TIG welding is an extremely widespread, versatile and precise technique. It allows the highest quality results to be achieved and is often used when welding must be left exposed. The process offers excellent aesthetics for mechanical products, but is quite complex and requires highly specialised hands.
In this article we will discover the basic characteristics of TIG welding, the equipment required to perform it correctly, and conclude with a series of advantages and disadvantages of this working method.
What is TIG Welding?
The acronym TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas: a type of arc welding with an infusible tungsten electrode (the same material used to make the inner filament of light bulbs) under protection of inert gas, usually argon or helium. This particular type of welding can be performed with or without filler metal.
The GTAW process became popular during World War II, when the aviation industry began to replace rivets with welds to lighten aircraft. It is a universal welding process, applicable to any type of metal that is suitable for fusion welding.
When executed correctly, the result of TIG welding work is precise, clean and attractive: it creates a sound joint, is free of slag and is particularly suitable for noble materials. Aesthetically, the characteristic rendering is the classic coin bead, a filament that appears to line up many small coins.
Types of TIG Welding
Various types of machines can be used for TIG welding, depending on the material to be welded. In particular, you need a semi-professional machine and set specific welding parameters for materials such as aluminium, magnesium and bronze.
Semi-professional machines allow a choice of two welding modes: alternating current and direct current:
- AC/DC stands for alternating current / direct current: AC mode allows the TIG welding of aluminium; DC mode allows the TIG welding of iron and steel;
- DC stands for direct current: with this mode only iron and steel can be welded.
What is needed for TIG Welding?
In order to achieve a masterful result when TIG welding, a good level of experience and professionalism in addition to a number of tools are required:
The torch must contain a non-consumable tungsten electrode and a rod holder pen around which the protective gas flows, a ceramic cap to regulate the gas, a small tube to connect to the cylinder, insulating sleeve, and an electrical power supply;
It is possible to TIG weld with various types of machinery, but semi-professional machines allow various modes to be used and a wider range of materials to be processed;
Argon and helium are among the most commonly used gases in the TIG welding process;
Filler Metal Rod
TIG welding allows the choice of welding with a filler rod or without filler material, as required.
Pros and Cons of TIG Welding
The main advantages of a well-executed TIG welding job are the clean appearance of the visible welds and the strong sealing of the joints. The versatility of this welding method should also not be underestimated: the possibility of using various machines and elements in the process makes it extremely adaptable to the craftsman's needs.
Among the shortcomings of this process, the most important are the slowness and difficulty of the process, which is why the hand of a professional or a good deal of practice is required.
Bonanomi's experience and professionalism allow for the production of precision engineering and mechanical precision for third parties products of tailor-made quality. Care and attention to detail, together with synergy in machining processes, lead to customised results meticulously tailored to the customer's needs.
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