What is TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) Welding?

TIG welding is an arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The weld area is protected from atmospheric contamination by a shielding gas (usually argon). Pressure may or may not be used, and filler metal may or may not be used. This process is also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW).

What is TIG welding used for?

TIG welding is most commonly used to weld thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as:

  • aluminum,
  • magnesium,
  • and copper alloys.

The process is frequently used in applications where cosmetics and precise welds are critical.

How Does TIG Welding Work?

In TIG welding, an arc is struck between the tungsten electrode and the workpiece. The tungsten electrode is non-consumable, so it does not melt and become part of the weld. Instead, the heat from the arc melts the metal being welded.

The shielding gas protects the weld area from atmospheric contamination. The most common gas used is argon, but other gases such as:

  • helium,
  • nitrogen,
  • and carbon dioxide can also be used.

TIG welding can be done with or without the use of filler metal. When filler metal is used, it is added to the weld area manually. This gives the welder more control over the amount of filler metal that is used.

TIG welding is typically done with a hand-held torch, but it can also be automated. In automated TIG welding, the torch is mounted on a robotic arm. This allows for precise welds to be made with little or no operator intervention.

Advantages of TIG welding

The advantages of TIG welding include:

  • The ability to weld thin sections of metals.
  • Precise welds with little or no distortion.
  • Aesthetically pleasing welds.
  • The ability to weld a variety of metals, including aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys.

Disadvantages of TIG welding

The disadvantages of TIG welding include:

  • The need for a skilled operator.
  • The high cost of equipment.
  • The slow welding speed.

What is the difference between TIG & MIG welding?

The main difference between TIG and MIG welding is the type of electrode used. In TIG welding, a non-consumable tungsten electrode is used, while in MIG welding, a consumable wire electrode is used.

TIG welding machine

A type of welding that uses a wire electrode that is fed through a welding gun and melted in an electric arc to join two pieces of metal together. MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas.

Related Links

Gas tungsten arc welding
Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding | Linde Gas
What is Tungsten Inert Gas (GTA or TIG) Welding? – TWI
Tungsten Inert Gas Arc Welding (TIG, GTAW) [SubsTech]
What is TIG welding?

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