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What is TIG Welding & How Does It Work?

TIG welding is a process of fusing two pieces of metal together using a tungsten electrode and an inert gas. It is also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). This process is used in metal fabrication and metalwork projects. These include TIG welding pipes, pressure vessels, and structural components. With the help of a TIG welding machine, welders are able to produce high-quality welds with minimal distortion and spatter. The process requires skill and precision as it involves controlling the heat input. This ensures that the weld is strong enough for its intended use. Click here to find out more about how to TIG weld.

Types of TIG Welders & Their Benefits.

TIG welding is a versatile, precise welding process offering advantages in many industries. There are several different types of TIG welder machine available, each one suited to a specific application. AC/DC TIG welders are the most common type, and are great for general fabrication work and aluminium TIG welding. TIG welders with pulse provide greater control over the arc length and heat input. This makes them ideal for thin materials. Inverter welders are more portable than traditional machines. So they're ideal for use in locations with space limitations. No matter what type of welding project you have in mind, there is likely a TIG welder that will suit your needs.

What Are the Different Types of Materials That Can be Used in TIG Welding?

TIG welding is a type of arc welding that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to heat the metal and create a weld. It is popular because it produces high-quality welds with minimal distortion and spatter. The process can be used on almost any metal, including carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminium. As well as copper alloys, nickel alloys and titanium. Different types of materials need different techniques and equipment to produce quality welds.

Can You TIG Weld Cast Iron?

Cast iron can be TIG welded under certain circumstances. Cast iron is prone to cracking due to its high carbon content and brittle nature. TIG welding can reduce these problems by using a preheating method and slow cooling process. It is recommended to use a filler material suitable for cast iron and adopt proper techniques to avoid any issue. Always seek professional help or refer to relevant welding guides before attempting TIG welding on cast iron.

Can You TIG Weld Copper?

Yes, TIG welding (also known as GTAW) can be used to weld copper. Copper is a highly conductive material that is commonly used in electrical applications. TIG welding is well-suited for welding thin sheets or sections of copper. But, it can be tricky to weld copper using TIG because of it's conductive nature. It requires precise control of the weld pool to avoid overheating the material. Copper filler rod and specialized welding techniques may need to be used in order to achieve a successful weld.

Understanding the Different Components & Settings in a TIG Welder.

TIG welding is a complex process that requires knowledge of the different components and settings to be successful. Understanding the settings in a TIG welder can help achieve better results when welding aluminium, stainless steel, and other metals. For example, when TIG welding aluminium, you will need the polarity set to AC. Gas flow rate is recommended at 15-20l/min of pure argon, and the electrode pure tungsten or 2% thoriated/1.5% lanthanated. For best results, torch angle should be 10-15° from vertical, and travel speed should be steady. Fast enough to avoid burn through, but slow enough to create optimal fusion. For TIG welding stainless steel, DC polarity is used to create a more stable arc. High heat input is needed to ensure a clean and strong weld, with a high flow rate of 10-15l/min to avoid contamination. Prior to welding, clean the stainless steel surface with a stainless steel wire brush to remove any impurities and oxidation.

Key Features to Look For When Buying a TIG Welder.

When it comes to welding, a TIG welder is one of the most versatile and powerful tools you can have. It can be used for a variety of welding jobs, from metal fabrication to automotive repair. But with so many models on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? To help you make an informed decision, here are some key features to look for when buying a TIG welder:

  • Power output: Consider the amperage output of the TIG welder. Ensure that the TIG welder has enough power to handle your intended welding projects.
  • AC/DC capabilities: If you plan on welding with aluminium, you will need a TIG welder with alternating current (AC) capabilities. For welding steel and other materials, you will need a direct current (DC) TIG welder.
  • Duty cycle: TIG welders come with different duty cycles, which determine the length of time the machine can run before it needs to cool off. Look for a TIG welder with a high duty cycle to ensure you can complete your projects without frequent breaks.
  • Ease of use: Choose a TIG welder that is easy to use and offers adjustable settings for amperage, pre and post-flow, pulse, and AC balance.
  • Portability: A lightweight and compact TIG welder is easier to move around, especially if you plan on taking it to different job sites.
  • Welding accessories: Look for a TIG welder that comes with all the necessary accessories. Including the torch, foot pedal, gas regulator, and ground clamp.
  • Brand reputation and warranty: Choose a TIG welder from a reputable brand with a solid warranty. This ensures that your investment lasts and you can rely on the company for repairs or replacement parts if needed.

Comparing Different Brands of TIG Welders on the Market Today.

It is important to consider factors such as budget, welding requirements, and personal preferences when selecting a TIG welding brand. Some of the most reputable brands of TIG welder include Lincoln, ESAB, Miller, Fronius, and EWM. Fronius are one of the leaders in technology and industrial TIG welding, with a price tag to match. Lincoln, ESAB and Miller offer various machines at different price points depending on your need. TIG welders from brands such as Cebora and GYS offer good value for money.

TIG Welder vs MIG Welder.

Tig welding and Mig welding are two different types of welding processes used for different materials and applications. The main difference between the two is the method used to create the arc used to weld. Tig welding uses a tungsten electrode to create an arc between the electrode and the metal being welded. Mig welding uses a wire fed through a spool, which is melted to create the weld.

Tig welding is typically used for welding thinner materials, like stainless steel or aluminium, where precise, low-heat welding is required. It produces the highest quality weld, but it's also the slowest process and requires a more skilled welder.

Mig welding, on the other hand, is faster and easier to learn than tig welding, making it the go-to method for welding thicker materials like steel. Mig welding is also better suited for mass production and industrial applications where speed is essential.

In summary, if you need to produce high-quality, intricate welds on thin or delicate materials, tig welding is the better choice. If you need to weld thicker materials quickly and efficiently, mig welding may be the better option.

Which Gas is Used for TIG Welding?

The gas typically used for TIG welding is argon. However, argon mixtures with helium, hydrogen, or oxygen may also be used depending on the specific application. Can you TIG weld without gas? No, as TIG welding requires a shielding gas to protect the weld from oxidation and other atmospheric contaminants. Without gas, the weld would not be of good quality and could be weak and porous.

Got a TIG welder you're looking to sell? Do you know we offer part exchanges on our welding machines? For a professional, hassle-free sale, click here to send details of your surplus TIG welder to our friendly buying team, today!

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