Suitable Tungsten Selection Improves Tig Welding Performance
The TIG welding machines requires the use of the right tungsten electrode for giving good results in welding. This will be useful as it results in giving a neat weld. This is very essential for an industry doing welding, as it will not only improve productivity but also lower costs. A product from a reliable manufacturing company will give you a proper weld. The weld should have a very small grain structure as this will allow for better migration of oxides to the tip. It should have an improved arc and arc starting. There should be minimum weld contamination.
There are many types of tungsten and tungsten alloys that are manufactured. Choose the one suitable for your requirements. You can choose pure tungsten or one with alloys for the electrodes. Since each oxide is has different characteristics, when used with tungsten, the performance will be different. These electrodes are color coded so that you know what oxide is used in the alloy.
1. The all purpose tungsten electrode also called 'rare-earth' tungsten is non- radio active. It is a combination of three materials with tungsten and is generally used as it has a reliable arc starting and is good after many ignitions.
2. The 4% thoriated tungsten is radioactive and is not very commonly used.
3. The 2% thoriated tungsten is also a general all purpose electrode. The tip life is good. It is radioactive and so health, safety and environmental standards have to be followed during grinding, which gives out dust that is harmful. The disposal of thorium dioxide has to be handled properly.
4. 2% lanthanaed tungsten is also an all purpose electrode. It is not radio active. The advantage is that it can be used instead of 2%thoriated tungsten. It has all the necessary features like - good ignition and re-ignition performance, low-burn off rate and good service life.
5. 1.5% lanthanated tungsten which is a non radio active, all purpose electrode, acts like 2% lanthanated. It can be used instead of 2% thoriated tungsten.
6. 1% lanthanated tungsten is non radio active, but is not generally used.
7. 2% ceriated tungsten has low current capacity, low arc ignition and good arc stability. It is used in DC orbital tube pipes, thin sheets, and in any small part applications.
8. 1% zironiated tungsten is used wherever the contamination of tungsten has to be minimal. It has radiographic quality. It does not ball u easily when used in AC applications and has a good arc starting and current capacity.
9. Pure tungsten has a high work function. It has a high burn-off rate that results in a short service life. It is difficult to start arc and does not maintain a stable arc.
The size of the tungsten also matters. It is available in packages of 10 pieces. There are a variety of standard diameters from .010A to .250A and it comes in varying lengths of 3,6,7,12,18 and 24 inches. You can choose the one that you require for best TIG welding by testing it. The diameter of the electrode affects the not only the performance but also the weld shape. When a larger diameter is used for a given amperage, it will be harder to start but will last longer. If too much current is used, the electrode will tend to melt and drop off and if the current used is not enough, the arc will not be stable.
It is very essential to choose the most suitable tungsten electrode for getting the best TIG welding performance so that the arc starts improve, with good stable arc and maintenance is also not too difficult. This guide can be followed to test the right electrode for use with the TIG welding machines.
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