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Tungsten inert gas (or TIG, for short) welding is used for processes when you want precision and quality welds. TIG welding also creates extremely strong welds. It is a method that involves the use of electrical arcs and non-consumable tungsten electrodes to create connections between two reactive metals, such as aluminum and magnesium. To create these connections, a shielding gas – argon, helium, or a combination of the two – is used to help keep the weld clean and free from contamination as it forms and subsequently cools down. This particular method has been in use since the 1940s.
The history of TIG welding began during World War II when there was a great need for strong welds for the manufacture of lightweight aircraft. With steel supplies running very low and the use of aluminum on the rise, manufacturers needed to find a way to produce their products efficiently without sacrificing strength or safety. Ship manufacturers noted how TIG welding cut down significantly on steel use because rivets were no longer being used. TIG welding was a boon for assembly line production and manufacturers alike because it is a cost-effective way to fuse reactive metals. Today, many products are still fused together with this method including automobiles, storage vessels, pipelines, NASA’s space shuttles, construction, and more.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TIG WELDING OVER OTHER WELDING PROCESSES?
There are two main types of welding – metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten inert gas (TIG). Both use electrical arcs and a shielding gas to join two metals, however, MIG welding uses a consumable filler wire to help the fusion of the two metals. TIG welding essentially creates a weld where the two metals melt into one another. MIG welding is more user-friendly than TIG and the welds are easier to achieve.
If you want strong, clean welds, then TIG welding is the way to go. Of all the arc welding processes, it is the most versatile in what can be joined and the position of the welds. It can be used with almost all types of metal, including titanium, which is known for its temperamental nature when used. Some of the major benefits of TIG welding over other welding processes are:
Precision – the electrical arc speed is slower, thus giving the wielder more control.
Perfection – the welds are clean with no slag or spatter.
Versatility – it can be used to join stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, gold, and bronze. It can be used to join thick or thin materials, even materials thinner than a millimeter.
Size of project – you can weld entire pipelines or the handles on a door, it is highly adaptable.
The method itself is cleaner too by decreasing the amount of smoke, fumes, and sparks while joining the two pieces. Because no filler material is required, the weld produced is extremely durable – even when welding thinner materials.
WHAT FACTORS SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING WHO TO ASSIGN MY TIG WELDING PROJECT?
When you are looking for a TIG welder, you want to make sure you find the right company for your project. TIG welding is a very precise method and having just anybody work on it could prove disastrous for your project. The following is a list of factors you should consider when hiring a company:
Are their technicians certified by the American Society of Engineers (ASME), the American Welding Society (AWS), or Det Norske Veritas (DNV)? These certification bodies ensure that welders and fabricators are up-to-date on the latest techniques, safety practices, and materials used in TIG welding.
You should take a tour of the facilities whenever possible. TIG welding requires a very clean environment for precise welds. Dust, debris, and other contaminants may cause embrittlement of the welds, potentially leading to weld failure. Equipment should be properly maintained and stored when not in use. Workers should be wearing gloves when handling any of the components.
If the facility uses more than one type of metal for projects (and they should!), those metals should be separated. To cut down on cross-contamination, carbon-based projects should be separated from the stainless steel and aluminum ones.
During a facility tour, check to see how often equipment is inspected. Are the machines calibrated and maintained properly? Because of its highly precise nature, TIG welding equipment must always be calibrated to ensure there are no errors.
Your project is important and you should find a company that will treat your project like you do. Great service and fast turnaround are equally essential. If you are looking for a company that embodies all of this, then look no further than JK Welding. With over a decade of TIG welding experience, you know that your project will be in good hands.