Applying Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding Techniques
Lesson 8 Applying Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding Techniques Next Generation Science/Common Core Standards Addressed! CCSS.ELA Literacy.RST.910.3Follow precisely a complex multistep
procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text. CCSS.ELA CCSS.ELA Literacy.RST.910.3Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in
the text. CCSS.ELA Literacy. RST.11Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on ex CCSS.ELA Literacy.
RST.1112.4 explanations in the text12.3 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domainspecific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 1112 texts and topics. Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource Standards Addressed!
PST.01.03. Apply physical science principles to metal fabrication using a variety of welding and cutting processes (e.g., SMAW, GMAW, GTAW, fuel-oxygen and plasma arc torch, etc.). PST.01.03.02.c. Construct and/or repair metal structures and equipment using metal fabrication procedures. Student Learning Objectives 1. Explain the advantages and developments of
the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding process. 2. Describe applications for the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding process. 3. Explain how the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding process works. 4. Identify the types of shielding gases used for TIG welding. Terms
Duty cycle Flowmeter Polarity Postweld purge time Interest Approach Notice that these welds have been welded with fuel-gas, arc, MIG, and TIG welding.
Can you tell what welding type was done on each? Compare and contrast each of them. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each process? What are the advantages of using the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding process?
What advancements have led to the development of the TIG welding process? The Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding process fuses metals by heating them between a nonconsumable tungsten electrode and the base
metal, while a continuous envelope of inert gas flows out around the tungsten electrode. A. At one time, the American Welding Society called the process tungsten inert gas welding.
The letters TIG were used to designate the process. 1. Later, the definition was changed to gas tungsten arc welding and the letters GTAW came into popular use. 2. Today, both of the letters and names are used. B. The TIG process has several
advantages that account for its popularity and increased use in the agricultural and welding industries. 1. Welds made with a gas-shielded arc are more corrosion resistant, more ductile, and stronger because the gas is able to completely exclude atmospheric air from the welding zone. Welds are not weakened by slag inclusion
in the bead because the flux used is a gas. The TIG Process 2. The TIG welding process is known for its consistency in producing high quality welds. 3. The welding process is easier than other methods because the weldor can clearly see the welding zone.
There is a minimal amount of smoke, fumes, and sparks created by the TIG process. The TIG Process 4. The finished weld requires little, if any, grinding or preparation before it can be painted. 5. There is usually less distortion of the
workpiece because of the small heat affected zone. The TIG Process 6. The TIG process has many applications because it can be used to make high quality welds in almost any metals and alloys. 7. Welds can be made with the TIG process either by applying filler rod to the puddle or by
fusing the base metal without a filler rod. The TIG Process 8. TIG can be performed by both automatic and manual techniques. 9. TIG may be done in all positions. 10. TIG may be used on a wide range of metal thickness.
What are the applications for the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) process? With the technological developments made in TIG equipment, it is now the most versatile of all the fusion welding processes.
TIG Application A. The TIG process can be used to join most metals. It welds aluminum and magnesium and their alloys, alloy steels, carbon steels, stainless steels, copper, nickel and nickel alloys, titanium, tin, silicon, aluminum bronzes, and cast iron.
TIG Application B. The TIG process can be adapted for welding in the horizontal, vertical, and overhead positions as well as the flat position. 1. It is used extensively in applications where weld quality is critical, such as stainless steel piping systems. Stainless
steel is used extensively in the dairy and food processing industries. TIG Application 2. One limitation of the TIG welding process is the low deposition rate of the filler and metal. The TIG process will deposit less filler metal per pass than of the other processes.
Because of the increased time needed to complete welds on thick metal, the TIG process is used most often on thinner metals. How does the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) process work? In the TIG process, an arc is
struck between the nonconsumable tungsten electrode and the work piece. A. The thickness of the metal and the type of current being used determine the size of the tungsten electrode. B. The possible currents available are Direct Current Straight Polarity (DCSP),
Alternating Current (AC), or Direct Current Reverse Polarity (DCRP). C. The arc is covered by a layer of shielding gas which acts as the flux and keeps the nitrogen and oxygen in the air from coming in contact with the molten puddle. When the puddle is formed on the
base metal, the torch is moved along the joint until the workpiece is fused together. 1. A filler rod may or may not be used. C2. If a filler rod is used, it should be the same composition as the base metal. The filler rod is fed manually into the
leading edge of the puddle. 3. The torch may be moved in a semicircular motion to vary the width of the bead. D. The movement of the TIG torch and applying filler rod is similar to the movement used in braze welding with an oxyfuel gas torch.
What are the types of Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) equipment and accessories and what is their function? The equipment used for TIG is somewhat different from that used in stick welding and
much different from that used in MIG welding. TIG Equipment A. A weldor should know that with certain accessories a regular AC, DC, or AC/DC welding machine can be fitted for TIG welding. 1. The heat energy put into the metal being welded is dependent upon the amperage, arc
voltage, and polarity of the arc. The term polarity is used in describing DC welding circuits and refers to the direction of current flow. TIG Equipment
2. Direct current flowing from the electrode () to the workpiece (+) is direct current straight polarity, or DCSP. TIG Equipment 3. Current which flows from the workpiece ()
to the electrode (+) is direct current reverse polarity, or DCRP. TIG Equipment B. Most TIG welding is done with AC or DCSP current. 1. When welding with AC, the machine will be either balanced or unbalanced. 2. With AC machines, the current, in theory,
flows in DCSP half of the time and DCRP half of the time. TIG Equipment 3. When the current flows in the DCRP half of the cycle, the current is flowing from the workpiece to the electrode, causing a high resistance to current flow. This resistance makes the tungsten electrode
heat up. The resistance occurs because the current is flowing from a large conductor, the base metal, to a concentrated point in the tungsten electrode. TIG Equipment 4. When in the DCSP half of the cycle, the current is flowing from the electrode tip, a
small conductor, to the workpiece, a large conductor. This direction of current flow has a cooling effect on the tungsten and enhances its current-carrying capacity. TIG Equipment 5. When the AC machine does not compensate for the high resistance
encountered in the DCRP part of the cycle, the sinewave is unbalanced. a. One-half of the time the voltage is higher than expected (DCSP), and one-half of the time the voltage is lower than expected (DCRP). TIG Equipment b. If the AC machine does not have the
circuitry to balance the sinewave, do not set the amperage for more than 50 percent of its rated capacity, or machine damage may result. TIG Equipment c. AC machines designed specifically for TIG welding will have a balanced sinewave.
These welders have a special circuit that compensates for the DCRP part of the cycle, and the voltages in both halves of the sinewave are equal. TIG Equipment 6. Whether AC or DC is used for TIG welding, a high frequency (HF) unit must be built into the machine, or a portable one must be attached
to it. a. The high frequency unit produces high frequency voltage (several thousand volts) at a frequency of several million cycles per second. TIG Equipment b. The current in the high frequency circuit is only a fraction of an ampere.
c. Because of the high voltage and frequency, the current is carried on the surface of the conductor rather than penetrating throughout the conductor. d. When TIG welding with DC current, the high frequency unit must be on in order to start the arc. Once the arc is stabilized, the high frequency unit is turned off.
TIG Equipment 7. On DC machines using an add-on portable high frequency unit, the high frequency circuit will need to be turned off manually. 8. On AC machines TIG welders with high frequency units are used to stabilize the arc and to ionize gases in the arc zone. The ionized gases make the arc easier to maintain when the current changes directions.
TIG Equipment 9. The torches used on TIG welding outfits are electrical devices and have a duty-cycle rating. 10. The duty-cycle is the maximum current that the torch can safely withstand over a 10 minute period of operation.
TIG Equipment 11. TIG welding torches contain electrical leads from the welding machine, water- coolant hoses, shielding gas hose, the collet, which holds the tungsten electrode, the electrode cap, and gas nozzle. TIG Equipment
12. The weldor should make sure all connections and fittings are tight. 13. Small capacity TIG welding torches will usually be air-cooled rather than water-cooled. TIG Equipment 14. The purpose of the gas nozzles on TIG welding torches is to direct the flow of shielding gas over the welding zone and to
decrease turbulence of the shielding gas stream. 15. The volume of gas required and the width of the bead will determine the size of the nozzle needed. a. The shapes of some nozzles are designed to decrease turbulence of the gas stream. TIG Equipment
b. With some nozzles, the electrode may stick out as much as 1 inch without loss of the shielding gas and turbulence. 16. Nozzles are made from ceramic, metal, plastic, and Pyrex glass materials. a. Ceramic nozzles are used on jobs up to 275 amps. b. Metal nozzles or metal-coated ceramic nozzles are used on jobs where 300 or more
amps of current are needed. TIG Equipment c. High-temperature plastic and Pyrex glass are transparent and are used in some special applications. 17. The electrodes used in TIG welding may be pure tungsten, tungsten with 1 or 2 percent thoria, tungsten with 0.15 to 0.40 per cent
zirconia, or pure tungsten with a core of 1 to 2 per cent thoria. TIG Nozzles TIG Equipment 17a. Pure tungsten electrodes are the least expensive. However, they have less currentcarrying capacity and are easily contaminated. This makes them the least desirable for critical
welds. b. To improve the electrical conductivity, add small amounts of thoria or zirconia. TIG Equipment c. Electrodes with 1 or 2 per cent thoria have good current-carrying capacity, maintain their shape longer, have good resistance to contamination, and make the arc easier to
strike. d. Electrodes with 1 per cent thoria are good for general purpose welds. Two percent thoriated electrodes are used for critical welds on aircraft, missiles, nuclear reactors, and heat exchangers. TIG Equipment 18. The quality of the tungsten-zirconia
electrodes is between pure tungsten electrodes and the tungsten-thoria electrodes. 19. Electrodes may be purchased with a clean finish or a centerless ground finish. a. Clean-finished electrodes have a smooth surface, are free of defects, and are good for most GTAW jobs. b. Centerless ground electrodes have a mirror-like finish and are used on jobs where
the highest-quality welds are needed. TIG Equipment 20. When selecting an electrode, consider the following criteria: electrode diameter, amperage, type of current, type of shielding gas, and whether the high frequency wave is balanced or unbalanced.
21. Electrodes must be shaped and sized before being used for TIG welding. TIG Equipment 22. Electrodes which are contaminated or those which are too long to fit into the electrode cap must be shortened. 23. The desired shape of an electrode after it is properly broken is a square,
blunt edge. a. Electrodes may be broken with pliers, wire cutters, or a hammer. TIG Equipment b. The electrode end must be correctly shaped after it has been broken. 24. Some TIG welding jobs call for an electrode with a specific shape, which
are used for critical welds. TIG Equipment For most TIG welding jobs, a sharp, pointed electrode is used for welding with DCSP current, and a rounded, or balled, electrode end
is used for welding with alternating current. TIG Equipment 26. The flowmeter is used to adjust the flow of shielding gas and is calibrated in cu. ft. per hour (cfh) or liters per minute (L/min.), or both. To get a correct reading of the volume of gas flow, the
flowmeter must be installed so it is vertical. TIG Equipment 27. Water-cooled TIG welding units have three hoses going to the torch. a. One hose will carry the shielding gas and is made of plastic to prevent chemical reactions that might cause
contamination. TIG Equipment b. One hose carries a combination of coolant and the electrode lead. The lead is a woven metal tube with good current-carrying capacity. The tube is covered by rubber or plastic-insulating material. Current travels through the
woven metal tube, and coolant passes through the middle of the tube. TIG Equipment c. The third hose carries the return coolant to the storage reservoir or to a drain. 28. Light-duty torches are air-cooled and usually have only one hose connected to them, which is a combination electrode lead and shielding
gas hose. The electrode lead may be either a woven tube or a flexible cable, and the shielding gas acts to cool the electrode lead as it flows to the torch. What are the types of shielding gases used for Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) and what are their purposes?
The purpose of a shielding gas in TIG welding is to protect the arc, electrode, and puddle from nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen in the air. Shielding Gas A. When the arc, electrode, or puddle
comes into direct contact with the air, contamination in the form of oxides is formed on the electrode and in the weld. A brownish-yellow fume from the weld zone indicates that the shielding gas cover has been lost and that oxides are forming. B. The shielding gases used
for TIG welding are mostly argon, helium, and mixtures of argon and helium. 1. Argon The most commonly used gas because it is cheaper and 10 times heavier than helium. a. Argon is 1.4 times heavier than air
and gives better control of the arc and weld puddle because it is a heavier gas than helium. 1. Argon b. Since argon is heavy, lower flow rates are needed for welding in the flat position. 2. The heavy shielding gas is a disadvantage for welding in the overhead
position. Argon 2a. Argon has a lower arc voltage than helium does at any given amperage and arc length. The low arc voltage produces less heat and results in low base metal distortion and reduced chance of burn through, which allows it to be used for welding thin sections
of metal. b. Argon has a quieter, smoother arc than that obtained with helium. c. Helium shielding gas is used for welding thick sections of metal and when higher arc voltages and higher weld zone temperatures are
needed. C. The major problems to be overcome in shielding Insufficient gas flow Long electrode extension Not enough postweld purge time. Postweld purge time
The length of time the shielding gas continues to flow over the weld puddle after the arc has been extinguished. This allows the puddle to solidify before it is exposed to the air. The techniques used to perform TIG welds are quite similar to those used for braze
welding with the oxy-fuel gas torch. TIG Welding Techniques A. For TIG welding, the machine should be set on the smallest ampere setting that will get the job done. The welding speed should be as fast as possible. 1. In TIG welding, the puddle is small
and results in a small heat-affected zone. Since there is no transfer of metal through the arc, there is no spatter. TIG Welding Techniques A2. The width of a TIG bead should be two to three times the diameter of the filler rod.
TIG Welding Techniques B. The TIG welding torch should be held at a 60 to 70 degree angle to the work. The filler rod should be at a 20 to 30 degree angle to the work. 1. After the arc has been struck and the puddle has formed, add the filler rod to the leading edge of the puddle.
TIG Welding Techniques When welding is stopped, the shielding gas should continue for a few seconds to prevent contaminating the molten puddle, tungsten electrode, and filler rod. 2. A forehand welding technique is used for TIG welding. Most TIG welding is performed in the
flat position. TIG Welding Techniques C. Set the shielding gas flow according to the recommended volume for the size metal and gas nozzle being used. D. Adjust the welding machine to the recommended amperage and type of current.
E. Place the foot control in a convenient location and turn on the welder. TIG Welding Techniques F. Depress the foot control and strike the arc. When the puddle appears, add the filler rod to the leading edge. By moving the TIG welding torch to the rear of the puddle when the filler rod is added, you
reduce the possibility of contaminating the tungsten. TIG Welding Techniques G. Metal cleaning and joint preparation are the same for TIG welding as for other types of welding. 1. TIG welding is seldom used for metals over inch, except for aluminum and
magnesium. 2. When metals are less than 3 /16 inch, they may not require edge preparation. TIG Welding Techniques 3. If the metals are thicker than 3 /16 inch, the edges should be ground or machined so full bead penetration can be achieved.
TIG Welding Techniques H. When welding a square butt joint, maintain the tungsten in the center line of the two pieces being joined. 1. Use a 60 to 70 degree dray angle, a 90 degree work angle, and a 20 to 30 degree electrode angle.
TIG Welding Techniques 2. Strike the arc and hold the tungsten approximately 1 /8 inch above the base metal. 3. When the puddle forms, add filler rod to the leading edge of the puddle. 4. Move the bead forward as rapidly as possible.
Tig Welding Techniques I. When welding lap and T-joints in the flat position, tack weld the base metal pieces every 3 inches. 1. The joints should then be set so the resulting welds are made in the flat position. 2. Hold the torch at a 60 to 70 degree drag angle and a 10 to 20 degree work angle.
TIG Welding Techniques 3. The work angle should point the electrode more toward the horizontal edge to be welded than the vertical edge. 4. Strike the arc and allow the puddle to form. A C-shaped puddle should develop indicating that both edges of the metal are melting.
TIG Welding Techniques 5. Hold the tungsten electrode approximately 1/8 inch above the base metal. 6. When the puddle forms, move the electrode toward the rear of the puddle and then add the filler rod to the front of the puddle. Then, move the electrode back to the middle of the puddle. Repeat this process as you move the bead
forward. TIG Welding Techniques 7. When the end is reached, move the electrode toward the rear of the puddle to fill the crater with the filler rod and then withdraw it from the weld zone. 8. Raise the TIG welding torch slowly to provide a gas shield while the puddle
solidifies. TIG Welding Techniques J. For welding in the horizontal position, the drag angle of the torch should be 60 to 75 degrees and the work angle should be a 15 to 30 degree angle. 1. To keep the molten metal from sagging, maintain a smaller puddle than
that used in the flat position. TIG Welding Techniques 2. Add filler rod at the upper edge of the puddle to help prevent sagging. 3. Maintaining a 15 to 30 degree work angle will help the force of the arc to keep the puddle from drooping.
What are the safety practices that should be observed when TIG welding? Observe the following general safety practices for working with TIG welding. Safety Procedures
A. Obtain the instructors permission before using any tool or machine. B. Wear a No. 11 or 12 shaded filter lens. The larger the tungsten electrode, the higher the lens shade number should be to prevent eye burn, strain, or fatigue. Safety Procedures
C. Good ventilation is essential for TIG welding. Ultraviolet rays may be 5 to 30 times more intense with TIG welding. These ultraviolet rays cause ozone to form. Ozone is harmful to breathe for extended time periods. Safety Procedures D. Wear hearing protection when working
with pulsed power and high current settings. Power pulses cause the arc to emit sound waves. Because the noise produced may be loud at high current pulses, hearing protection should be worn. E. Always wear gloves to insulate yourself from possible shock.
Safety Procedures F. Never touch the tungsten electrode with the filler rod. The tungsten electrode is charged with electric current, which may charge the filler rod and shock the person welding. The current potential at the tungsten electrode is at the arc voltage level or higher.
Safety Procedures F. The tungsten electrode(Cont.) A shock from the filler electrode could be deadly. To protect yourself from such a shock, wear gloves and dry clothing and never touch the tungsten electrode with the filler rod.
Safety Procedures G. Never touch your body with the tungsten electrode when the TIG welder is turned on. The high frequency unit built into the TIG welder is designed to stabilize the arc and to make arc starting easier. If touched while turned on, it will cause
the unit to arc and can cause body burns. Safety Procedures The danger of electrical shock is less with high frequency current than with current phasing at 60 cycles per second. The shock factor is reduced because high frequency current is conducted on
the surface of the conductor rather than by penetrating into it. Safety Procedures The surface conduction feature helps to minimize the danger for higher frequency current used in the TIG welding machine. H. Adjust the TIG high frequency unit only within the limits recommended by the
manufacturer. This will help to reduce the possibility of shock and body burns. Safety Procedures I. Make sure the TIG welder is grounded as recommended by the manufacturer in order to prevent shock.
Review/Summary 1. Explain the advantages and developments of the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding process. 2. Describe applications for the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding process. 3. Explain how the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding process works.
Review/Summary 4. Identify the types of Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding equipment and accessories and relate their function. 5. Identify the types of shielding gases used for Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding and explain their purposes.
Review/Summary 6. Explain the procedures used for Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding. 7. Identify the safety practices that should be observed in TIG welding. The End!
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