TIG Welding Basics For TIG Welders, by a TIG by kellena88


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TIG Welding Basics For TIG Welders, by a TIG Welder
by Jody Collier

I hear people talk about TIG welding, but My uncle was a “heliarc welder". Whats
the difference?

The “TIG" in TIG welding stands for Tungsten Inert Gas. But Before it was called TIG" it
was given the name “Heliarc" because helium was the gas that was used when the
process was invented. But then someone discovered that argon worked better and so it was
called TIG because inert gas could refer to either helium or argon. But wait, then someone else
discovered that small additions of hydrogen worked well for some metals. The word
“Inert" no longer held true so the eggheads decided a new name was required. So
nowadays, the technical term for what used to be called TIG and Heliarc is Gas Tungsten Arc
Welding or “GTAW". But Guess what? people still call it TIG and even Heliarc. In fact
more people call it TIG welding than Gas Tungsten Arc Welding.

Exactly What is TIG?

TIG welding is akin to gas welding as far as welding technique in that the torch is held in one
hand and the filler rod is manipulated with the other hand. It is considered more difficult than
other arc welding processes because it requires the use of both hands. Often times a foot
pedal amperage control is also used which adds another layer of difficulty.

A TIG torch can be either water cooled or air cooled and is designed to provide shielding gas
as well as welding current through a tungsten electrode. A ceramic nozzle directs the shielding
gas to the weld puddle and internal copper parts like the collet and collet body hold the
electrode in place. The tungsten electrode is sharpened for applications where the arc needs
to be pinpointed and for very low amperage. The heat the melts the metal and makes the weld
puddle comes from the arc that is created between the tungsten electrode and the workpiece.
The arc is shielded by argon, helium, or a mixture of the two. Sometimes for certain alloys,
hydrogen is added in small percentages to improve the way the puddle flows. The arc is very
smooth and quiet and clean when DC current is used. When the TIG welding machine is set on
Alternating current, it is slightly more noisy but still clean and smooth.

What Metals can be welded using the TIG process?

Almost any metal can be welded with TIG. Carbon and low alloys steels like 1010 carbon steel
and 4130 chromoly steel,Stainless steels like 304, 321, and 17-7ph, Nickel alloys like inconel
718 and Hastelloy X, Aluminum alloys like 6061,5052, Magnesium alloys like az31b, Titanium
alloys like commercially pure, and 6al4v, Cobalt alloys like Stellite 6b and l605, copper alloys
like Nibral bronze and pure copper, All can be welding using the TIG welding process.

How can I learn how to TIG weld?

There are plenty of websites out there that offer basic TIG process fundamentals.
www.millerwelds.com is a good resource for example. But you need more than a website to be
a good TIG welder. Training and practice are critical.

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I would recommend a TIG Training DVD like the one available from Hobart institute of Welding
or from Miller welding along with some focussed practice on different material types.

When it comes to learning how to TIG, the 3 P's come into play:

Practice Practice Practice

And when it comes to the metal being welding the 3 C's are important:

Clean Clean Clean

Jody Collier's Welding Website is full of Down and Dirty welding tips.

Tags: tig welding, tig welding basics, tig welders, tig welder
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