Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding is utilized for high-precision welds. This form of welding was invented in the 1930s to make aircraft parts. TIG welding is a technique that’s used with a wide range of metals and alloys from copper, brass and titanium to stainless steel, aluminum and magnesium.
Among welding types, this is not the most popular, but it does have its uses.
How the TIG welding process works
This technique utilizes a tungsten rod as an electrode. The rod heats the base material using a puddle of molten metal which joins the pieces together. Argon or another inert gas is applied over the arc area to protect against oxidation of the electrode as well as the heat-affected zone and the weld pool. This process can be operated with no need for filler wire in the weld pool.
TIG welding is best known as being a clean and strong method among different types of welding. It’s a slower process but has high levels of integrity and versatility.
Pros and cons of TIG welding
The reason some welders prefer this process include:
- It can be used on a wide variety of metals and alloys like stainless steel and aluminum
- It creates a clean and aesthetically-pleasing result that doesn’t require grinding
- It doesn’t require much clean up because the shielding gas protects the weld pool, leading no slag to chip off after the product is finished
- This method can be utilized even on very thin materials
On the other hand, some criticize TIG welding for the following reasons:
- Metal inert gas (MIG) and TIG are both welding types that require an external gas supply, which will bump up costs
- The item being welded has to be completely clean and have no debris for a good weld to be possible
- TIG welding is a slow process that requires a skilled welder
Different types of welding
The two other types of welding include MIG welding and stick welding. MIG is an arc welding process that utilizes a solid-wire electrode which is heated and fed into the welding pool using a welding gun. This is a simple process that’s beginner friendly and can be used on many different types of metal. Because of the limited welding fumes, it’s also good for small spaces. That said, MIG welding can be expensive due to the use of external gas, and some find its weld isn’t the cleanest.
Stick welding is the most common form around. Utilizing a flux-coated welding rod, the electrode carries a current when it touches the base metal. This requires no external gas, but the chipping process at the end can result in projects taking longer.
We hope this guide to welding types proves helpful. Here at N.W. Metal Fabricators, Inc., we’re qualified to help you with any project. Our experienced welders have a track record in all techniques including TIG and stick welding. We’ve worked with steel and aluminum on everything from transistors to platforms to handrails and tanks. Contact us today to learn more and request a quote for your next project.
Categorised in: Welding
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