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What’s TIG Welding – Definition, Benefits, Applications & its Working

Let’s start with what is a TIG welder? Meaning of TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding or GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) is, it does the welding process using a non-consumable tungsten electrode. It is a fireproof tungsten welding technology. The substrate is heated by forming an arc between a tungsten electrode and the project piece in this approach.

Welders employ shielding gas and may or may not use filler metals in this technique. Therefore, welding current, travel speed, arc voltage, arc length, and shielding gasifier are all important factors in TIG welding. After the TIG welding program is finished, the tungsten and welding fluid are normally cooled with inert gas, argon. This cooling procedure is critical because it ensures your safety and protects you from unintentional incidents.

What is a TIG Welder? (History, Versatility of TIG Welding)

TIG welding was invented in the 1940s to solve a welding difficulty in the aircraft industry. It is a tricky manual procedure requiring both of the welder’s hands, one to wield the torch and the other to add filler metal to the working weld joint. This slows down the process compared to more automated welding, but it is known for producing the finest quality and most adaptable bonding.

Compared to rival welding techniques, TIG welding equipment necessitates a high level of operator awareness and synchronization, leading to improved operator control. To create a welding arc, a TIG welding machine uses electricity from a steady power source, albeit the quality of the arc can be influenced by both the operator and the processing equipment in use. Tungsten, for example, the principal component of a TIG welding electrode, comes in various compositions, depending on the intended outcomes.

TIG Welding Advantages and Disadvantages

TIG welding is primarily used to join a variety of metallic components. Nickel, titanium, aluminum, copper, and alloys can all be welded using this method. However, TIG welding has some disadvantages, even though it is beneficial for high-quality welding.

Pros

TIG welding, like MIG welding, requires the use of high-quality equipment. When the parts and equipment you employ supply you with various benefits, you get an accurate result.

  1. Remarkable Accuracy: This visually beautiful tool delivers fine accuracy, allows temperature control, and reduces splashing. In addition, the arc is translucent because of the inert gas insulating, allowing the welder to see the work and electrode in the weld puddle.
  2. A Wide Range of Positions and Applications: TIG welding can be used on a wide variety of materials for various applications, such as industrial equipment, furniture, vehicles, and more.
  3. Metal Welding that is Extremely Difficult: Tantalum and other compounds require a high melting point. Therefore, TIG welding has two compartments dedicated to refractory metals such as tungsten, molybdenum, niobium, and titanium.
  4. Non-perishable Electrodes: TIG welding is capable of consistently producing flawless welds. It is not necessary to stop the tool from replacing the electrode regularly. Some consumable welding equipment needs you to turn off the machine beforehand. However, at this point, a TIG welder is unrivaled.

Cons

This machine has a number of drawbacks or risks, including radiation and welding fumes. On the other hand, the welding process takes a long time, needs specialized equipment, and is expensive.

  1. It’s a Time-Eating Process: As previously said, this procedure takes a long time to complete. The TIG welding machine is lower than any other welding machine available when it comes to speed and duration. Furthermore, the filler deposition rate in this equipment is substantially lower.
  2. Difficult Appliances: This machine’s sophisticated gadgets always necessitate the assistance of an expert. In addition, because the machine is designed to work with thin materials, it necessitates the use of highly competent welders.
  3. The Price of Inert Gas: Compared to any flux material used in various types of welding, this machine’s inert gas is extremely expensive. It also necessitates thorough cleaning before use because the inert gas has no cleaning activity.

What is TIG Welding used for? (Main Applications)

TIG welding is used in various sectors to build or repair metallic goods due to its wide application with various metals and alloys. Let’s check out what can you weld with a TIG welder.

1. The Aerospace Industry

Parts of aircraft and spacecraft are composed of magnesium metal. TIG welding is commonly employed in its fabrication because of its great precision and incomparable strength. TIG welding allows delicate airplane parts and the plane’s skin to be fused while maintaining the plane’s highly desired aesthetic appeal. Consequently, welding aircraft parts use this procedure the most.

2. Craft and Art

It’s all about the appealing and enticing finishing in art. Sculptures and industrial fixes require a smooth finish to improve their visual look. TIG welding is the preferred method when creating a piece of art. Technique’s popular among artists because it works best with thin metals, resulting in a robust structure with a clean texture.

3. Automobile Industry

Automobiles are built with safety in mind at all times. This assures that the vehicles will withstand the test of time while still performing their function. Making rust-resistant metal fusion is one of the benefits of TIG welding. This ability is commonly used in the automobile industry to prevent critical vehicle parts from rusting. It also strengthens the bond, making it more durable and hence safer.

4. The Food Processing Industry

The food production industry is required by ISO 22000 to use stainless steel in its processing and production processes. The optimum welding procedure for creating and repairing stainless steel machinery and packing material has been TIG welding. This is a must-have piece of food industry tech expertise.

5. Construction and Building

Construction has evolved from simple building blocks and mortar to more complicated and efficient methods that accommodate materials such as aluminum and steel in this day and age. Skyscrapers were the forerunners of this change. The TIG welding process creates these aluminum glass panels and steel staircase rails.

How Does TIG Welding Work?

  • A non-consumable tungsten electrode forms an arc between the metal parts to be welded together in TIG welding. 
  • This arc is extremely hot, with temperatures reaching over 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The two sections practically melt together as a result of this.
  • Meanwhile, the torch emits an inert gas, usually argon, to protect the weld zone from contamination.
  • Filler metal can be used for TIG welding; however, it is not required. Welding two components together without filler metal are possible. 
  • On the other hand, Filler metal will melt in the arc and solidify, uniting the two parts.
  • The tungsten electrode is contained within the torch, and the tip will be in contact with the metals you’re welding. 
  • A foot pedal will control the machine, and when you press it, the gas will begin to escape, and the electrical current will run, allowing you to make an arc.

Things Required for Gas TIG Welding

Welding Torch or Gun

Torches range from compact air-cooled models to heavy-duty water-cooled models. The torch or gun used in TIG welding should be small, light, and completely insulated. Shielding gas is delivered to the arc area by Torch and Gun. Water hose pipe, gas, and cable make up the torch assembly.

Gas Regulator

A regulator is an electromechanical device that automatically reduces pressure and controls the flow of pressurized gas through valves.

Flow-Meter

A hand-operated needle valve regulates the argon inflow from 0-600 liters per hour to 0-2,200 liters per hour, depending on the type of operation.

Gas Economiser

When the torch is suspended from the projecting lever on the device, the argon gas and water flow are cut off to cease the activity.

Water Hose-Pipe

This should have a big aperture to prevent static pressure in the cooling water and torch flow. Water-cooled torches require a constant supply of cool, pure water.

Nozzle

Ceramic, metal, fused quartz, and dual-shield nozzles are utilized in TIG welding. Ceramic nozzles are more common, yet correctly used water-cooled metal nozzles have greater durability.

On a note, while performing welding, welders must use a set of safety equipment which includes Gloves, Heat Resistant Jacket, Welding Pants, Helmet with Best Eye Protection, Boots and Ear Protection.

Conclusion

Hope you got the complete information on what is a TIG welder, applications, pros and cons, etc. You may choose the best TIG welding gas and equipment for any welding position in today’s world. Also, for manual, semi-automatic, and automatic systems. When TIG welding, it’s critical to have a solid working connection with your gas cylinder provider to get the right size and type of cylinder. Also, always buy from a gas refill provider that understands the various requirements of all welding procedures and equipment to ensure you’re utilizing the right gas cylinder filling procedure for TIG welding.