Next time you look at a building or another metal object, look to see if you can recognize the work of a welder. While welding is a process for fusing metal materials together, it’s much more than that. Welding is both a science and an art. The experienced welder is not only able to expertly fuse metal together in a variety of complex ways—when executed with precision, his work is on par with the brush strokes of an artist.
In the experienced welder’s arsenal of skills is TIG welding, or tungsten arc welding. TIG welding was developed in the mid-20th century by the aircraft industry. TIG welding is now among the most popular forms of welding because it produces high-quality welds, but it also requires a high level of skill.
As a welding company that offers TIG welding in Umatilla County, OR, we’ve learned a few best practices for mastering this type of weld. If you’re a welder looking to improve your skills, or someone who is just curious about welding, here are our top four tips to consider for TIG welding.
Keep it clean
While you should keep your metal surface clean when doing any type of welding, having a clean surface becomes even more important with TIG welding. Rust, oil and dirt should all be thoroughly removed before you begin. While the way you clean your surface depends on the type of metal you are working with, we typically recommend using a stainless steel brush.
Use the right tungsten
Not all tungsten electrodes are created equal, so the one you choose will make a difference in your TIG welding. While pure tungsten used to be the preferred option, thanks to advances in inverter technology, this is no longer the case. There are now rare earth tungsten electrodes, which contain elements such as lanthanum and cerium, that provide better quality than pure tungsten.
Keep it sharp
A dull tungsten electrode can cause your arc to wander or become wobbly. It’s important that you take the time to re-sharpen your electrode every time you stick it in the puddle. By keeping your electrode sharp, you can ensure that your arc is stable and that you get the right level of penetration.
Use the right polarity
When it comes to polarity, keep this one simple rule in mind: put your ground in the positive side and your torch lead in the negative side when you’re running TIG. There are, as with every rule, exceptions. If you’re working on magnesium or aluminum, flip your polarity to AC, but don’t change the leads.
While we’ve been doing TIG welding in Umatilla County, OR for more than three decades, we know there is always something new to learn in the industry. If you have any TIG welding tips to share, please comment below. And if you are in need of expert TIG welding services, be sure to call NW Metal Fabricators Inc., your local, family-owned welding company. For us, welding is more than a skill—it’s an art!
Categorised in: Welding
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