Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is one of the more modern welding techniques that seasoned welders practice today. If you are looking for a method that will give you a great deal of control and precision over the welding process, you can simply buy some TIG welding rods online and get started with this technique.
Before that, however, you must understand how it works and what equipment, accessories and gear are required to successfully perform TIG welding. TIG welding rods are, after all, only a part of the many requirements that this process demands.
What is TIG Welding?
TIG welding makes use of a tungsten electrode. The interesting thing about tungsten is that it has an extremely high melting point of over 3,400°C. This means that the tungsten electrode is essentially non-consumable. To compensate for this, you need to use separate TIG welding rods that act as a filler metal for the welding job.
Requirements for TIG Welding
Since TIG welding requires a fair bit of skill and precision, it is essential to have the right tools and accessories to make the process smooth and efficient. Here is a closer look at everything you will need for your TIG welding application.
1. A Durable Welding Machine
A TIG welding machine is one of the most fundamental requirements for this type of welding process. You can either employ a dedicated TIG welding machine or choose a multi-process welder. Whichever option you choose, it is essential to be mindful of the arc mechanism, the type of gas delivery and selecting between AC and DC welding. The machine size, duty cycle and its features are also important parameters to consider.
2. Tungsten Electrode
As explained above, TIG welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode. The electrode must be sharp, clean and well-maintained. Ensure that you clean it thoroughly before beginning the TIG welding process to keep contaminants from messing up the process. The electrode may also need to be thoriated to the extent of around 2%. Alternatively, you can also use 2% lanthanated electrodes instead to avoid the issue of radioactivity.
3. TIG Welding Rods
TIG welding rods are the filler rods that actually go into the weld pool, since the tungsten electrode used in the process is non-consumable. The material from the TIG welding rod melts in the weld pool and is used to connect the metal workpieces. Your TIG welding rods must be compatible with the metals being joined in the welding application. They also need to be of the right length and thickness, so the welding process can be completed without any interruptions.
4. Shielding Gas
Since tungsten inert gas welding does not use flux coatings or flux cores, the weld pool is protected from environmental contaminants using a shielding gas. This must be an inert gas, preferably argon, which is most commonly used. In some cases, helium may also be added to enhance the penetration and fluidity in the application. Typically, the argon-helium mixture is used for aluminium welding. However, no other gases must be used for the TIG welding process.
This sums up how TIG welding works and what products and consumables you will require for the process. Ensure that you use the right accessories and tools, because when done properly, TIG welding has many advantages over other types of welding. It gives you greater control over the welding process and results in less splatter and sparks. It is also versatile and compatible with a wide range of metals, alloys and materials.