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Our business is welding and we offer this handbook to both the handyman and industry in general, in an earnest endeavour to assist all those engaged in TIG welding. We have not covered all phases of welding, but present briefly, the basic facts of the TIG welding process and techniques.
History of TIG TIG Overview Power Sources Types of Welding Current used for TIG Characteristics of Current Types for Gas Tungsten Arc Welding TIG Handpiece (TIG Torch) Selecting the Correct Torch Nozzle Gas Lens Benefits Regulators Connection Diagrams Tungsten Selection and Preparation Tungsten Colour Code and Proper Torch Use TIG Wires Shielding Gas Shield Gas Selection and Use Typical Manual GTA (TIG Welding Parameters) Guide for Shield Gas Flows, Current Settings and Cup Selection Correct Torch and Rod Positioning Pulsed TIG Personal Protection Recognising Your Tungsten Operator Inspection for Weld Quality TIG Troubleshooting Guide

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TIG welding was, like MIG/MAG developed during 1940 at the start of the Second World War. TIG’s development came about to help in the welding of difficult types of material, eg aluminium and magnesium. The use of TIG today has spread to a variety of metals like stainless mild and high tensile steels. GTAW is most commonly called TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas). The development of TIG welding has added a lot in the ability to make products, that before the 1940’s were only thought of. Like other forms of welding, TIG power sources have, over the years, gone from basic transformer types to the highly electronic power source of the world today.


The TIG process has the advantages of 1) Narrow concentrated arc 2) Able to weld ferrous and non-ferrous metals 3) Does not use flux or leave a slag 4) Uses a shielding gas to protect the weldpool and tungsten 5) A TIG weld should have no spatter 6) TIG produces no fumes but can produce ozone The TIG process is a highly controllable process that leaves a clean weld which usually needs little or no finishing. The tungsten and the welding zone is protected from the surrounding air by a gas shield (inert gas). a shielding gas and a TIG handpiece. The TIG welding process is so good that it is wisely used in the so-called high-tech industry applications such as 1) Nuclear industry 2) Aircraft 3) Food industry 4) Maintenance and repair work 5) Some manufacturing areas 3 . An electric arc is then created between the tungsten electrode and the workpiece. The power is fed out of the power source. The weldpool can be used to join the base metal with or without filler material. TIG welding can be used for both manual and automatic operations.OVERVIEW TIG welding is a welding process that uses a power source. The electric arc can produce temperatures of up to 19. down the TIG handpiece and is delivered to a tungsten electrode which is fitted into the handpiece.400oC and this heat can be very focused local heat.

The TIG power source uses main power connected to a suitable power for the TIG process being used. Other things to check on TIG power sources are 1) Amperage to do the job. 4 . 7) Does the TIG welding need an AC power source or DC power source. A TIG power source can be of the AC or DC type. The one thing that all TIGs have in common is that they are CC (Constant Current) type power sources. which will then have the 70% of the energy. The principle of electric circuits will apply to only DC power sources.400 Volt. the average on both terminals will be the same. The voltage will be up or down depending on the resistance of the welding arc. 230 Volt . Might need suitable extra add-ons to do the eg. Will it be sufficient? 2) Does the amperage go low enough for light material and high enough for thick material? 3) Power Supply . eg high frequency unit and/or DC rectifying units. This is because for one half of the wave form (cycle) the positive terminal will have 70% of the energy. This can be either AC or DC. This means only output adjustment will control the power source amps.POWER SOURCES TIG welding power sources have come a long way from the basic transformer types of power sources which were used with add-on units to enable the power source to be used as a TIG unit. as different material will need a different power type.single or three phase. is the inverter type power source more suitable. which has an output of a wave form. So when a DC power source is used whatever is connected to the positive side will have 70% of the energy output (heat). The basics of TIG welding has almost remained the same. 6) Would a multi-process type power source be better to do the job? Must have CC range. but the advent of technology TIG welding power sources have made the TIG processes more controllable and more portable in some cases. When using an AC power source. but as the wave form moves to the other half of the cycle it will move to the negative terminal. 5) Will an engine driven power source be better to do the job? (Must have CC range). HF unit. This means 70% of the heat is always on the positive side. Is there enough main power to do the job? 4) Is weight a problem? If so.

This type of connection is used very rarely because most heat is on the tungsten. The resulting weld will have good penetration and a narrow profile. HF start can also be used on DC welding current to initially start the welding current without the tungsten touching the workpiece. This side of the cycle is called the penetration half of the AC wave form.Direct Current Reverse Polarity . 3)  AC . At this point the arc would stay out if it wasn’t for the introduction of HF (high frequency). thus the tungsten can easily overheat and burn away. DCRP produces a shallow. (How good the HF is will often have a bearing on how well the re-ignition of the arc is. t is a common misunderstanding that the HF does the cleaning action. This type of connection is the most widely used in the DC type welding current connections. This side of the wave form is called the cleaning half. As the wave moves to the point where the tungsten becomes negative the electrons (welding current) will flow from the welding tungsten to the base material. High frequency has very little to do with the welding process.(the tungsten electrode is connected to the negative terminal). This can be seen with fast film photography. This means the tungsten will run a lot cooler than DCRP. I This is not the case. 5 . The heat input to the tungsten is averaged out as the AC wave passes from one side of the wave to the other.TYPES OF WELDING CURRENT USED FOR TIG 1)  DCSP . its job is the re-ignition of the welding current as it passes through zero. 2)  DCRP . With the tungsten being connected to the negative terminal it will only receive 30% of the welding energy (heat).(the tungsten electrode is connected to the positive terminal).) HF is also often used for starting the welding arc initially without the tungsten touching the workpiece.   Because the AC cycle passes through a zero point the arc goes out. This will result in the lifting of any oxide skin on the base material. wide profile and is mainly used on very light material at low amps.Direct Current Straight Polarity .Alternating Current is the preferred welding current for most white metals. This helps on materials that are sensitive to impurities. it only serves to re-ignite the welding arc.  On the half cycle. where the tungsten is positive electron welding current will flow from base material to the tungsten. eg aluminium and magnesium.

6 . or more penetration. + - Once the welding current gets above a certain amperage (often depends on the machine) the HF can be turned off.Alternating Current .4) AC .Square Wave With the advent of modern electricity AC welding machines can now be produced with a wave form called Square Wave. in some cases. controlled to give a more cleaning half of the welding cycle. allowing the welding to be carried on with the HF interfering with anything in the surrounding area. The square wave has the benefit of a lot more control and each side of the wave can be.

advantages. and Alternating Current with High Frequency stabilisation. and disadvantages. Each of these has its applications. CURRENT TYPE Electrode Polarity Oxide Cleaning Action Heat Balance in the Arc Penetration Profile Electrode Capacity DCSP Electrode Negative No 70% at work end 30% at electrode end Deep. Direct Current Reverse Polarity. The type of current used will have a great effect on the penetration pattern as well as the bead configuration. wide Poor TIG welding with DCRP (direct current reverse polarity) produces good cleaning action as the argon ions flowing towards the work strike with sufficient force to break up oxides on the surface. there are three choices of welding current. show arc characteristics of each current polarity type. The diagrams below. 7 . A look at each type and its uses will help the operator select the best current type for the job. DC TIG POWER SUPPLY CURRENT TYPE Electrode Polarity Oxide Cleaning Action Heat Balance in the Arc Penetration Profile Electrode Capacity DCRP Electrode Positive Yes 30% at work end 70% at electrode end Shallow. They are: Direct Current Straight Polarity. No cleaning action occurs with this polarity.CHARACTERISTICS OF CURRENT TYPES FOR GAS TUNGSTEN ARC WELDING When TIG welding. narrow Excellent DC TIG POWER SUPPLY TIG welding with DCSP (direct current straight polarity) produces deep penetration because it concentrates the heat in the joint area.

AC TIG POWER SUPPLY CURRENT TYPE Electrode Polarity Oxide Cleaning Action Heat Balance in the Arc Penetration Profile Electrode Capacity ACHF Alternating Yes (once every half cycle) 50% at work end 50% at electrode end Medium Good 8 .

gas hose and water leads in and out if the TIG torch is watercooled. (Please see Selecting the Correct Torch Nozzle. The nozzle then directs the shielding gas to cover the weldpool protecting it from contamination from the surrounding air. 9 . Hoses in the TIG lead will supply cooling water to the TIG torch head assembly. 8 metre. They can come in different lengths depending on the space the torch may have to get into (eg. 4)  often will be the way of getting the welder control circuit to the operation. whether water. 6)  the TIG torch length will allow a distance from the TIG power source and workpiece. page 10. The lead may also include a control lead. eg on/off and/or amperage control. Using a TIG torch that is not sufficiently rated for the machine may result in the TIG torch overheating.Holders may vary with different brands of TIG torches. This may include power cable fit up. medium and short caps). The TIG torch is made up of 1)  Leads . etc.or air-cooled. But they all have things in common 1) aircooled or watercooled 2)  current rating.The nozzle’s job is to direct the correct gas flow over the weldpool.The back cap is the storage area for excess tungsten. 5)  the TIG handpiece can be watercooled.) 4)  Back Caps . Please make sure when ordering a TIG torch to tell the supplier the amperage rating. 2)  Tungsten Holders . The lead will be made up of a power cable. It will be at a length suitable to do the job. gas fittings and control plug fittings.TIG HANDPIECE (TIG TORCH) The function of the TIG handpiece is to 1) hold the electrode tungsten 2 deliver welding current to the tungsten via a welding power cable 3)  deliver shielding gas to the TIG torch nozzle. and the fitting that is to go on the end of the TIG torch lead suitable to fit the TIG power source it will be used from. A TIG torch wiith an excessive rating may be larger and heavier than a lower amperage TIG torch. long. eg 4 metre.The lead will be set up for either aircooled or watercooled. 3)  Nozzles . The operator must select the correct amperage rating TIG torch. TIG torches come in different styles depending on the brand being selected.

(Refer to page ? for correct cup size. The purpose of a gas lens is to make the shielding gas exist the nozzle as a column instead of as a turbulent stream of gas that begins to spread out after exiting. A number 5 nozzle is therefore 8 mm diameter. or poor shield gas coverage will result. The exist diameter can be neither too large nor too small. Alumina nozzles are more impact resistant than lava nozzles.SELECTING THE CORRECT TORCH NOZZLE Design diameter to fit GTAW torch The exit diameter (diameter closest to the arc) is manufactured in a variety of sizes. The exit diameter for any nozzle is specified with a number that represents the diameter in 1. Alumina nozzles. A number 6 nozzle is 9. The impact resistance of the alumina nozzles makes them more durable and are used for general applications.) Exit diameter measured in 1. are the most commonly used nozzles in GTAW. GTAW nozzles are also made in various lengths from short nozzles to extra-long nozzles. allowing for better access to the weld area. The column of gas allows the electrode to stick out farther for visibility.) 10 .6 mm and so on.6 mm increments. The diameter for any nozzle must be large enough to allow the entire weld area to be covered by the shielding gas.6 mm GAS LENS BENEFITS A collet body with a gas lens can be very useful to a welder. Alumina nozzles are moulded from alumina oxide and the density of the alumina oxide determines the quality of the nozzle in relationship to impact resistance and thermal sock. and a reduction in gas flow (CFH/L/Min.

There are three main styles of regulator used for TIG One made up with a single flow tube assembly (Fig. 3 Fig. 2). Fig. The amount of gas flow needed to do the job will depend on the welding job being done and the type of material being welded.REGULATORS The function of the gas regulator is to reduce bottle pressure gas down to a lower pressure and deliver it at a constant flow. 1 Fig. This constant flow of gas flows down through the TIG torch lead to the TIG torch nozzle and around the weldpool. Another made up with a twin-flow tubes assembly (Fig. 3) (this set-up is excellent for when purging is necessary). But a common setting to start with is 5 L/min. 1). 2 11 . The third style does not have a flow tube and the flow is set by turning a handwheel (Fig.

CONNECTION DIAGRAMS 2 piece Cable Assembly FOR GAS COOLED TORCHES Power Source Shield gas supply FOR WATER COOLED TORCHES TIG Torch Power Source Water out Power cable adaptor required WATER IN ARGON IN Coolant Recirculator RegulatorFlowmeter Shield gas supply Note: 1 litre per minute flow rate. Water out through power cable. Water in through water line. 12 .

good stability. good stability. Use on lower currents only. good arc starts. medium tendency to spit. Low erosion rate. Lowest erosion rate. good stability. wide current range. medium erosion. Low erosion rate. widest current range. 13 Aluminium Alloys and Magnesium Only thin Alloys Only thick sections DCSP Copper Alloys. best DC arc starts and stability. takes higher current. good stability. no spitting. AC or DC. best DC arc starts and stability. AC or DC. Alloy Steels and Titanium Alloys Only thick sections DCSP .TUNGSTEN SELECTION AND PREPARATION Base Metal Type Thickness Range Desired Results Welding Electrode Type Shield Gas Current Pure (EW-P) All General Purpose AC/HF Zirconiated (EW-Zr) 2% Thoriated (EW-Th2) sections Control penetration Increase penetration or travel speed DCRP 2% Ceriated (EW-Ce2) 2% Thoriated (EW-Th2) 2% Ceriated (EW-Ce2) 2% Thoriated (EW-Th2) 2% Ceriated (EW-Ce2) Zirconiated (EW-Zr) 2% Ceriated (EW-Ce2) 2% Thoriated (EW-Th2) All General Purpose DCSP 2% Ceriated (EW-Ce2) 2% Lanthanated (EWG-La2) Only thin sections Control penetration Increase penetration or travel speed ACHF Zirconiated (EW-Zr) 2% Ceriated (EW-Ce2) 2% Lanthanated (EWG-La2) Argon Argon 75 Argon 25 Helium Argon Helium 75 Argon 25 Helium Helium 75 Argon 25 Helium 75 Argon 25 Helium Argon 75 Argon 25 Helium 75 Argon 25 Helium 75 Argon 25 Helium 75 Argon 25 Helium Argon 75 Argon 25 Helium Helium Tungsten Performance Characteristics Balls easily. Lowest erosion rate. medium erosion rate. good stability. Carbon Steels. Best stability at medium currents. Low erosion rate. better arc starts. Lowest erosion rate. rapid erosion rates at higher currents. good arc starts. Use on lower currents only. Low erosion rate. rapid erosion rates at higher currents. AC or DC. consistent arc starts. no spitting. wide current range. no spitting. medium erosion rate. medium erosion rate. medium tendency to spit. wide current range. consistent arc starts. Higher current range and stability. spitting on starts. with less spitting and with better arc starts and arc stability than pure tungsten. best arc starts and stability. Best stability at medium currents. tends to spit at higher currents. medium tendency to spit. good arc starts. consistent arc starts. spitting on starts. no spitting. low cost. highest current range. no spitting. used for non-critical welds only. no spitting. Low erosion rate. no spitting. AC or DC. consistent arc starts. wide current range. with lower tendency to spit. wide current range. AC or DC. no spitting. consistent arc starts. Balls well. Best stability at medium currents. wide current range on DC. Cu-Ni Alloys and Nickel Alloys Only thin sections Only thick sections All General Purpose DCSP Control penetration Increase penetration or travel speed ACHF DCSP Mild Steels.

Remove the sharp point to leave a truncated point with a flat spot. 14 . TUNGSTEN GRINDING Shape by grinding longitudinally (never radially). TUNGSTEN EXTENSION Standard Parts General Purpose 3 x dia. at any point on the surface of the electrode. etc. TUNGSTEN TIP PREPARATION DCSP (EN) or DCRP (EP) Flat: 1/4 to 1/2 x dia 2-3 dia Taper Length ACHF General Purpose Max. Return setting to AC. Use a medium (60 grit or finer) aluminium oxide wheel. (See below.) The included angle determines weld bead shape and size. as the included angle increases. penetration increases and bead width decreases. ** Manufacturers must identify the type and nominal content of the rare earth oxide additions. dots. ball 1 x dia Ball tip by arcing on clean metal at low current DCRP (EP) then slowly increase current to form the desired ball diameter.25 - * Colour may be applied in the form of bands. Generally. Diameter of flat spot determines amperage capacity.TUNGSTEN COLOUR CODE AND PROPER TORCH USE COLOUR CODE AND ALLOYING ELEMENTS FOR VARIOUS TUNGSTEN ELECTRODE ALLOYS AWS Classifications EWP EWCe-2 EWLa-1 EWTh-1 EWTh-2 EWZr-1 EWG Colour* Green Orange Black Yellow Red Brown Grey Alloying Element Cerium Lanthanum Thorium Thorium Zirconium Not Specified** Alloying Oxide CeO2 La2O3 ThO2 ThO2 ZrO2 Nominal Weight of Alloying Oxide Percent 2 1 1 2 .

TIG WIRES The selection of the TIG wire to be used in the TIG process is a decision that will depend on 1) The composition of the material being welded 2)  Mechanical properties of the weld material and those that are a match for the base material 3) Corrosion resistance should match 4) Joint design 5) Thickness of the base material 6) Cost 15 .

In New Zealand the most common gas being used for TIG welding is Argon gas. which can cause porosity and defects in the weld. Each of these two gases has advantages. Argon 1) 2) 3) 4) Better arc starting Good cleaning action Lower arc voltage Low gas flows needed Helium 1) 2) 3) Faster travel Better penetration Higher arc voltages Because of the cost of Helium we are now seeing mixtures of Argon and Helium. This is to gain the best part of each gas. The shielding gas is a pathway for the welding arc and will help in the starting and running of the welding arc.SHIELDING GAS Like other welding processes the job of the shielding gas is to protect the weld pool from contamination from air. Overseas Helium is also being used and in days gone by in some countries the weld process was called Heliarc welding. Please see your local gas 16 .

Increase heat input with good arc starts of argon.75 He Pure Helium Copper Alloys Cu-Ni Alloys Nickel Alloys Thick General Purpose Thin Thick Thin Thick General Purpose Thin Thick Manual Manual Manual Mechanised Mechanised Pure Argon 75 Ar .50 He Pure Helium Characteristics Best arc starts. Aluminium Alloys and Magnesium Alloys Thin Manual Manual Manual Mechanised Mechanised Pure Argon 75 Ar . cleaning and appearance.25 He Pure Argon Pure Argon 75 Ar 25 He Low Carbon Alloys and Low Alloy Steels 17 . cleaning and appearance. but with faster welding speeds. control of penetration. Increase heat input with good arc starts of argon. with good arc stability and starting. control of penetration. but with faster welding speeds. cleaning and appearance. control of penetration. Highest weld speeds. but with faster welding speeds. high flow rates needed. demanding arc starting and fixturing requirements. Best arc starts. control of penetration. bead contour. Increase heat input with good arc starts of argon. cleaning and appearance on thin gauges. Good control of weld puddle. control of penetration. Higher weld speed under 20mm thick. but with faster welding speeds. Increase heat input with good arc starts of argon.25 He 25 Ar . Highest weld speeds.25 He Pure Argon 50 Ar . Best overall for good arc starts. demanding arc starting and fixturing requirements. Best overall for good arc starts. with good arc stability and starting. but with faster welding speeds. and penetration on thin gauges. deeper penetration with DCSP. Best overall for good arc starts. Increase heat input with good arc starts of argon. Higher weld speed under 20mm thick.25 He 75 Ar . cleaning and appearance on thin gauges. deeper penetration with DCSP.SHIELD GAS SELECTION AND USE Base Metal Type Thickness Range Thin Thick General Purpose Thin Thick Weld Type Manual Manual Manual Mechanised Mechanised Shield Gas Type Pure Argon 75 Ar . high flow rates needed.

Magnesium was one of the first metals to be welded commercially by TIG. 6 7.4 mm Joint Type Butt Fillet Butt Fillet Butt Fillet Butt Fillet Tungsten size 1.8 mm Joint Type Butt Fillet Butt Fillet Butt Butt(2) Butt(2) Tungsten size 1.6 mm 2. Since magnesium absorbs a number of harmful ingredients and oxidize rapidly when subjected to welding heat. DCRP has been successful up to 2. 5.8 mm Cup Size 5.2 mm 4.2 mm 4. 18 .0 mm 4.2 mm 6. DCSP with helium shield gas is successful in mechanised applications. If filler metal becomes damp. 8 8. Filler metal must be dry. (2) aluminiummagnesium.6 mm 2. and (3) maganese-magnesium.6 mm 3. 10 Shield Gas Flow Type Argon Argon Argon/ Helium Argon/ Helium CFH (L/Min) 15 (7) 17 (8) 21 (10) 25 (12) PSI 20 20 20 20 Welding Amperes 60-80 70-90 125-145 140-160 190-220 210-240 260-300 280-320 Travel Speed 307 mm 256 mm 307 mm 256 mm 258 mm 230 mm 256 mm 205 mm WELDING ALUMINIUM The use of TIG welding for aluminium has many advantages for both manual and automatic processes. 6 6.TYPICAL MANUAL GTA (TIG) WELDING PARAMETERS ALUMINIUM (ACHF) Metal Gauge 1.4 mm 12. 7 7. in many respects. Although ACHF is recommended. MAGNESIUM (ACHF) Metal Gauge 1.4 mm 4.2 mm 3.4 mm 3. Magnesium requires a positive pressure of argon as a backup on the root side of the weld.4mm.4 mm Filler Rod Size 2.6 mm 2.8mm 6. they are (1) aluminium-zinc-magnesium. the welding of magnesium is similar.2 mm 3. TIG welding in an inert gas atmosphere is distinctly advantageous. 8 8 10 Shield Gas Flow Type Argon Argon Argon Argon CFH (L/Min) 13 (5) 19 (9) 25 (12) 35 (17) PSI 15 15 15 15 Welding Amperes 60 60 115 115 100-130 110-135 260 Travel Speed 512 mm 435 mm 563 mm 512 mm 256 mm WELDING MAGNESIUM Magnesium alloys are in three groups.2 mm Cup Size 4. Filler metal can be either wire or rod and should be compatible with the base alloy.8 mm 6. or other foreign matter.0 mm 4.8 mm Filler Rod Size 1.4 mm 3.4 mm 3. free of oxides. heat for 2 hours at 120oC before using. grease.6 mm 3.2 mm 3. to the welding of aluminium.2 mm 4.

Low alloy steels such as the chromium-molybdenum steels will have hard heat affected zones after welding.STAINLESS STEEL (DCSP) Metal Gauge 1.6 mm 1.6 mm 1. An exception to this allowance is welding on highly restrained joints.6 mm 3. however.4 mm Joint Type Butt Fillet Butt Fillet Butt Fillet Butt Fillet Tungsten size 1.2 mm 3.4 mm 2. 6 7.6 mm thick should always be welded with DCSP using argon gas.4 mm Joint Type Butt Fillet Butt Fillet Butt Fillet Butt Fillet (2) Tungsten size 1. carefully remove soap from welds after pressure testing. 6 4. 8 8. only bare uncoated rods should be used.4 mm 3.6 mm 2.5) 13 (6) 13 (6) PSI 20 20 20 20 Welding Amperes 80-100 90-100 120-140 130-150 200-250 225-275 275-350 300-375 Travel Speed 307mm 256 mm 307 mm 256 mm 307 mm 256 mm 256 mm 205 mm WELDING STAINLESS STEEL In TIG welding of stainless steel.6 mm 2. 6 5. 10 Shield Gas Flow Type Argon Argon Argon Argon CFH (L/Min) 11 (5. However.6 mm 2. welding rods having the AWS-ASTM prefixes of E or ER can be used as filler rods.5) 18 (8. This is caused by rapid cooling of the base material and the formation of martensitic grain structures. 6 4.30% carbon and less than 25 mm thick. 6.4 mm 3. Stainless steel can be welded using ACHF.4 mm 3.6 mm 2. dry electrodes.4 mm 3.8 mm Cup Size 4. use only stainless steel tools and brushes. These joints should be preheated 10 to 38oC to minimise shrinkage cracks in the base metal. 5. if the preheat temperature is too low. 5.2 mm 4. Light gauge metals less than 1. Follow the normal precautions for welding stainless such as: Clean surfaces.2 mm 4.8 mm 6. 7 8.5) PSI 20 20 20 20 Welding Amperes 95-135 95-135 145-205 145-205 210-260 210-260 240-300 240-300 Travel Speed 384 mm 384 mm 282 mm 282 mm 256 mm 256 mm 256 mm 256 mm WELDING LOW ALLOY STEEL Mild and low carbon steels with less than 0.2 mm 4. generally do not require preheat. recommendations for DCSP must be increased 25%. 5.6 mm 3. 5. LOW ALLOY STEEL (DCSP) Metal Gauge 1.2 mm Filler Rod Size 1. keep stainless from coming in contact with other metals.2 mm Filler Rod Size 1.0 mm Cup Size 4.2 mm 4. 19 .4 mm 2.8 mm 6.5) 11 (5. 10 Shield Gas Flow Type Argon Argon Argon Argon CFH (L/Min) 15 (7) 15 (7) 16 (6. A 90 to 200oC preheat temperature will slow the cooling rate and prevent the martensitic structure.

150 135 .50 1.00 4.00 1. 5 or 6 6.350 350 .235 240 .GUIDE FOR SHIELD GAS FLOWS. 8 or 10 8 or 10 8 or 10 10 10-15 (5-7) 10-20 (5-10) 12-25 (6-12) 15-30 (7-14) 25-45 (12-21) 10-15 (5-7) 12-25 (6-12) 20-35 (10-17) CORRECT TORCH AND ROD POSITIONING Vertical Tungsten Electrode Welding Rod 60o .60 2.Aluminium Standard Body 5-8 (3-4) 5-12 (3-6) 8-15 (4-7) 10-20 (5-10) 12-25 (6-12) 15-30 (7-14) 25-40 (12-19) 30-55 (14-26) Cup Size DCSP Thoriated 5 .80 70 .425 400 . The torch is held 60o   -  75o from the metal surface.Tungsten Type AC Zirconiated 5 .235 220 .700 Electrode Diameter (mm) 0. This is the same as holding the torch o o 15 . 4 or 5 4 or 5 4.30o Direction of Travel Nozzle The suggested electrode and welding rod angles for welding a bead on plate.525 500 .40 Argon Flow .20 15 .20 4.75o Shield Gas 15o .1100 CFH (L/min) CFH (L/min) Gas Lens Body 5-8 (3-4) 5-8 (3-4) 5-10 (3-5) 8-10 (4-5) 8-12 (4-6) CFH (L/min) CFH (L/min) Gas Lens Body 5-8 (3-4) 5-10 (3-5) 7-12 (4-6) 3.Ferrous Metals Standard Body 5-8 (3-4) 5-10 (3-5) 7-12 (4-6) 10-15 (5-7) 10-18 (5-9) 15-27 (7-12) 20-35 (10-17) 25-50 (12-24) Argon Flow . 20 .40 3. The same angles are used when making a butt weld.20 20 .30 from the vertical. CURRENT SETTINGS AND CUP SELECTION Welding Current (Amps) . Take special note that the rod is in the shielding gas during the welding process.500 475 .325 300 . 7 or 8 7.80 50 .80 6.150 140 .800 700 .

but must be enough to keep the arc alive. which controls how long the peak current is on for before dropping to the background current.Post flow is the time taken for the shielding gas to stay on after the welding current has stopped. Pre-Flow . Pulses Per Second . % on Time . This time will 1) protect the end of the weld 2)  protect the cooling down of the tungsten (the oxidation of the tungsten).This is set up higher than for non-pulsed TIG.This is the number of times per second that weld current reaches peak current. 21 . Background Current .more set-up cost and more operator training. Down slope will help prevent the uneven cooling of the final weld pool and will help stop pinholes forming at the completion of a TIG weld.This is the way and the time taken for the welding current to wind down at the end of the TIG weld.Preflow is used at the start of the welding process to help protect the start of the weld from contamination and to make sure the shielding gas is flowing before the welding current starts up. Post Flow .PULSED TIG Pulsed TIG has the advantages of 1) better penetration with less heat 2) less distortion 3) better control when welding out of position 4) Easy to use on thin materials The down side is . Pulsed TIG consists of Peak Current .This is the pulse peak duration as a percentage of the total time. Down Slope .This is set lower than peak current and is the bottom current the pulse will drop to.

2) Heat 3)  Ultra Violet Light .TIG produces one of the highest ratio of ultra violet light per amperage of any welding process. 4)  Fumes . 22 .PERSONAL PROTECTION Skull Cap Helmet Mask Jacket Welding helmet lens Gloves TIG WELDING HAZARDS 1) Gases .Ozone is formed under the extreme temperature of the arc.coming from the heating of the base material and the burning of any contaminates that might be present. eg computers and communication equipment. 6)  HF Radiation . 5) Magnetic fields may interfere with medical devices.can cause interference with other equipment.

In this case the contaminated area must be broken off and the electrode reshaped as desired. The electrode in this illustration melted back. Notice the “ball” tip characteristic of the pure tungsten. If this electrode were used the oxidized surface will flake off and drop into the weld puddle. Notice the “ball” started to droop to one side. Electrode “C” is a 2% thoriated tungsten which was used with alternating current on aluminium.RECOGNISING YOUR TUNGSTEN “A” “B” “C” “D” “E” “F” “G” Electrode “A” has the “ball” end. Notice the end is uniform in shape and possesses a “shiny bright” appearance. Post-flow time should be increased so the appearance is like electrode “A” after welding. Note that this electrode has several small ball shaped projections rather than a round complete “ball end” like the pure tungsten. often times the point may melt and drop into the weld puddle. Notice the black surface which is oxidized because the atmosphere contacted the electrode before it cooled sufficiently. Electrode “E” is a pure tungsten that was tapered to a point and used on direct current straight polarity. This pure tungsten was used with alternating current on aluminium. This electrode was subjected to a current above the rated capacity. 23 . Electrode “G” did not have sufficient gas “post-flow”. Electrode “B” is a 2% thoriated tungsten ground to a taper and was used with direct current straight polarity. It becomes very molten during operation and continuing to operate would have caused the molten end to drop into the weld puddle. however. Electrode “F” was severely contaminated by touching the filler rod to the tungsten. Pointing of pure tungsten is not recommended as the extreme point will always melt when the arc is established. Electrode “D” is a pure tungsten used with alternating current on aluminium.

OPERATOR INSPECTION FOR WELD QUALITY PROBLEM: CAUSE: • Excessive build up • Poor penetration • Poor fusion at edges Welding current too low PROBLEM: • Bead too wide and flat Welding current too high • Poor penetration • Excessive burn through CAUSE: PROBLEM: • Bead too small Travel speed too fast • Insufficient penetration • Ripples widely spaced CAUSE: PROBLEM: • Bead too wide Travel speed too slow • Excessive build up • Excessive penetration CAUSE: PROBLEM: • Undercut Welding current too high • Insufficient weld deposit and/or wrong placement of • Uneven penetration filler rod CAUSE: PROBLEM: • Poor penetration • Poor fusion CAUSE: Faulty joint preparation and too low welding current PROBLEM: • • • • Proper build-up Good appearance good penetration Bead edges fused in CAUSE: Correct technique and current setting PROBLEM: • No undercut Correct technique and •  Legs of fillet weld equal current setting to metal thickness • Slightly convex bead face CAUSE: 24 .

Electrode contaminated 4. rapid cooling. or wire brush and clean the weld joint prior to welding.  Increase bead size. or abrasives prior to welding Excessive Electrode Consumption Erratic Arc Inclusion of Tungsten or Oxides in Weld 1. Inadequate shielding or excessive draughts limits 6. use preheat. Increase gas flow 2. Use welding grade gas only. Increase the bead size.  Change to a different alloy composition which is weldable.  Eliminate sources of hydrogen. These impurities can cause a tendency to crack when hot 6. Use larger electrode 3. Poor scratch starting technique Solution 1.  Do not use ArO2 or ArCO2 GMA (MIG) gases for TIG 8. dirty or oily 1.  Maintain a distance between electrode and filler 5. Maintain short arc length 2. Accidental contact of electrode with puddle 3. or use gas 7. which are hot shorts change weld bead contour.  Filler material is damp (particularly aluminium) 4. Change the weld joint design 4. wire brush. Incorrect voltage (arc too long) 2. Remove condensation from line with adequate gas pre-flow time 2. Filler material is oily or dusty 5. Accidental contact of electrode to filler rod 4. Excessive current for tungsten size used 2. Operating of reverse polarity 4.  Post weld cold cracking. Dry filler metal in oven prior to welding 4. hydrogen. Open joint groove 5. Improper size electrode for current required 3.  The most common cause is moisture or aspirated air in gas stream. increase weld bead cross-section size. Find the source of the contamination and eliminate it promptly 6. Reduce the current or use larger electrode 3. 1. Change to proper gas (no oxygen or CO2) 1. adjust balance control for maximum cleaning.  Use ACHF. Excessive heating inside torch 6. lead and zinc 6. try wedge collet or reverse collet 6. Lower the travel speed 7. Use smaller electrode or increase current 3.  Excessive travel speed with rapid freezing of weld trapping gases before they escape 7. due to excessive 3.TIG TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE Problem Cause 1.  Increase gas flow. Inadequate gas flow 2. Current too low for electrode size 3. Increase gas post flow time to 1 sec. and microstructure use preheat 25 . Replace filler metal 5. Defective gas hose or loose connection 3. Use copper strike plate. then prepare again 4.  Preheat. Shield gas incorrect 1. dark stains on the electrode or weld bead indicate contamination 6. Wrong gas lens 7. nitrogen.  Do not weld on wet material. or hydrogen contaminated gas.  Contaminated shield gas.  Use appropriate chemical cleaners.  Crater cracks due to improperly breaking 2. Using excessive electrode extension metal 5. Centreline cracks in single pass welds 4. Base metal is oxidised. air. Replace the shielding gas Porosity in Weld Deposit Cracking in Welds 1. use pure or nonjoint restraint. Use metal with fewer alloy impurities 2. Use high frequency arc starter 2. then prepare again 5. Check hoses and connections for leaks 3. Electrode contamination 5.  Many codes do not allow scratch starts. joint restraint. phosphorous. Use larger electrode or change polarity 4. prevent craters 5.  Underbead cracking from brittle 5. Replace collet. Maintain proper arc length 4. Decrease root opening. Use Amptrak or foot control to manually edge down slope current 3. Contaminated shield gas 1. Prevent embrittlement craters or notches. shield arc from wind.  Reverse direction and weld back into previous weld the arc or terminating the weld at the joint at edge.  Entrapped impurities.  Alloy impurities in the base metal such as sulphur.  Hot cracking in heavy section or with metals 1. Heavy surface oxides not being removed welding 8. Joint too narrow 5.  Preheat prior to welding. Electrode oxidising during cooling 7. Remove contaminated portion.  Reduce the electrode extension to recommended 6. per 10 amps 7. water vapour 2. Remove contaminated portion.

Short water cooled leads life 2.  Do not operate beyond rated capacity. Use a larger size cup 5. or blowing off while hot Solution 1. use water cooled model.  Induced magnetic field from DC weld current 2. Short torch head life 5. return flow must be on the power cable lead 2. Change to gas saver parts or gas lens parts 1. Inadequate Shielding Arc Blow 26 .  Ordinary style is split and twists or jams. do not bend rigid torches 5. Wind or draughts 4. Arc is unstable due to magnetic influences 1. TIG flowmeters operate at 35 psi with low flows. refer to chart 3.  Use slower travel speed or carefully increase the flow rate to a safe level below creating excessive turbulence. I ncorrect flowmeter. Short collet life 4.  Reduce weld current and use arc length as short as possible 1. change tungsten position. Cup shattering or cracking in use Short Parts Life 3.  Change to ACHF current.  Gas hoses ballooning. bursting. Rearrange the split ground connection 2.TIG TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE (continued) Problem Cause 1.  Verify coolant flow direction. Use a trailing shield cup 3. Reduce electrode stickout. Locate and eliminate the blockage or leak 2.  Excessive travel speed exposes molten weld to atmospheric contamination 3.  Change cup size or type. Excessive electrode stickout 5. MIG flowmeters operate with high flows at 65 psi or more. Excessive turbulence in gas stream 1. Gas flow blockage or leak in hoses or torch 2. Set up screens around the weld area 4. change to wedge style 4.