The Precision of the TIG Welder

by Jerrico_Usher

Review of the TIG welder technology

Working with thin forms of metals such as stainless steel or aluminum can present its own set of difficulties. Thanks to the development of tungsten inert gas welding (TIG), these obstacles have been overcome.

Additionally known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), this technique of welding uses a non-consumable electrode composed of tungsten to complete a weld.

A TIG welder also uses a gas (usually argon) to protect the weld from contamination and in most welds, a filler material is also required. While this form of welding is favored to weld thin materials, it is also an extremely complex skill to master.

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Tig Welder
Tig Welder

TIG Welder Basics

A TIG welder affords the operator great control over his or her weld through the use of a short arc length.

Because of this necessary precision, many of the end products are of very high quality resulting in exceptionally strong welds.

In addition, proficient care must be taken when welding stainless steel, aluminum, magnesium, copper and other thin forms of metals and alloys to prevent any inadvertent contact between the electrode and the piece of metal/alloy.

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Manual TIG welding commands considerable skill, patients and precision causing it to be slower than most other types of welding. It is commonly seen in areas that require this type of precision.

The aerospace industry frequently relies upon TIG welding for their needs. In addition, canisters that house nuclear fuels are also constructed using this technology primarily because of its strength and resistance to corrosion and or cracking over time.

The type of current used for operations will dictate the type of weld one will receive through a TIG welder. If you are in need of a deep yet narrow weld, the use of a negative direct current is recommended.

However, for those looking to accomplish a shallow and wide weld, one needs to implement a positive direct current.

This type of welder can also use a combination of the negative and positive direct current referred to as alternating current. This leaves the welder with an effective way to clean the weld.

Like most occupations, safety is paramount. When operating a TIG welder, one must take specific precautions to prevent injuries immediate and long term.

One concern is the ultraviolet radiation that is given off during welding.

This radiation can cause sunburn and or eventually skin cancer if the proper protective clothing is not adorned.

This clothing includes leather gloves, closed collar shirt, a jacket with long sleeves and a welding helmet to protect the eyes. In addition, sufficient ventilation is needed to prevent inhalation of caustic fumes, smoke and gases.

Updated: 08/06/2012, Jerrico_Usher
 
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