TIG stands for tungsten inert gas welding that uses a tungsten electrode that has a high melting point. It is a non-consumable electrode, so it will not melt during the whole welding process. Apart from TIG, other methods use consumable electrodes.
Although TIG is an attractive and appealing process, on the other hand, it’s a tougher process than other welding methods. Many corporate sectors are dependent on this process like the pipe industry, containers, automakers, fabricators, and aviation because it produces high quality and clean output.
Have you ever thought about how TIG welding works if you are a metal worker, hobbyist, or interested in welding? If not, then I’m going to explain the whole process in detail.
How does TIG welding work?
TIG works by melting the base metal, which is the workpiece that makes up the two pieces to be joined. This method involves a significant amount of heat to workpieces, in the form of an electric arc, to melt and fuse them. An electric tig torch is used with the electrode to produce arc. When an arc hits the metal, it forms a molten weld pool. If you are using a filler rod, then the wire of rod will be dipped into the weld pool and it will be consumed during the process.
You will think, what’s the role of argon gas in this process? The inert shielding gas will protect the weld pool and electrode from atmospheric impurities. Many folks use pure argon gas because of its compatibility with other metals and effective shield. You can mix hydrogen or helium with argon gas for more amperage and heat of the weld.
You can see the tungsten electrode in the tig torch. The tungsten slips into a collet and the collet tightens up against the collet body. You can set the length that the electrode sticks out of the holder by loosening up the end cap. Tightening the end cap results in collet clamps down on the electrode. Small holes in copper collet allow inert gas transfer to surround the tungsten during the welding process. As explained earlier, gas will protect tungsten from oxygen vapors in the air.
The distinctive and conspicuous aspect is that you can adjust the quantity of heat with the help of a foot pedal according to your needs. This heat control is beneficial in the welding of aluminum and thin metals. Therefore, GTAW is perfect for aluminum welding.
What points should I remember?
Here are a few points that should be in your mind before and during the welding process.
All welding methods can be dangerous to you if you avoid wearing safety gear. The TIG process involves too much heat and inert gas, so helmets, gloves, boots, and jackets should be with you. Take all the safety tools in the toolkit.
Don’t touch the electrode with the metal. Their contact will contaminate the tungsten. Otherwise, you will need to replace the tungsten.
The current type and amount depend on the metal. Steel metals need different amounts of current, and aluminum requires different amounts of amperes. Before starting, check twice that you are welding with the proper current.
Clean the metal surfaces with a brush before welding. Any contaminants or pollutants will degrade the quality of the weld. You may use a brush or grinder for cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the difference between non-consumable and consumable electrodes?
Consumable electrodes merge in the weld and create a strong weld. Mainly, these are used in stick, MIG, and flux-cored welding. These include light-coated, shielded arc, and heavy-coated electrodes. Non-consumable tungsten electrodes are not absorbed during welding. It is used in TIG welding at the melting point of 6000 F.
Q2. Can I use any other gas for TIG welding?
The inert shielding gas (argon) is the common gas for welding. It’s not recommended to use any other gas for welding but you can mix hydrogen or helium with argon gas.
Q3. What are the downsides of TIG welding?
Here are its few drawbacks: Need much practice, more complex than other methods, tig units are expensive, slower process, and difficult for starters.
Tig welding requires passion, practice and skill for complete grip. If you are an industrial worker, you can get big projects with this skill. If you are a beginner, it’s recommended to learn tig welding from any school or a senior welder.
I hope it is clear that how tig welding works. Put your effort into learning the techniques; you will be able to draw amazing products with it.
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