Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, which is sometimes known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), is used when a high precision weld of the highest quality is required. It was developed in the 1930s and during World War 2 was the preferred way to weld many aircraft parts. TIG welding can be used with almost all metals and their alloys including aluminium, magnesium, nickel alloys, copper, brass, titanium and stainless steel. It’s often used for architectural stainless steel fabrications, thin wall tubing products as well as aerospace and petro chemical manufacturing.
The TIG Welding Process
TIG welding has the slowest productivity than other welding processes however it is favoured when it comes to weld integrity and versatility. It requires the most skill of all the welding processes offering enhanced control, but is more complex to deliver consistent high standards than other methods.
The process uses the heat produced by an electric arc struck between a non-consumable tungsten electrode and the workpiece to fuse metal together and produce a molten weld pool in which a filler wire is fed. An inert gas, typically argon, is applied over the arc area to protect the electrode, heat affected zone and weld pool against oxidisation. It can be operated autogenously without the need for filler wire into the established weld pool if required.
Advantages of TIG Welding
- Control – the welder can precisely control the heat input and amount of the current required.
- Versatility – it can be used with virtually any weldable materials including dissimilar metals and thicknesses from 0.5mm upwards in any welding position.
- Requires little clean up – TIG welding is very clean due to the shielding gas protecting the weld pool resulting in no slag to chip off after the process.
- Aesthetic surface finish – welds can be left as they are without the need for grinding that in turn saves time.
As with all welding procedures, TIG welding requires you to take safety precautions as it can be dangerous and there are a number of hazards associated with it. Therefore before undertaking any welding job, ensure you have the necessary and correct protection.
If you require our assistance regarding any aspect of the TIG welding process please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0114 243 0555.