Everything You Wanted To Know About Everlast Power Equipment & Basic Welding
What you need to know about welding. The Good, The Bad & The Important FAQ's
A common welding question we receive regards TIG welding basics. The question revolves around basic tungsten selection. “What Tungsten do I need?” While I’ve mentioned this before in other articles and blogs, proper Tungsten selection and preparation are the foundation stones on which a TIG weld is laid. Welding with the wrong Tungsten can create a varied assortment of technical problems in the weld. It can create everything from porosity to a wandering arc, especially in AC welding. Historically there have been two tungstens that most people selected in the US. One was pure “green banded” tungsten and the other was thoriated “red banded” tungsten. Now green was always recommended for AC use due to the HF overlay and the effects of the alternating current. It would form a ball and the welder would go on his happy way laying down a bead. Red tungsten was always used for anything else. It was stable, tough and would hold a point in most welding conditions if it was not overamped. Arc striking was great. However, with the advent of modern day inverters that create different wave forms and the increased availability and product information on improved forms of tungsten, green tungsten is no longer used for TIG welding with inverters. Green tungsten will not hold up well in an inverter. Thoriated is still used, but is falling out of favor due to the low amounts of radiation that is emitted for the Thoria. Rare earth metal based tungstens like Ceriated, lanthanated, and now E3 (a blend of rare earths) in various percentages have started to take over the market. They offer improved durability, can be used in both AC and DC modes, sharper points, and better arc starting (in some cases). There are various fads and fashions in TIG welding, and now the latest is to have an arsenal of TIG tungstens available. But it really isn’t necessary. The old standby of thoriated tungsten still offers good arc starting and durability in DC, and in AC it holds up well in an inverter.
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