Tungsten inert gas shielded (TIG) welding is a popular type of welding. TIG welding, also known as tungsten gas shielded welding (GTAW), produces clean, precise welds that are ideal for welding thin, visible materials and surfaces. A complete TIG torch setup includes a nozzle, chuck body or gas lens, chuck, insulator, back cover, torch body, torch handle and electrode. It utilizes a tungsten electrode to connect various metals. The tungsten electrode is a key component of the process, as it directs the current needed to establish the arc. The tungsten electrode can form alloys with a variety of metals. Different types and sizes of electrodes are used for different types of welds and materials, and welders develop preferences based on welding style and project. Some types of electrodes perform better with alternating current (AC) than direct current (DC). Electrodes are shipped without a ground terminal. If grinding the tip, make a tight, sharp point for a strong, precise arc to ensure a clean weld.
Lanthanide electrodes are popular because of the relative ease of arc initiation and the low amperage required. They perform well in both AC and DC applications and are a popular general purpose electrode. The electrodes effectively weld aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, nickel alloys, copper alloys, titanium alloys, low-alloy steels and non-corrosive steels. Lanthanum tungsten electrodes can sometimes be used in place of thorium tungsten electrodes, which contain radioactive thorium, without major changes to the welding procedure. The electrode is inserted into a compatible TIG torch that is connected to a TIG welder that supplies current to the electrode
For some reason, thorium electrodes are America's favorite electrodes. These electrodes are durable and very long lasting, and are a staple in DC welding applications. These electrodes are best suited for copper alloys, nickel alloys, titanium alloys and corrosion resistant steels
The innovative rare earth blend electrodes are an excellent alternative to the traditionally popular thorium electrodes and have the same high performance characteristics. Best suited for welding aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, titanium alloys, nickel alloys, copper alloys, low alloy steels and corrosion free steels.
Cerium electrodes are popular because they are extremely easy to arc at low amperage and offer exceptional performance in DC welding applications. They perform best on titanium alloys, copper alloys, magnesium alloys, aluminum alloys, nickel alloys, corrosion-resistant steels and low-alloy steels. Low-current AC and DC welding provides good arc initiation, good arc stability and minimal spatter. Because they are used at low currents, cerium tungsten electrodes are commonly used for welding thin metal sheets and small, delicate parts. These electrodes can sometimes be used to replace thorium electrodes containing radioactive thorium without major changes to the welding procedure. The electrodes are inserted into a compatible TIG torch that is connected to a TIG welder that supplies current to the electrodes.
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