CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

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CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

TECH TIPS: 5 practical ways to get started with TIG welding

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This TECH TIPS is provided by the experts at ESAB University

Have an interest in welding with a tungsten? It takes time to learn this method, but once you do, you won’t look back.

In fact, tungsten has the highest melting point at 6,191 °F (3,422 °C), the lowest thermal expansion coefficient, and the highest tensile strength of all pure metals. Add a little thorium or zirconium and you have a tungsten electrode.

It’s an exciting way to weld. But, if you’ve yet to try out this process, you’ll need to keep some practical tips in mind? Here’s your guide to TIG welding.

Tip #1: Keep it clean

One of the most important things to remember in TIG welding is to clean your material before you weld it. TIG won’t tolerate any kind of dirt, oil, rust, or other contaminants. 

Tip #2: Choose the right tungsten

Your choice of tungsten matters – a lot. The type and how you sharpen it make a difference in your weld. The chart below can help you decide.

Tip #3: Take time to re-sharpen

If you dip or stick your tungsten in the puddle, take the time to re-sharpen it. Otherwise, your arc will become unstable and wander, and you could wind up with lack of penetration or a poor looking weld.

Tip #4: Know when to use a gas lens

On thinner material, use a gas lens instead of a collet body. This provides a concentrated column of shielding gas, whereas a collet body disperses the gas as more of a cloud.

Tip #5: Keep polarity in mind

Usually, every TIG welder is also a stick welder, and your machine runs both. When you’re running TIG, though, put your torch lead in the negative side and the ground in the positive. When you’re running stick, put your stick/electrode holder on the positive side and the ground in the negative.

There are exceptions to this rule, but they are rare. And, of course, if you’re doing TIG on aluminum or magnesium, just flip the polarity to AC without changing the leads around.

DOWNLOAD YOUR TUNGSTEN ELECTRODE CHART

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