How to Weld Using TIG Welding Process (Complete Guide)

If you want high-quality welding for the sectors like pipelines, pressure vessels, aviation, and food industry containers, then Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) is the right solution. This arc welding process uses a tungsten electrode for producing the weld. It uses argon as shielding gas for protecting the welding area from various types of contaminations. TIG method requires you to use both hands, one for holding the torch producing the arc and the other for adding the filler metal to the weld joint. So, it may be the most difficult method to learn. But it is the most versatile for use on different metals, including stainless steel and other non-ferrous metals like aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys. Although this process is slow, it produces the highest quality weld.

Principle of TIG Welding Process:

In the TIG process, the electric arc generates heat by playing in between the metals and an infusible tungsten-based electrode that exists in the welding torch. An inert or reducing gas shield covers the arc area to safeguard the electrode and the weld pool. The welder applies a rod like weld filler metal manually into the weld pool. TIG welding suits best to sheet materials that have thickness of 8 to 10 mm.

Why Use Tungsten for Welding:

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding uses Tungsten that is a very hard, a bit radioactive, and a fragile metal. Tungsten is getting used for the places that require a very high melting point or the requirements to flow the electricity at a high temperature. In TIG, manufacturers use Tungsten to make the non-consumable electrode for creating the arc. Tungsten metal allows the arc to maintain the temperature up to 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A very high melting point and an outstanding electrical conductivity don’t let the electrode to burn up.

How Does TIG Welding Work?

You can operate TIG welding both manually and mechanically. However, the process involves both hands for carrying the torch and the filler rod. An arc is always ready in between the edge of the electrode and the workpiece. The power source setting governs the current to flow. You will require a clamp to attach the torch with the ground cable.

TIG welding follows the process as mentioned below:

Determine an Electrode:

If you have an aluminum item to weld on, it is better to use a tungsten rod. Tungsten alloys suit greatly to the metal alloys.

Insert the Electrode into Its Collet:

In the second stage, you need to fill the rod after the back end of the electrode holder gets unscrewed. You can avoid this step if you have already used the electrode.

Manipulate the Settings:

TIG welder can run in three options, namely DCEN, DCEP, and AC. If you need to weld on an aluminum-based material, you better choose AC option; and set the ‘cleaning’ option as 7 out of 10 on the scale; and set the ‘max amps’ on around 250.

Turn on the Gas:

Gas gives the shield in welding and protects the weld pool from contamination. For aluminum, you should use argon, and for steel, it’s better to use the mixture of argon and carbon dioxide.

Prepare Welding Table and Metal:

If your working area is congested, it will be difficult to give precision to work. An un-extended area will lead to inconvenience, discomfort, and indifference towards the work. Furthermore, the metallic area should be large enough to flow the electricity properly.

Start Welding:

Now you are ready for the welding work. Experts suggest that you should not touch the metal with the electrode. Rather hold the electrode at least an inch away from the metal. As soon as the metal gets heated, you should start welding immediately from the edge of the object.

Tips for TIG Welding:

If you want the desired output, you can follow the tips mentioned as under:

  • Never touch the metal with tungsten. If it happens, you will experience a different color and sound that indicates polluted tungsten.
  • When the tungsten gets hot, you should loosen the rear cap to slip it out. Use a grinder for cleaning and reshaping the end of the tungsten.

When to Use TIG Welding Method:

So far, you are aware of the uniqueness of TIG welding, and it’s objective. But before you decide to use the technique, you need to know the prerequisites of the use. Under what circumstances you can apply the TIG welding method is a point of discussion below:

  • If the metal you have to work on is very thin and amperage setting is excessively low;
  • For manufacturing the racing cars;
  • For beautification;
  • For welding non-ferrous metals like copper, magnesium, and aluminum;
  • For getting a high-quality weld;
  • For welding thicker materials that require higher energy to get heat.

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Pros

  • Depending on your final application, you can use this process with or without filler wire.
  • It creates no welding smoke or residual.
  • It fits almost all metals and heterogeneous basic materials.
  • It’s a stable process, and you can apply it to all welding positions.
  • It provides a high quality of welding where defects are very rare.

Cons

  • It is costlier than other welding methods.
  • It takes a longer time to complete the job.
  • It requires slightly higher energy.
  • It requires a cleaner environment.

Conclusion:

It will be our great privilege if you find this article on TIG welding and its overall functionalities helpful. Last but not least, you should not work with something you are not that skillful. Know the objective of your welding machine and then start working.

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