TIG welding, also known as Tungsten Inert Gas Welding, is a type of electric arc welding that uses a non-melting tungsten electrode pin to create the arc while a shielding gas (usually argon or helium) is used to protect the material being welded from oxygen and hydrogen. The arc is generated by the electrode and heats the material, which is then brought together for welding by a manual feed of filler material. TIG welding is a very precise and sophisticated process used mainly for welding thin sheets and tubes of stainless steel, aluminium and other alloys. It is particularly well suited to the manufacture of critical components that require high quality and precision. However, it requires a high level of skill and experience on the part of the welder to produce high quality welds.
Areas of application
The applications for TIG welding are very specific and include
- Precision welding of thin sheets and tubes in stainless steel, aluminium, titanium and other alloys, especially in the aerospace, medical, chemical and petrochemical industries.
- Welding of thin sheets and tubes in the electronics and semiconductor industries, where low heat input and high precision are required.
- Welding of critical structures and components requiring high strength and corrosion resistance.
- Welding of works of art and architectural elements.
- TIG welding is also used in the manufacture of tools, machinery, vehicle parts and other industrial applications.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages of TIG welding are
- High precision: allows the welder to produce very accurate and clean welds, ideal for critical components and applications.
- High quality: produces high quality and durable joints with high strength and corrosion resistance.
- Wide range of materials: suitable for a wide range of materials such as stainless steel, aluminium, titanium and other alloys.
- Low heat impact: TIG welding produces little heat impact on the surrounding material, making it ideal for sensitive applications.
- High flexibility: can be used both in the workshop and in the field.
Disadvantages of TIG welding are
- Slow speed: TIG welding is slower than other methods such as MIG or TIG.
- High skill requirement: requires high skill and experience of the welder to produce high quality welds.
- High equipment and preparation requirements: requires specialised equipment and thorough preparation of the material and environment, making the process slightly more expensive.
- Requires shielding gas: TIG welding requires shielding gas, which increases costs and logistics.