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: Choosing the right TIG filler rods for different metals

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This TECH TIPS is provided by the experts at ESAB

Blowing holes and making a mess with your welds? It could be due to your choice of TIG filler rods. TIG rods can vary in length and diameter. Plus, with endless options on the market, they can be difficult to choose.

The best tip? Generally speaking, use a filler rod that has a diameter that is LESS THAN the thickness of the metal being welded. With a base metal thickness under 1/8 inch, for instance, the rod diameter should be slightly thinner than the metal being welded. Also, when it comes to TIG welding, make sure your weld joints are very clean before striking an arc!

To help you create better welds, here are some additional guidelines for choosing filler rods depending on the metal you’re welding:

Steel: ER70S-6 is a common choice for mild steel welding and ER70S-2 offers another option that contains triple deoxidizers, making it great for welding over moderate amounts of rust and mill scale. ER70S-3, on the other hand, is the right choice for general welding with clean metal.

Stainless Steel: ER308 and ER308L are the most commonly used rods for stainless steel, offering excellent puddle control. ER309 and ER309L are best for dissimilar metals, whereas ER316 and ER316L are ideal for welding molybdenum-bearing austenitic base metal alloys, such as for pressure vessels, valves, chemical equipment, and marine applications.

Aluminum: ER4043 is the most commonly used choice for many aluminum applications, unless it’s 2xxx or 7xxx series aluminum which are considered non-weldable by conventional arc welding. Another option is the ER5356, an all-position non-heat-treatable TIG, for 5xxx series aluminum.

Titanium:Welding titanium means matching the filler rod alloy to the base metal. For instance, ERTi-2 is best for grade 2 titanium, ERTi-3 is best for grade 3 titanium, and so on. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, if you need to boost ductility, use a filler rod with a lower yield strength than the base.

Want more tips on getting great TIG welds?

Watch this video.

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