Last updated on June 21st, 2023
TIG welding is an advanced form of welding technique that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create a weld. However, many people don’t know the diversity of its application.
So, if you are also a beginner and wondering about what you can weld with a TIG welder, then you have come to just the right place.
In this post, I will be sharing with you all the details about the applications of TIG welding, including the metals you can weld through this technique.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive into the details of metals you can weld with a TIG welder.
Metals You Can Weld With TIG Welding
Although TIG welding can be used to weld any metal, it is not widely used for general applications. Why? TIG welding is slower and more expensive, which limits its usage for only complex operations and exotic metals.
So, you won’t prefer this method unless you need a high-quality weld with maximum precision and cleanliness. In terms of weld quality, TIG welding is definitely one of a kind.
Welding aluminum through conventional methods is next to impossible because of a number of reasons.
Aluminum is a lightweight metal that has tons of applications today in almost every industry. However, without TIG welding, the metal would not have been as popular.
Yes, you can also weld Aluminum using a MIG welder, but the quality of weld you get with a TIG welder is exceptional.
The welding technique is precise and clean, which ensures that the joint between aluminum is perfect for complex projects.
So, when using conventional methods, the pure aluminum underneath the oxide layer would melt before the top layer, which will result in a poor-quality weld.
TIG welding was able to solve this problem by using the Alternating Current welding method. The alternating current switches the positive electrode (EP) and a negative electrode (EN) many times.
The EP phase breaks the oxide layer on the top and the EN phase penetrates to join the aluminum. Since both of them are constantly alternating, you get a perfect quality weld.
Welding Magnesium is very similar to aluminum but does come with a difference.
Yes, you can weld magnesium with TIG welding, using the Alternating Current setting, because just like aluminum, magnesium is also susceptible to oxidation as soon as it comes in contact with the air and it will create an oxide layer on the top.
You can also use MIG welding to weld magnesium, but the results are not as exceptional or high quality as TIG welding.
MIG welding is preferred when you are working with thicker layers of magnesium.
I mean just think about it. Magnesium is an expensive metal that is used in airplane engine parts. So, you would want the highest quality welds and leave no room for error. What better way to achieve that than with TIG welding?
Stainless steel is a popular choice for many applications because of its corrosion resistance, high strength-to-weight ratio, and beautiful appearance.
Yes, you can weld this metal using other methods, but not only the heat from the welding process will warp, distort, discolor, or affect the corrosion-resistant ability of the metal.
Not only this, these methods will lead to an aesthetically poor weld, which will affect the appearance of the metal in HAZ (heat-affected zone). If you were selecting the metal for its aesthetic appeal, then you would not want it anymore.
That’s the problem that TIG welding solves. The TIG welding process has accurate heat input control with pulse welding technology. This technology allows the welder to alternate between high and low amperage easily many times per second.
Hence, welders are able to work with a precise and more focused arc, while keeping the heat to a minimum. The perfect concentration will create the ideal joint without affecting any of the characteristics of the metal.
Adding to this, stainless steel has the ability to retain heat, which means it can become increasingly hot as you weld it continuously.
With a TIG welder, you have a foot pedal or controller in hand that allows you to manage input to control this aspect of heat.
Hence, you will get precise and clean welds that not only will retain the original properties of the metal but will also keep its aesthetic appeal intact.
Other than stainless steel, you can also use the TIG welding process to weld multiple alloys of steel. The precise heat and arc control provides limitless applications with every alloy metal.
TIG welding produces strong and precise welds with these alloys that have the ability to withstand high stress and strain.
The technique of TIG welding and the settings on the machine will depend on what type of steel alloy you are welding. There are several of them that include alloying elements of manganese, chromium, cobalt, silicon, molybdenum, and tungsten.
Adding to this, you can also use this method to weld carbon steel. You can use DC settings on the TIG welder, which ensures maximum weld quality and keeps the aesthetic appeal intact.
When working with low, medium, or high-carbon steel, TIG welding is preferred because of its versatility, high quality, and preciseness.
Copper is a highly conductive metal with tons of applications in almost every industry. The ability of copper to conduct heat is even better than aluminum.
However, that probably becomes a downside when you are welding this metal. You will require high heat input to create the joint and also to keep the weld pool moving.
Not to mention that copper oxidizes quickly. So, you will need to move more quickly with the welding.
Now, I did mention that TIG welding is a bit slower than other welding processes, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot make it faster.
TIG stands for tungsten inert gas welding and inert gas has a significant role to play, especially in achieving welding quality and speed.
By using helium, instead of argon in the welding of copper, you are able to increase the heat input significantly, which allows you to achieve higher welding speeds in this specific scenario.
The precise control of heat, the accuracy of the arc, and the perfect shielding gas allow you to achieve the best results while welding copper with a TIG welder.
Titanium is one of the strongest metals, but also highly susceptible to contamination and oxygen reactions. So, it needs a welding process that is not only precise but also protects it from contamination.
Adding to this, while welding Titanium, especially thin layers, you rarely require filler material.
As you must already know, TIG welding is the only process that does not require filler material to create a joint. It has a precise arc generated from a non-consumable tungsten electrode.
Since, the electrode does not have to touch the metal to create the weld pool, the risk of contamination while welding with this technique is already very low.
Adding to this, the shielding gas used by the welding machine compensates for the rest and provides perfect protection to the weld pool both from contamination and from oxidizing reactions.
Hence, you will be able to weld Titanium with TIG welding easily and achieve high-quality results. The resulting joint will be clean and also perfect in appearance.
Other Non-Ferrous Metals
Non-ferrous metals are not only expensive but also require the most careful handling, especially during the welding process. Gold, nickel, bronze, silver, and brass can be welded using a TIG welder.
Yes, I know that there are now modern ways to weld these metals like a laser that is much more effective and provides better results.
But compared to these methods, TIG welding is not only more accessible but also a bit cost-efficient. It will provide the best results and help you create cleaner and more precise welds.
You can use the micro-TIG welding process for gold and other techniques for welding other non-ferrous metals.
Applications of TIG Welding
TIG welding is a versatile technique and has tons of welding applications. Many industries rely on TIG welding processes to get the best results when welding.
If you are new to TIG welding and thought it to be an old welding method, then you cannot be more wrong. With time, TIG welding has evolved as well and is still one of the most widely used and highly appreciated welding techniques.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the prominent industries where TIG welding plays a vital role:
TIG welding is widely used in the aerospace industry to weld parts of aircraft, helicopters, and spaceships. The ability of TIG welders to produce clean and precise welds makes it essential for this industry.
Through TIG welding, it is ensured that the welds in aerospace engineering are of the highest quality and have no room for error. The versatility of TIG welding allows it to be used for a variety of metal alloys.
Also, the shielding gas usage and ability to weld without using filler material make TIG welding perfect for welding thinner sheets of metals.
TIG welding also has plenty of applications in the automotive industry. It is used for welding exhaust systems, fuel tanks, and other parts that are made of stainless steel, aluminum, and other metals.
The welding techniques allow you to make high-quality join welds that are not only clean but also aesthetically pleasing. So, cars that need intense medication for luxury appearance can’t use a better technique.
Construction applications of this welding technique are also numerous. You can use it to weld stainless steel handrails, metal stairs, and other structural components.
You will get high-quality and strong welds that have the ability to withstand the heavy stress of construction and lifetime usage.
It is one of the most trusted methods for nuclear projects. Although TIG is not a perfect method, it has the ability to create clean welds because of its extreme quality control and arc precision.
TIG welding has played an important role in building and repairing many nuclear power plants.
Building bicycles is a complex and highly specialized skill that requires putting together steel and aluminum pipes with almost perfect precision.
To get the desired results for the best performance, you need the perfect welding technique that has the ability to create clean, precise, accurate, and corrosion-resistant welds. Nothing can be better than TIG in this regard.
Surgical instruments and medical machinery require utmost precision and accuracy. No mistakes can be made here or lives will be at risk. So, a precise and clean method like TIG welding is the best bet in this industry.
Art and Sculpture Industry
Have you ever seen metal sculptures of modern art? They are truly majestic, aren’t they? And their aesthetic appeal is beyond exceptional.
Well, the secret behind those sculptures is TIG welding. This technique allows metal sculptors to create perfect welds that are clean and aesthetically appealing.
Food and Beverage Industry
Due to strict sanitary and hygiene guidelines, the food and beverage industry cannot afford to let any sort of contamination get in, especially from their machinery. So, this welding technique plays an important role in the production of those machines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which material is TIG welding suitable for?
It is a versatile welding technique that can be used for a wide range of welding materials. You can weld almost all kinds of metals, even non-ferrous metals and alloys with this technique.
What is the best use of a TIG welder?
It is used for creating high-quality and precise welds on delicate materials. You should use it wherever the cleanliness of welds, aesthetic retention, or high level of purity is required in welding.
What are the disadvantages of TIG welding?
TIG welding is slower as compared to other methods. They come with a bit of a learning curve, so one just cannot start TIG welding from scratch and needs to learn the proper method. Also, TIG welding has a higher cost for both the machine and consumables.
What is MIG welding used for?
MIG welding is generally used for welding thicker materials. It is a faster process than TIG welding and is also widely used where a high level of productivity is required. However, in terms of cleanliness and quality, TIG takes the lead.
Is TIG welding better than MIG welding?
The choice will depend on the specific application and material being welded. For delicate materials that require precision and cleanliness, TIG is better, while for thicker materials and high speed, MIG is preferred.
To sum it all up, TIG welding is a high-quality and precise welding technique that has tons of applications. The versatile nature of this method allows it to be used for a wide range of metals and also in several industries.
In simple words, whenever you are looking for a high-quality weld that is corrosion resistant or you are looking to weld thin and delicate metal sheets or equipment, and cleanliness is your priority, then TIG is the way to go.
TIG welding is not a perfect method and does come with some downsides, such as slow welding speed, not being suitable for welding thicker materials, and high cost of machinery and consumables, but in terms of quality, preciseness, and cleanliness of weld, nothing can beat this technique.
If you have any questions or want to share something, you can drop it in the comments section below and I will get back to you. Happy Welding!
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