TIG Welder Setup Basics - Pulse Part 1

A lot of experienced TIG veterans weld all their life and never get to experience TIG welder with a pulse feature. The ones that are fortunate enough to try a TIG, say an inverter TIG like an Everlast PowerTIG, with Pulse, wonder how they could have done it so long without it. Pulse offers improved heat control over the weld, without sacrificing penetration, or speed. It is particularly useful in welding thin metals or edges of seams where the heat may wick over into the shoulder of the metal destroying the edge of a joint. It can also be used to create that stack of dimes look that all welders dream of, by allowing the operator to time the “dips” of the filler metal, according to the rate of the pulse. A slow rate of pulse can make a novice look like a pro in short order because of the dips will make an evenly spaced bead.

Most simply defined, pulse is a rapid oscillation between two pre-selected amp levels, one consisting of a high amp value and one consisting of a lower amp value. The high amp values represent a “penetrating” phase of the pulse, and the low amp value represents a cooling stage of the pulse, in which little or no melting of the parent metal occurs. The high amp portion of the pulse is when the filler rod should be added. The low amp portion of the pulse is the portion of the pulse when the torch should be moved forward. One complete cycle between high and low amp level in one second is one Hertz, or one pulse per second (pps). The frequency of most of these units is adjustable. The adjustability of the pulse frequency is important as well in the width of the arc cone. The faster the pulse the more narrow and constricted the arc becomes allow it to be pointed into tight corners.