. Generally speaking, smaller is always better some 100-amp air-cooled torches are bigger than water-cooled 250-amp tig torches. Bigger TIG torches are okay but they are harder to manipulate on tight spots. The best starting point could be something like A#7 tig cup.
For steel welding, the electrodes should be clean and sharp. A 4/12-inch sander or belt sander is just fine. In the case of aluminum TIG welding, round the tip using a sander and that will be all. 2% of thoriated tungsten electrodes can weld virtually everything. Thorium is radioactive and if you get this to be scaring, you can get 2% lanthanated as it can work for anything. Utilize the tiniest electrode that will reasonably accomplish the job. 1/16 tungsten electrodes work well up to approximately 90 amps. Above 90 amps, you will need 3/32. Anything above 200 amps will require 1/8 tungsten.
You can use 3 different TIG rods to work on 90% of everything that you can TIG weld. These include 4043 for welding aluminum, E70S2 for mild steel welding and 4130, and 308 for welding stainless.
There are all kinds of rods in the market for specific welding application but these three rods handle a large proportion of the TIG jobs that you do.
TIG Welding Technique
Hold the TIG torch as if it is a first-grade pencil as the ball of your hand rests on something like a table. Lean the torch backward approximately ten degrees and as you lift the tungsten tip about ¼ an inch off the metal, nod the welding metal down and then press the foot pedal. After establishing the arc, press the foot pedal to increase the heat until the thickness of your welding puddle gets to approximately 4 times the thickness that you are welding up to approximately 3/8-inch max. Try keeping the arc length (the distance between the puddle and electrode) to approximately the size of the electrode that you are using.
At this point, you now have to make good use of the welding technique. Move the puddle approximately 1/8 inch and then pause. Add some metal filler and then pause and so on and so on. This will help you to get a stack of dimes welding bead that is evenly rippled. If you carry out this step and pause the TIG welding technique in the right manner, you will get a stack of dime bead that is uniform. Even though it is an easy process, it takes a lot of seat time and practice.
When TIG welding, try maintaining a tip to puddle distance that is not more than the diameter of the electrode. You should keep the angle of the torch to ten degrees maximum. If the filler rod is balling up and tries blobbing in the puddle, refer to the tips above. For steel materials, keep so many sharp electrodes handy and then charge the electrodes after dipping the wick. Get some ER308, E70S2, and 4030 aluminum rods because they handle most of the TIG jobs. For American residents, Contract Manufacturing Specialists of Ohio offer the best TIG welding solutions.
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