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  • Tungsten

    I hope I am not going over plowed ground here but I haven't seen anything on this after going back through the threads.

    I was wondering how many have switched to lanthanated or ceriated tungsten over the thoriated due to the risk of low level radiation. I may have misspelled a couple of these words so please bear with me. I know when I got my syncrowave 200 it came with one stick of ceriated tungsten in the accessories package. Maybe they were trying to instill a new habit.

    I
    sigpic 6010
    If I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

  • #2
    My 200 came with thoria. I have placed it on a shelf in the dark and I watch it every noght to see if it will glow on its own.

    I have chosen to use lanthia and ceria electrodes. I have some zirc rods too. I havent yet used pure tung. Ive got alot to learn and experiment with as ive only put about 3.5 hours on my machine. I do know however that im not keen on grinding radioctive material in my shop. I dont want to breathe it , touch it or think it. The little pieces of americium in my smoke detectors is more than enough to have in my environment.
    Will it weld? I loooove electricity!

    Miller 251/30A spool
    Syncro200
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    • #3
      the cerated was designed as a DC tungsten but has been more and more used for both AC and DC. keep in mind the cerated can S P L I T in AC mode although its more common with the inverters with the higher cycle rates its still possible with the transformers. even with that in mined many still use cerated for AC & DC .
      the lanthanated is as AC & DC tungsten capable of excellent arc's on aether. the 1.5 & 2% seemed identical in arc to me but the 2% held its point much better and holds up to heat far better than the 1.5% as such i stick with 2% lanthanated only. this allows me to only have to chose a size as all my tungsten are 2% lanthanated. i do use mine in an inverter, but if i had gotten the syncro200 instead i would still be using the same tungsten.
      thanks for the help
      ......or..........
      hope i helped
      sigpic
      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
      summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
      JAMES

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      • #4
        One should not breath in any ground tungsten particles, period, ever. And as to Thoriated, why use it as there is a reason that all the research was done to provide alturnatives. I, like James and others use 2% lanthaniated, the only reason I settled on it was that it works for everything and I only need to stock one kind. Also I have a small bin for smaller chunks and I don't have to wonder whats in the bin when the color rubs off.
        Last edited by Sundown; 09-03-2007, 03:12 PM.
        Regards, George

        Hobart Handler 210 w/DP3035 - Great 240V small Mig
        Hobart Handler 140 - Great 120V Mig
        Hobart Handler EZ125 - IMO the best 120V Flux Core only machine

        Miller Dynasty 200DX with cooler of my design, works for me
        Miller Spectrum 375 - Nice Cutter

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        • #5
          Nuke vs Non-Nuke

          I personally like Thoriated tungsten, but that's what I learned with and therefore am more comfortable with. Thanks to reading previous posts by Sundown and SundownIII, I've begun experimenting with Pure, Lanthanated, and Ceriated tungsten. I've found that I still like Thoria's arc characteristics, however I'm very careful to wear a dust mask and eye protection when I'm grinding tungsten; I also usually have a small fan blowing from one side or the other, and my grinder is purposefully situated in such a position that my exposure to dust is minimized.

          I find that I get more usable heat with 2% Thoria, more life out of 1.5% Lanthanated, and better overhead performance on aluminum with Ceriated; the arc appears more-focused, and I get better heat/penetration with less Amps...this can make a huge difference for me when I'm out on the road and running my PT185 on my Champ10K. At this time, I have found no viable uses for Pure tungsten in any of my applications.
          sigpic
          Clint Baxley
          Baxley Welding Service
          Rembert, SC 29128

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          • #6
            Disclaimer

            One other quick note on this: I have not experimented with different sizes of different tungsten blends in similar situations, so I cannot claim that I've conducted anything near a scientific test.
            sigpic
            Clint Baxley
            Baxley Welding Service
            Rembert, SC 29128

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            • #7
              i just use the non glow in the dark types myself. i like the 1.5%lan on aluminum and the ceriated on steel. ive got and old shop vac with the exhaust going outside on the tung grinder.
              DYNASTY 200DX
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              • #8
                Originally posted by BWS29128 View Post
                I personally like Thoriated tungsten, but that's what I learned with and therefore am more comfortable with. Thanks to reading previous posts by Sundown and SundownIII, I've begun experimenting with Pure, Lanthanated, and Ceriated tungsten. I've found that I still like Thoria's arc characteristics, however I'm very careful to wear a dust mask and eye protection when I'm grinding tungsten; I also usually have a small fan blowing from one side or the other, and my grinder is purposefully situated in such a position that my exposure to dust is minimized.

                I find that I get more usable heat with 2% Thoria, more life out of 1.5% Lanthanated, and better overhead performance on aluminum with Ceriated; the arc appears more-focused, and I get better heat/penetration with less Amps...this can make a huge difference for me when I'm out on the road and running my PT185 on my Champ10K. At this time, I have found no viable uses for Pure tungsten in any of my applications.
                Clint,

                Lots of people feel that way about Thoriated tungsten and I believe that as long as you are protecting yourself from exposure, as you are doing, then you won't have any problems down the road.
                Regards, George

                Hobart Handler 210 w/DP3035 - Great 240V small Mig
                Hobart Handler 140 - Great 120V Mig
                Hobart Handler EZ125 - IMO the best 120V Flux Core only machine

                Miller Dynasty 200DX with cooler of my design, works for me
                Miller Spectrum 375 - Nice Cutter

                Comment


                • #9
                  What brought on this question I had about the tungsten was this. When I bought my welder I bought it from National Welders in Florence, South Carolina. I was told it had tungsten packaged with the welder but there was only one and wanted to know if I needed anymore. I told them I would come by later after I knew exactly what I needed.

                  A week later I called them and told them I wanted lanthaniated. They didn't know what I was talking about. They ask me what color it was and I told them and then they said they had only the red and green. Now, they have everything else you could think of ( they are one of the major suppliers in this area and I am sure Clint has probably been in there) but only had the troriated and the pure tungsten as electrodes. The guy at the counter said he would ask the manager when he came back and told me he would call me back. I got the call and he said the manager wasn't aware of the lanthaniated and he ask the Lincoln rep that happened to come in later and he didn't know what I was talking about either.

                  When I told them about some of the companies I could get it through the INTERNET they did some more research and told me later they could order it for me. Now, I am not trying to rag the guys at Nat Welders in Florence because I think they are good guys to do business with and are very helpful. But it got me to thinking : could there be an older welder out there that has been tig welding for years and doesn't have a computer, that doesn't know that the theoriated could be a risk, or that there is an alternative out there. He may not read about welding on the weekends since he has been doing it all his life and maybe instead carries his boys hunting or fishing. The only place he could learn this information would be through his local supplier and if they didn't know he wouldn't either, unless maybe a fellow welder told him. Do I think Nat Welders in Florence is the only company that didn't carry or know about the lanthanated - Heck no.

                  What I am getting at is, do you think the possible hazard in the thoriated electrodes has been communicated as well as it should be? I know there are those that say there is only a hazard if I breathe it or eat it, and I am not going to do that. Well, think of this. When you grind one of these electrodes, even if you are wearing gloves, you probably get particles on your arms and shirt. If you grind a lot of them there is a lot of particles around the grinder for you to pick up on your boots, maybe carry it home on the floor where the baby crawls around. I mean, we don't really know how much of a risk it really is do we ? If it wasn't a problem you might want to ask yourself why they developed lanthanated or cerated in the first place.

                  How many years have we been eating out of Teflon coated pots and pans - well guess what.

                  I have a tec college book from 1976 that doesn't mention thoriated or anything pertaining to any risk or special instructions in preparing the electrode. I don't even know if they had thoriated then but if they did one of the premiere welding books of the time didn't mention any risk.

                  For my own personal edification I would like to know from some of the senior welders out there how long the thoriated has been around, and how they learned it might pose a hazard if not handled properly.

                  PS - Does anybody have a box of red tipped. Does it state on the package any health risk and any special instrustions in handling it. I guess if there is then the communication is adequate as to the risk.


                  Thanks
                  sigpic 6010
                  If I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

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                  • #10
                    it seems like lots of LWS carie just a few options, why ??? customer base would be my guess. if enough people start requesting other options one would expect them to start to cary them but this can take time. inverters are much more expensive $ to amp, and its only recently (as i understand it) that transformer users have started to move tword the newer tungstens by looking at long term expenses VS short term expenses. keeping in mind people don't like change, many still use the old standard tungsten even on inverters. i shop for my tungsten from diamond ground, they are fast courteous and have top quality tungsten. they also sent e a book on all the options and there pro's and con's.

                    as for the danger of the thorated ?? hard to really tell the extent of its true damage. my book said it should never be in contact with an open cut. considering the nature of welding i suspect the arm's and hands of most have small cuts and scrapes most of the time. add to that the floating dust from grinding and you have not the best situation. you also bring up an excellent point about when do you track the dust to. there are several enclosed grinders for use with thorated but i suspect due to the $$ of them less than 40% of the thorated users have one. i would not want to have my son crawling in the dust i brought home on my boots, pants, shirt, any and all of the above.
                    i would expect there is a hazmat sheet in with the tungsten but never using it its just a guess. but seeing as my stick electrodes have one i cant see anything like thorated being sold in the U.S without one. that dose not mean it gets read, when was the last time you read one. i know i didn't read the one that came with my 7018 stick electrode.

                    for me i'll stick with the 2% lanthanated and order it off line or over the phone to diamond ground. it dose an excellent job on all things TIG and like sundown said no need to try to identify a stick with no color strip left. i can put a point on both ends and sharpen 1/2 as often without worry of the paint strip.

                    not an expert opinion, just mine.
                    thanks for the help
                    ......or..........
                    hope i helped
                    sigpic
                    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                    JAMES

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                    • #11
                      Non-thoriated for me, please

                      I like Lanthinated for steel (mild and stainless) , and Zirconiated for aluminum. I prefer to purchase Sylvania brand, since they are the only ones made in the USA. They are more expensive, but I like supporting US workers when I can. All other tungstens are made offshore, mostly China.

                      When I asked one of the tungsten sales guys about the Thoriated issue, he down-played it. "It is a heavy metal and will settle out of the air quickly. The amount you would breathe would be very small." YEAH RIGHT! I wonder if he would be so glib if he were behind a tungsten grinder, instead of behind a desk.

                      No matter what tungsten I use, I always wear eye protection and a mask. The best form of health insurance is prevention.
                      Dynasty 200 DX
                      Coolmate 3

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                      • #12
                        Well,
                        I answered part of my question about the electrodes. I got a hold of two packages of 5/32 red tipped 2% thorium electrodes last night. It had 7/8/2007 stamped on the package. I looked over the package real good and no where did it mention anything about radiation, wearing a mask, using a vacuum system, etc. It did mention something about in California they have found there is a chemical in the product that causes cancer and birth defects. Why is it the state of California always finds this stuff out and the rest of the states can't.? Is it that the state of Californai cares more about the people that live there than the rest of the states ? Maybe Mr. Dave can answer that one for us. I know in South Carolina we are still begging for nuclear waste, can you believe that. Maybe I need to move.

                        Also, as Dave pointed out most of the tungsten electrodes are made in China, as these were. That should really give someone a warm fuzzy feeling inside when they have one in their hand at the grinder.
                        sigpic 6010
                        If I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

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                        • #13
                          Because Cali is full of nosey liberals and softy's. Alot of things will harm them. Remember this is the "NOT SO GREAT STATE" that in this day in age and technology is still having electrical supply problems. Also all the super duper smart actors and actresses who can't run their own lives are telling us how to live ours and how to vote. You have to remember some fruit cake needed a job, and was givin a grant to study this tungsen stuff. He had to find something to write about or his grant would be done. Obviously anything radioactive is going to be harmful, you dont need a book on it to warn you of its danger. How many tig welders have died from exposure???? Was there some rediculously high rate ? NO..... Did you know that reagular ole saw dust is a class 3 carcinogen, now how many of you suit up to work with that????? How many here smoke and tig weld with the safer tungsten???
                          Now this doesn't mean to got roll around with the stuff , but don't go overboard until there's proof, just like global warming!!!!!!!!!!! 30 years ago it was global cooling if you do some research.

                          Both my green abd red packs came with a little booklet ful of info and general warnings of use and care.

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                          • #14
                            PLUMMER,
                            you make some good points. i don't think the thorated tungsten is the only dangerous part of welding. definitely where breathing is concerned there are plenty of bad things to watch out for. i just think if i can avoid one of then by some thing as simple as using a different tungsten and there are other excellent options, why not skip it and have one less worry. that said we all have opinions and we all know the saying about them.
                            if i was not happy with the way the 2% lanthanated tungsten worked i would definitely be looking at other options. cerated is also a great performer. if thorated was my only acceptable option, well its pretty clear it would be the one getting used just as it was for many years. but now there are many other options that give the same or at least close to the same results and are les of a concern health wise, well for now any way, who knows what they will say in 10 more years. look at sacrine. LOL
                            i do think however sticking with thorated just because its been used for many years is crazy. and many manufacturers are starting to see it that way as well. looking into the new tungsten options not only for safety reasons but also as saving $$ in the process threw increased production.

                            as for where to buy ?? well local........ i gave that a try once. a 10 pack of cerated or lanthanated was like $89.00 i had to ask him again ??? is that for 10 ??? yep its (cant remember) brand and thats the price locally. needless to say it was back home and on the phone to diamond ground. they generally sell in 50 packs for pre-ground but the lady was nice enough to sell me a 25 pack as i was a new customer. she sent me some great info on tungsten and made a few fallow up calls to me. first let me know when it shipped out, then to make shore i got the tungsten, and once more to make shore i was happy with its performance and see if i had any other questions. the price was around $2 a stick pre-ground which i thought was a fair price for it. grinding is not that hard once you get the hang of it but its nice to start out with a tip so you know what to shoot for. i could not have asked for better service. they have my business. 8^))

                            TRI-Mix
                            interestingly enough, no one has mentioned the Try-Mix tungsten ?? as more and more company's are starting to make one i would think it would be getting more popular. ?????? i have not tried it yet as i'm well stocked with 2% Lanth. at the moment but am looking forward to trying it. i have heard good things about it. or at least for diamond grounds version (from a well established excellent welder) and would think some of the other brands would likely be a good option also. as i understand it arc-zone just started carrying a Try-Mix of there own. this one is a blend thats supposed to enhance all aspects of the tungsten's performance. any of you all tried it ???again designed for the inverter for best benefits i would suspect but am just guessing there. i need to do a Little more home work on it and thought this was a good time to see if any one had any input on it ?? is it more $$ is it worth the extra $$ what would you closely relate it to in performance to ?? things like that would be great questions to start off the home work, so any one able to jump in here with an opinion ??? if so thanks, if not i'll try to get some more info and get back to every one with it as it comes available.
                            thanks for the help
                            ......or..........
                            hope i helped
                            sigpic
                            feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                            summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                            JAMES

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                            • #15
                              Diamond Ground

                              James - Several weeks ago I requested samples of both 2% Lanthanated and Tri Mix from Diamond Ground and have heard nothing. How long does it take to get samples from them?

                              I too am looking for an alternative to Thoriated. My lws doesn't carry anything but thoriated so I thought about giving Diamond Ground a try. Be nice if they get here soon.

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