Decline in the use of pure tungsten for welding

Decline in the use of pure tungsten for welding

Welding is an art where two or more work pieces made up of metal or alloys are joined together with the help of a molten solution that forms the bond between them on cooling. It is very important that we make use of the right equipments and perform it accordingly with immense precision and concentration in order to make better welds that are quite sturdy and strong giving rise to wonderful components or end products. Under this note, at one point of time pure tungsten electrode was preferred for carrying out welding related tasks. However, in the last decade or so, use of pure tungsten electrodes in heavy manufacturing industries has drastically reduced as newer varieties of electrodes are arising in the market thanks to science and technology. A welder involved in the welding industry predominantly prefers ceriated tungsten for welding rather than pure tungsten electrodes. 

It is realized that the introduction of newer power source technologies, use of pure tungsten electrodes has been found to be decreasing drastically. Pure tungsten predominantly tends to melt down at lower temperatures forming rounded ball at the tip. And during the course, this ball grows in size obstructing the welder from focusing in his work. It interferes with the ability to see the weld puddle and in turn causing the arc to be unstable. It is very important for the arc to be focused on the right areas in order to create sturdy joints.

1.6mm 2% Thoriated Tungsten 2.4mm 2% Thoriated Tungsten 3.2mm 2% Thoriated Tungsten

Ceriated tungsten on the other hand has tremendous abilities to withstand higher temperatures and work well with the modern equipments such as squarewave and inverter machines. It is predominantly preferred by all welding factories for the following reasons: 

1. It holds a point longer and starts quite well even at lower amperages. 
2. It can be used on both AC as well as DC polarities. It provides better precision for welding thinner materials. Today while welding aluminum it has become quite acceptable to grind a point on ceriated tungsten. 
3. It allows increasing welding amperage by 25-30% when compared to pure tungsten of the same diameter. 

In many heavy manufacturing industries today, you can find use of thoriated tungsten electrodes, lanthanated tungsten electrodes, zirconiated tungsten electrodes, ceriated tungsten electrodes rather than pure tungsten electrodes. It is very easy to identify them as well as the color codes for ceriated, thoriated, lanthanated and zirconiated tungsten electrodes are orange, red, gold and brown respectively. Pure tungsten electrodes are also preferred under certain circumstances and their color code is predominantly green. After immense research, necessary boards that handle welding and its principles have come up with recommended settings for welding different materials. Irrespective of what kind of welding procedure such as TIG, MIG, stick etc adopted by the welder, these setting prove to be quite useful for producing better welds. At all cases, the gas used for shielding should be argon. 

Welding materials:

  • Aluminum: You can use pure, thoriated, ceriated and lanthanated tungsten electrodes.
  • Copper and Copper alloys: You can use ceriated and thoriated tungsten electrodes.
  • Magnesium alloys: You can use ceriated, thoriated and lanthanated tungsten electrodes.
  • Plain Carbon Steel: You can use ceriated, thoriated and lanthanated tungsten electrodes.

Stainless Steel: You can use ceriated, thoriated and lanthanated tungsten electrodes. (However you can also use any type of shielding gas available for welding stainless steel).