It hasn’t always been the case but today Tig welding is one of the most used welding methods used in the metal industry. There are numerous reasons for this but there are a couple that stands out more than others.
What is Tig Welding? Tig Welding is the new superstar when talking about manual arc welding. Quality and standards is getting higher focus for everyday. And the safety question becomes more important than ever. With a Tig welder you get the highest quality possible to the weld. Tig is also called GTAW (Gas Tungsten Inert Gas) and it is a welding method where you use an inert gas, usually argon to protect your weld puddle from contaminations during the welding process. Mostly during welding using Tig you continuously “dip” a filler material into the welding pool to join the pieces of metals together. Tig welding is the hardest welding process to learn. A large amount of training is needed to master the method. During the process you have to dip feeder materials in a nice and steady pace and at the same time keeping the torch in a good angle, also keep a good distance between the electrode and the piece of metal you are welding. If you manage to connect the electrode to the sheet metal a “ball” will form at the tip of welding electrode and make it hard to weld, the heat that is supposed to be sharp spreads out making it hard to melt metal. The Tig torch can be either water cooled or air cooled. If you don’t plan to weld at high amperes an air cooled system will do fine. On the other hand if massive welding is going to take place a water cooled machine is always to prefer. This is to prevent the welding gun to get too hot for you to continue working.
What materials can be welded? Another benefit of using Tig is the amount of different metals you can join with it. Stainless steel and Carbon Steel is the most used ones, but it’s also possible to join non ferrous metals like aluminum, copper and magnesium. When welding Carbon or stainless steel DC (direct currency) is used to fuse the metals, though it is possible to use AC, it’s not preferable. To weld for example Aluminum with the highest quality AC is most of the times used.
Advantages and Disadvantages with Tig In the hands of a great welder the Tig welding process is the one with the highest weld quality achievable. Compared to other well known welding methods the amount of cracks etc found during inspection and x-ray are well below that. For a welder it also come with the nice benefits of making the weld look really good if the technique is used in the right way. But of course there are also disadvantages with Tig welding. It’s a slower welding process compared to other well used methods. While it’s perfect to weld thin sheet metal and pipes, the time it would take make finish a weld on a thicker pipe in not economical. If quality is of highest importance, it’s possible to make the root string with a Tig and after this fill the rest of the weld with another welding method such as Mig (GMAW) or Stick welding (SMAW).
While there are disadvantages, Tig is in many experienced workers opinion a great method to learn. Quality gets more and more important everyday, which makes the highest quality of methods in high demands for a long time to come. It can be the hardest process to learn, at the pint when it’s mastered you will have a great head start compared to many others when fighting over a job. Even at the start of your career path it can be hard to get a job, in my opinion it’s completely worth it going the TIG way.