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Best Practices for Tungsten Preparation

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

A clean, well-prepared tungsten of good quality is absolutely essential to the proper performance of your TIG set-up.

Tungsten Grind 2With inverter machines in both AC and DC polarities, your 2% Ceriated or 2% Lanthanated electrode should be ground to a point with an included angle between 15 and 30 degrees, then the tip blunted slightly. If the tip is left as a fine point, there will be a much higher likelihood of tungsten inclusions, as the point can melt off into the weld pool.

 

Always grind your electrode along the axis, never perpendicular to the axis. When the grind marks go around the tip instead of along it, the arc will be more likely to wander as it tries to follow those minute grooves. Be sure to use a grinding wheel — preferably diamond and never aluminum oxide — dedicated to tungsten sharpening to avoid cross contamination from other metals.

Tungsten Grind 1

 

If your electrode is dipped into the weld pool, never grind through the contamination because it may get loaded onto the wheel and deposited right back onto your electrode whenever you rework it. Also, never break off a contaminated tip. Instead, it should be cleanly cut off with an abrasive wheel to prevent the small cracks that result from fracturing. These cracks can wreak havoc on the electrode’s performance.

Taking care of the small details can have a significant effect on your welding success!

Devan DePauw

Welding Engineer

TIG Solutions

Importance of tungsten condition

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Poor condition of your tungsten can be compared to putting bad gas in your car; it’s that simple. TIG or GTAW is a precision process that requires attention to all areas in the system, but the tungsten is the last piece that the electrons flow from, and if it is not maintained in a sharp or clean condition, it will affect the arc. Two of the most important areas are arc staring and directional control, which can have an effect on increased heat input when it is critical to keep this as low as possible. Whatever you do, take the time to recondition your tungsten if you touch it to the work of the fill material.

Mark Kadlec, Welding Technician
TIG Product Development

Using a gas lens to your advantage

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Many people ask…why or when should I use a gas lens? The main reason is to allow you to flood the area you are welding with the best possible gas coverage to ensure you are reducing the possibility of oxygen contamination. Another great use of the gas lens is reaching difficult areas that need to be welded. A good example of this is a tight cluster of tubing that you may encounter on many of today’s sport utility and race vehicles. By this, I mean that it allows you to stick out the tungsten much farther while still maintaining gas coverage to access these hard-to-reach areas (see photos).