How to set up Tig welding

What is TIG welding and where is it used?

Welding metal parts has been known to mankind for a long time. However, with the development of metallurgy, the emergence of new alloys and compounds, technology began to improve in order to meet all the requirements of emerging realities. Any novice welder needs to learn more information about TIG welding: what it is, how to use the equipment, what strengths and weaknesses it has.

What is TIG welding?

Before moving on to a description of the equipment and an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages, it is necessary to understand the principles of technology and the features of TIG welding. TIG welding is a method of joining metals that uses a tungsten electrode with a shielding gas. The rod is considered “non-melting”. The welder must sharpen it before use to ensure a stable arc and a straight weld.

The tungsten electrode is fixed in the torch in the center of the nozzle. At the edges of the burner there are holes through which protective gas is supplied. Argon is used for this. It protects the welding site from the formation of an oxide film. Additionally, filler wire must be used. It is desirable that it be made of the material that needs to be welded.

History of appearance

Welding has been known to mankind for decades. The idea that it was possible to join metal parts under intense heat first appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. Charles L. Coffin, an American engineer, thought about creating such equipment. However, the first samples of equipment did not allow the device to be used in industrial conditions or to weld metal alloys.

A non-consumable tungsten electrode and a shielding gas (inert helium) were first tested in the 1940s. Using this technology, it was possible to combine aluminum, magnesium, and nickel. The method became popular in aircraft and rocket engineering, and then gained popularity among other areas of industry.

Advantages and disadvantages

Any technological process has strengths and weaknesses. Advantages of argon TIG welding:

  1. Thanks to the use of protective gas, the seam is uniform, without pores, cracks, or voids. Argon protects the heated surface from the oxide film formed when hot metal interacts with oxygen.
  2. Internal stresses generated during welding without shielding gas are reduced.
  3. Metal does not splash.
  4. After welding, the products do not require additional processing.
  5. TIG welding can be used to join most known metals and alloys.
  6. It is enough to try to operate the equipment 2-3 times to master the skill of creating high-quality, beautiful seams.

Disadvantages of TIG welding:

  1. When using equipment outdoors, the connection point must be protected from the wind. Air flows disrupt the direction of movement of the protective gas, deteriorating the quality of the seam.
  2. It is necessary to carefully prepare the work surface.
  3. You cannot select an acute angle of inclination of the torch relative to the workpiece. This complicates the workflow.
  4. At the place where the electric arc ignites, a mark remains that will need to be cleaned off.

Considering the shortcomings of TIG equipment, you can prepare for possible difficulties during welding operation.


Since TIG technology allows you to connect many metals and alloys based on them, it is used in various areas of industry:

  1. Automotive industry, manufacturing of parts for industrial equipment.
  2. Space industry.
  3. Construction of ships and airplanes.
  4. Manufacturing of medical instruments.
  5. Construction, creation of power tools.

TIG technology is often used at home. Using machines with tungsten electrodes, car body parts are welded and radiators are repaired.


TIG equipment operates using unipolar or alternating current. Each of the individual TIG welding modes is used for different materials.


Equipment operating on direct current has certain advantages. These include:

  1. The efficiency of the work process increases.
  2. You can weld parts to great depth. The seam is narrow, but deep.
  3. The speed of the welding process increases.

The minus is fed to the tungsten electrode, the plus goes to the workpiece. Equipment operating on direct current is suitable for joining alloy steels and stainless steel.

Alternating current

Equipment during operation of which there is an automatic change of minus and plus. As the reverse polarity increases, the surface is more effectively cleaned of the oxide film.


The welding process can be carried out with shielding gas and a non-consumable tungsten electrode using a conventional inverter with a torch that can supply gas. However, there are two types of specialized tools:

  1. TIG inverter. It is complemented by a block that can generate direct or alternating current. Thanks to this, the functionality of the device increases. Makes it possible to work with steels, aluminum, alloys.
  2. Welding rectifiers. The device converts alternating current into direct current. It is a professional device.

Equipment and consumables must be selected depending on what metal or alloy will be processed.

Algorithm for assembling a welding machine

After purchasing the installation, consumables, and connecting elements, you need to assemble the individual parts and mechanisms together. Assembly steps:

  1. Connect the oscillator to the inverter.
  2. Secure the wire responsible for ground to the terminal marked with a plus sign.
  3. The wire that is connected to the burner must be connected to the terminal with a minus sign.
  4. Attach the burner to the sleeve through which the gas flow will be conducted.
  5. Prepare an argon cylinder. Screw on the gearbox.
  6. Secure the gas supply hose to the reducer.
  7. Connect the inverter to a common network - 220 V. The oscillator must be powered from a power supply that produces 6 V.

To avoid mistakes when connecting elements, you can watch diagrams and training videos. After assembly, you need to configure the device. The quality of the work performed will depend on this.

Welding technique

The DIY welding process requires preliminary setup of the machine. To do this, the welder needs to perform a number of actions:

  1. When using non-consumable tungsten electrodes, they must be prepared in advance. The working rod must be sharpened using a needle file.
  2. After sharpening the electrode, it must be installed on the burner. A collet clamp is used for this.
  3. Open the valve on the argon cylinder. Using the reducer, set the operating gas flow rate. The optimal rate is 13 l/min.
  4. Fix the mass on the workpiece or metal work table.
  5. Turn on the oscillator. Bring the burner to the metal surface.
  6. After pressing the power button, a spark will appear. Open the gas supply to the burner.

The distance between the end of the electrode and the working surface must be at least 3 mm. You can guide the pointed part in different ways. If you increase the distance between the tungsten tip and the metal, the seam will become wide and the welding depth will decrease. When connecting thin workpieces, you need to move the torch from right to left. To make a root seam, you need to guide the electrode evenly. Corner joints are connected at an angle of 45 degrees.

TIG welding is used to join metals and metal-based alloys.
The shielding gas used during the work prevents an oxide film from appearing. It is important to set up the equipment correctly, sharpen the non-consumable electrode before work, and keep the arc at the same distance from the workpiece. Tig welding for beginners

What is TIG welding and where is it used? Link to main publication


Aluminum argon arc welding (AC TIG): technology and features for beginners | Tiberis

Lightweight silver aluminum has long become an indispensable material in many areas of human activity. This practical metal or its alloys are used to create aircraft and dishes, huge ships and car parts. And in order to manufacture or repair the necessary parts, argon welding of aluminum is used. This method, according to most experts, is the most convenient. Read our article and you will find out why this happens.

Basics of welding aluminum with argon (argon arc method)

Aluminum argon arc welding (AC TIG) is performed using special equipment and materials. The standard kit for welding work includes:

  • TIG AC/DC inverter (AC source);
  • grounding (working without it is unsafe);
  • tungsten electrodes;
  • filler rod (wire);
  • special TIG welding torch;
  • burner cooling unit (for large volumes of work);
  • collets with holders and nozzles for the burner;
  • a gas cylinder (argon or a mixture of argon and helium);
  • reliable gas hose;
  • reducer to reduce the pressure of the gas used.

In addition, it is worth getting a good welding shield or a “Chameleon” mask with an automatically darkening filter, and also using high-quality leggings.

Many welding enthusiasts prefer to use a welding current control pedal in their work, but more often it can be found in the arsenal of a professional welder. For a beginner, it is more important to master the welding technique and correctly set the gas supply volume, prepare materials, set up the machine and adjust the welding current to the desired metal thickness.

What are the benefits of welding aluminum with argon?

Aluminum is a more difficult metal to heat treat than iron. The main reason for this is the instantaneous formation of a thin oxide film on its surface upon contact with oxygen. This film has a melting point several times higher than pure aluminum.

During the welding process, argon prevents the oxidation of aluminum , displacing oxygen. The filler wire, which is made from aluminum, melts under the influence of an arc and forms a weld.

The advantages of using argon arc welding are very significant:

  • universality of the method (it is suitable for welding various metals and alloys);
  • arc stability;
  • possibility of forming a neat thin seam;
  • stronger welded joints in critical areas.

The AC TIG welding method truly provides first-class results. In addition, a lot depends on the inverter. Therefore, premium models are always used in production, and a good owner is ready to invest money in the purchase of a reliable device. Even if you have to use it only from time to time.

AC or DC – the choice is obvious

When welding aluminum, it is alternating current that has won the love and respect of specialists. In order to understand why this happens, you need to delve a little into the technical details.

When connecting direct current of reverse polarity, cathodic cleaning of the oxide film occurs , but the welding temperature increases significantly. As a result, even such a refractory metal as tungsten, from which the electrode is made, begins to gradually deteriorate. If you connect direct current of direct polarity, it cannot penetrate the oxide film, but provides a more stable arc.

It is switching the polarity of the current that ensures a high-quality result of your work. This means that the choice is obvious - you need to use alternating current.

Aluminum welding with direct current is used much less frequently. It’s much more difficult to work this way; moreover, you need to use pure helium instead of argon, which costs several times more.

Preparing parts for welding - why is it needed?

The quality of the weld directly depends on the thorough preparation of the surface of aluminum products. If you neglect this rule, you risk getting a negative result, even if you use a high-quality inverter and first-class argon.

Therefore, before starting welding work, it is necessary:

  1. Degrease the surface using a solvent (white spirit, gasoline or acetone).
  2. Clean the surface from the oxide film mechanically or chemically.
  3. Allow the treated products to dry after chemical treatment with special compounds.

The mechanical cleaning method using a wire brush or sandpaper is allowed when welding at home.

The production uses a chemical cleaning method, including etching in alkaline solutions, washing in hot and cold water, clarification and final drying.

How to properly weld aluminum with a tungsten electrode with an additive

For welding aluminum, non-consumable electrodes made of refractory tungsten are used. Many models of these products contain additional impurities that improve the quality of the process.

The technology of argon arc welding of aluminum has its own characteristics. The main rule that should be strictly adhered to is the following: the filler wire must be in front of the electrode and it must be moved exclusively along the seam.

Welding can be done in various spatial positions. But it is worth remembering that argon is a heavier gas than oxygen. Therefore, the best quality of the seam is ensured when the welded products are positioned horizontally. For welding work on ceilings or walls, it is advisable to use a mixture of argon and very light helium. At the same time, costs inevitably increase, since the cost of helium is much higher than that of argon.

A few more points to note are:

  1. The length of the arc should be minimal. To do this, the electrode is placed as close as possible to the surface of the work being welded.
  2. The wire feed must be done smoothly. With experience this happens automatically. It's more difficult for beginners. Sudden jerks lead to metal spattering.
  3. The vertical position of the electrode provides the most stable arc. Therefore, it is advisable to adhere to it throughout the entire welding process.
  4. The welding speed should be as high as possible. The higher it is, the better the quality of the seam. Therefore, you can distinguish the result of the work of an experienced welder from the efforts of a beginner with the naked eye.

Equipment for argon welding – what to choose?

The choice of a specific model of welding equipment (inverter) depends on:

  • financial capabilities of a particular person or organization;
  • type of planned welding work and its frequency;
  • diameter of the metal being welded;
  • Possibility of permanent connection to a 380V power source.
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The universal devices Brima TIG 250 AC/DC 220V or Svarog TECH TIG 200P AC/DC (E101) are perfect for use at home. They can be used for argon arc welding on alternating and direct current, as well as for manual arc welding of iron products on direct current.

By purchasing them, you get at your disposal inexpensive universal devices that are easy to use. They will always help you quickly, and most importantly - efficiently, to carry out welding work even in your own apartment.

The Svarog TECH TIG 315P AC/DC (E103) and Bars Profi TIG 317DP AC/DC models operate at a voltage of 380 Volts and are designed for welding thick metal. They have more impressive technical characteristics.

Therefore, they are often purchased by customers who work in auto repair shops, workshops or forges.

Premium class welding inverters BLUEWELD BEST TIG 252 AC/DC HF/LIFT VRD and EWM Tetrix 230 AC/DC are indispensable for repair work, construction, engineering, and chemical plants. They provide safe operation even in areas with a high risk of electric shock and are designed for use in low temperatures (down to -20° C).

The most functional are premium inverters designed for use on an industrial scale. They have many outstanding characteristics and features.

The Lincoln Electric INVERTEC V205-T AC/DC model has a convenient power recognition function that reliably protects the inverter from overloads. In addition, it also includes a fan control function, reducing power consumption and the amount of dust entering the machine.

The EWM Tetrix 551 AC/DC inverter is equipped with large wheels that make moving the device much easier and a simple control panel.

The Kemppi MasterTIG MLS 2300 ACDC welding machine has maximum welding power of 220V and is compact in size.

The ESAB Origo TIG 4300IW AC/DC model is specially designed for TIG welding of different materials and contains a convenient function for pre-programming modes.


Features and benefits of TIG welding technology

Among modern types of reliable connections of metal structures, the TIG welding method stands out, which is used in mechanical engineering, when repairing cars at service stations, as well as in many other enterprises when it is necessary to weld parts of different configurations. After such exposure, neat seams remain that do not spoil the appearance of the product, but maintain its strength.

general information

TIG welding is a manual type of welding of parts that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode, protected by pure argon . The abbreviation simply stands for tungsten plus protective inert gas, but what tig welding is needs to be explained in more detail. The main role is played by a tungsten electrode with a high melting point, so during operation it practically does not change its configuration.

A tungsten rod is fixed in the center of the nozzle, from which argon comes out under pressure, protecting the welding site from oxidation. The welding arc melts the metal of the edges of the parts and the filler wire, forming a strong seam. Using this type of welding, beginners successfully connect parts made of aluminum, which is difficult to process due to its special surface structure.

Having studied in practice what tig welding is, performers who have no experience in joining non-ferrous metals will confidently work in production , because the inert gas will reliably protect the molten metal from possible oxidation.

Application in production

This progressive type of welding is widely used due to the high arc temperature, which allows high-quality joining of carbon steels and non-ferrous metals. The performer can process products made of cast iron, aluminum and their alloys, and cook refractory metals with equal confidence . When welding stainless steel structures, aesthetically pleasing seam joints are obtained that do not require additional processing.

Automotive concerns, manufacturers of rocket and aircraft equipment, the food and oil refining industries are all interested in purchasing similar equipment because of its reliability and welding quality.

Advantages and disadvantages

TIG welding has many advantages in its arsenal:

  1. When heated, the metal deforms minimally.
  2. Argon is much heavier than the oxygen molecules contained in the air, so it displaces them from the weld pool, preventing oxidation.
  3. All types of work are not difficult to perform; the performer, even without much experience, quickly copes with the task.
  4. The seam is smooth and neat, no further processing is required.
  5. Refractory metals and aluminum structures, which are considered problematic in production, are easily connected.
  6. Minimal negative impact on the environment.

Welding TIG also has a number of negative properties:

  • it cannot be used outdoors with gusts of wind, since the inert gas is blown out of the weld pool;
  • careful preliminary preparation of the edges of parts is required;
  • problems with welding in hard-to-reach places due to the design of the torch.

Beginners often ask the question - what is this name TIG lift, this function of igniting an arc when the electrode touches the metal and then is retracted to the distance required for high-quality welding . At the moment of retraction, the welding arc is excited, but a mark remains on the surface that must be cleaned after completion of the work.

Execution technology

Before starting work, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the welded joints, since foreign impurities can disrupt the integrity of the seam, negatively affecting the quality.

To select the current strength, there are special tables, which for ease of use are placed on the front side of the devices. The optimal length of the welding arc is no more than three and no less than one and a half millimeters. When welding by butt welding, its output is no more than 5 mm, and when connecting corner structures - up to 8 mm.

How to cook with TIG welding

By choosing the right mode, the welder already has 50% success in firmly connecting the structure . The table shows options for selecting the electrode diameter and current strength, which directly depend on the thickness of the parts being connected.

Workpiece thickness, mm Current value, ampere Electrode size, mm
1 44—56 1,5
2 79—91 2,0
3 121—150 3,2
4 165—190 5,0

Then the polarity option is set: forward for constant current and reverse for variable current. The quality and speed of welding is affected by the sharpness of the sharpening, and its angle changes to join thick metals.

To activate the arc, the welder runs a rod along the surface of the structure (the principle of lighting matches) or uses a TIG lift. The non-contact excitation option is only possible when using professional equipment of a similar type.

Features of the package

It is quite simple: you need a device to connect the mass and the burner - durable hoses, a reducer that provides regulation of the shielding gas pressure and is installed on a gas cylinder. There are two types of burners used:

  1. No. 1 - metals with a thickness of no more than 3 mm.
  2. No. 2 - for thicker structures.

The current value in the first option is not so large, so the body quickly cools down naturally; the second option uses water cooling: a mixture of alcohol-ethanol and distilled water circulates from the device to the burner, cooling the hose and body, and also protecting them from hypothermia in sub-zero weather .

Proper use of the inverter

When doing argon welding from an inverter with your own hands, it is useful for beginners to learn some nuances: first set the machine to the required amperage, connect the hoses . What matters is the type of current being connected, after which you need to adjust the gas supply, checking the table below.

Gas consumption, l/min Metals
15—20 aluminum
10—12 copper
6—8 low alloy steel
12—14 magnesium alloys
10—12 Nickel alloys

The arc can now be activated and welding can begin, adding filler wire to improve weld quality.

We make the device at home

A simple way is to use a regular MMA inverter with parameters suitable for welding, but you need to modify it and reconfigure it . As a result, you get an inverter unit that allows you to weld metal with any type of current connected. You will need a set of hoses to connect a factory-made burner, an oscillator and a current delay unit.

The second option involves making all the components of the circuit yourself - this reduces financial costs, but the performer requires knowledge and high skills in assembly, manufacturing complex circuit boards and parts, as well as a lot of free time.

Electrodes and their characteristics

When TIG welding, rods are used consisting of up to 99% durable tungsten , various additives help improve the seam joint. For example, WC-20 contain cerium oxides, are operated at low DC values, the arc is easily activated, such electrodes are used for welding small parts.

WL-20, due to lanthanum oxide, does not heat up as much during operation, so its service life is the longest. Electrodes of the WZ-8 brand containing zirconium oxide, work only when connected to alternating current, and are characterized by arc stability. And rods marked WY-20 are resistant to high currents due to the presence of yttrium oxide, and are used for welding particularly important structures.

Types of sharpening

The quality of the seam depends on the form of processing: direct current - the electrodes are sharpened into a cone with a flat area on the contact part, alternating current - the end is rounded. Periodically, the rod is polished to remove minor damage and sagging. If the length of the cone is short, then the width of the seam is similar; for optimal welding of the metal, use a sharpening length equal to two diameters of the electrode.

Common Mistakes

A decrease in the volume of the electrode occurs when the current strength is incorrectly adjusted and the gas pressure is insufficient , the supply of which continues for at least 10 seconds after the arc is deactivated. If the gas is turned off immediately, then oxidation of the heated rod occurs.

The electrode changes color due to the low supply rate of protective gas, and a poor-quality seam is obtained when water vapor enters due to a loose threaded connection of the hoses where cooling circulation occurs.

Safety precautions

Violations of safety rules lead to occupational diseases of performers, the emergence of preconditions for accidents and injuries at work. For large volumes of welding work, they must be carried out in special rooms or fenced off cabins, where ventilation is arranged to remove harmful gases.

During the construction of buildings, fenced areas are constructed, and the height of the shields must be at least two meters; welding in fire hazardous areas is carried out in strict compliance with fire safety requirements. Equipment in open areas is protected from precipitation by awnings or covered with a thick tarpaulin.

 When welding non-ferrous metals, a huge amount of harmful gases and dust is released, which negatively affects the health of welders, so it is necessary to ensure effective exhaust and fresh ventilation in the room. When equipping them, it must be taken into account that harmful impurities are removed from the welding site at an angle and in the direction opposite to the performer.


The TIG technique is based on a technological method of welding various metals while protected from oxidation by neutral gases, with the participation of filler wire and a non-consumable tungsten electrode. Even a novice welder can easily connect ferrous and non-ferrous metals, as well as refractory alloys. The equipment allows for deep welding of various structures, but theoretical knowledge and professional skills are needed, as in any other profession.


What is tig welding, what electrodes are it used for?

There are several modes of conducting the welding process. They differ from each other in the conditions for forming a weld in metals, their applicability, and the equipment used. Among these modes, tig welding (Tungsten Inert Gas) occupies an important place, the name of which indicates that it is carried out in an inert gas environment.

This method of joining metals is used in production and in car services. As a result of the work performed, it is possible to obtain a seam of excellent quality and aesthetics, effective penetration of the edges of workpieces, as well as high-quality connection of parts with a large cross-sectional area.

  • Peculiarities
  • Equipment
  • Consumables
  • Modes
  • Flaws


If you translate the name of the mode into Russian, which gives the abbreviation TIG, you get “tungsten with inert gas.” Let us examine in more detail the purpose of each element in the welding process. Metal penetration is carried out under the influence of an electric arc, which is created between two electrodes under high voltage. The role of one electrode is played by the part being welded, and the other is played by a special tungsten rod, which is controlled by the welder.

The tungsten electrode melts at a temperature of 4000°C degrees. This indicator is significantly higher than that of other metals and alloys, so this electrode can be used to weld almost any type of steel. To obtain an accurate and neat seam, the electrode should be periodically sharpened. The tungsten rod is fixed in the torch collet, and the unused part is placed in a special cap that prevents short-circuiting.

The welding machine torch is designed in such a way that an electrode is placed in the middle of the nozzle, and gas is supplied in a circle. Since argon acts as a shielding gas, this welding method is called argon arc welding. The idea of ​​inert gas protection is to displace oxygen.

If it penetrates into the weld pool, hydrogen will begin to be released as a result of chemical reactions, which will lead to the appearance of many cracks during metal crystallization.

For each alloy, its own welding mode is determined, characterized by a certain amount of gas and voltage value on the electrodes.

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With sufficiently precise processing of the edges of the parts being welded, their penetration and subsequent crystallization occur. If there is a gap between the surfaces that cannot be eliminated, then a special filler substance is used, which is fed into the welding zone in the form of a wire.

The TIG welding type has become widespread. Due to the fact that the arc temperature is quite high, it is possible to work with carbon steel, as well as non-ferrous metals and their alloys.

TIG welding is used when processing cast iron, copper and aluminum products, but it shows its main advantage when welding stainless steel.

Stainless steel can also be welded using MMA inverters, however, argon arc welding produces a neat and precise seam, which should not be subsequently cleaned of slag.

The wire for the additive must be made of the same material as the elements being welded. TIG welding allows you to weld aluminum. If there is no protective gas, the molten aluminum quickly oxidizes. In an argon environment, the characteristic oxide film does not form, and the edges melt evenly.

TIG welding is most often used in the following jobs and industries:

  • mechanical engineering;
  • work with food steel, production of tableware;
  • production of containers for storing chemically aggressive substances;
  • car repair.

Like any other type of welding, argon arc welding has a number of requirements and has certain features. Every welder should know about them, since otherwise it will be impossible to guarantee a high-quality result.

  • The parts to be welded, in particular the edge surfaces, must be cleaned of foreign elements and degreased.
  • The tungsten electrode is connected to the negative terminal of the inverter.
  • Welding aluminum requires equipment that operates in AC mode (alternating current).
  • It is necessary to correctly calculate the welding current based on the operating conditions. In particular, the choice of its value is influenced by the diameter of the electrode. Excessively high current will cause the electrode to melt, which is undesirable.
  • In the absence of proper experience, it is recommended to form a small arc.
  • Before welding, it is necessary to prepare the torch. The tungsten electrode should protrude 3-5 mm from the collet.
  • It is necessary to pay attention to the uniform distribution of gas across the cross-section of the burner nozzle.


Welding with a non-consumable electrode does not imply that it is not consumed in the process. Let's say more, a tungsten electrode is considered one of the types of consumables, the condition of which must be constantly monitored.

It is indeed 99 percent tungsten. This material was not chosen by chance, since tungsten has a high melting point. Components such as tantalum, yttrium, thorium, and lanthanum are used as impurities.

The concentration of the additive is indicated by conventional colors: white, green, blue.

The setup procedure includes work on sharpening the electrode. The shape of the end of the rod affects the shape of the arc; it should be different under different conditions. When welding with direct current, it is necessary that the arc resembles a cone. If the current is alternating, then a rounding at the point of contact is characteristic. The surface of the rod is additionally polished.

Another consumable is gas. In TIG welding, its role is played by argon. Argon is heavier than air, so it displaces oxygen from the torch. In some cases, it is necessary to protect the combustion zone from hydrogen. Here it is more advisable to use helium (the lightest gas, with the exception of hydrogen).

Helium welding increases arc power and, as a result, productivity. After weighing all factors, including the cost of the process, helium is used only when working with refractory metals. If it is necessary to carry out complex work, a mixture consisting of argon and helium is used. The share of argon is 40%. Argon provides stable welding parameters, and helium allows metal to be penetrated to a great depth.


Despite the fact that argon arc welding is considered universal, it has some disadvantages. First of all, it should be understood that shielding gas is only effective in calm weather or when working in enclosed spaces. It is often necessary to install barrier shields or increase the argon consumption.

The next drawback that many welders highlight is the need for high-quality surface preparation. Indeed, if MMA welding can be carried out due to contamination or rust, then the metal should be cleaned and degreased before TIG welding. The design features of the burner do not allow work to be carried out in hard-to-reach places. In such cases, you have to sacrifice the electrode, because replacing the cap with a smaller one requires cutting the tungsten rod.


Features and benefits of TIG welding

Argon arc TIG welding (or simply TIG welding) is very popular among professional welders. It is widely used not only in large industries, but also in small workshops, for example, car services.

It's all about the versatility of this technology: you can easily weld both a thin, aesthetic seam and completely melt thick joints of parts. You also don't have to worry about welding copper, aluminum or stainless steel. But it's not that simple.

This technology has a number of nuances that need to be taken into account before welding.

In this article we will explain in detail what argon arc tig welding is, what advantages and disadvantages this technology has, how to properly weld tig welding and what equipment is needed for the work.


TIG welding with blowing has become widespread also because the arc temperature is quite high. Thanks to this feature, the welder can join both carbon steel and non-ferrous metal. At the same time, the quality of the seam will be at a decent level. You can work with cast iron, aluminum and its alloys, titanium and other metals. The seams obtained when tig welding stainless steel are especially aesthetically pleasing. The seam is immediately clean; it does not need to be cleaned of slag or splashes.

All these advantages of TIG welding allow this technology to find application in the factories of large automobile concerns, in the food business, in the chemical and oil refining industries, in many private car services and car service stations.


In addition to all the advantages listed above, there are a number of advantages that cannot be ignored. All of them are connected, of course, with the use of tungsten rods and inert gases. So, the pros:

  • Despite the high temperature, there is minimal metal deformation during welding due to the narrow heating zone.
  • Argon gas is heavier than oxygen, so air is easily displaced from the welding zone.
  • The work is carried out quickly, it is not difficult to learn, even a master without high qualifications can do welding.
  • The welded joint is very neat and smooth; no mechanical treatment of the seam is required.
  • You can weld many metals, including problematic ones (like aluminum).
  • Significantly less negative impact on the environment.

Instead of a conclusion

Tig welding is a technologically advanced and modern welding method that opens up new opportunities even for an experienced craftsman. Argon welding using a tungsten electrode or filler wire allows you to weld different types of metals, from thin to thick. You have access to fast and high-quality welding of copper, aluminum, cast iron and titanium. You no longer need to spend a lot of time trying to solve all the problems associated with the characteristics of each metal.

TIG welding is the choice of professionals in their field. This technology is in demand in many areas of human activity and professionals with knowledge of this technology are constantly required. By applying our recommendations in your work, you will be able to start welding and successfully complete it. But don’t stop there, study as much theory as possible and then apply it in practice. We wish you good luck in your work!


A guide to welding aluminum with argon for beginners

Do you want to conquer aluminum - this capricious, lightweight material with high electrical conductivity? Friends, it is possible!

Let's look at how to weld aluminum with argon for beginners; every beginner will learn step-by-step instructions with photos and videos.

Necessary equipment

To weld aluminum, you need a source (apparatus) that produces alternating current. The technology will not work on direct current.

The device must have the following functions:

  • non-contact ignition;
  • crater filling;
  • current balance adjustment.

These settings (discussed below) are sufficient for high-quality argon welding of aluminum.

Argon gas must be pure; purchase cylinders without atmospheric air. If the reducer on an argon cylinder is made in Russia, then it is recommended to set the flow rate to 12-15 l/min. And if it’s a Czech brand, then 8 liters is enough.

We set the correct gas flow

Filler rod. There are several types of material, two are widely in demand:

  1. for welding pure aluminum (No. 5356);
  2. rods with silicon for compounds with impurities (No. 4043).

Table with numbers of rods and their areas of application:

Tungsten electrodes can be used - universal (AC/DC), different colors or only for alternating current (AC) welding, painted green.

The minimum electrode diameter for argon arc welding of aluminum is 2.4 mm. Before work, it is sharpened, making it not sharp, but with a slight dullness. Don’t try too hard; during welding it will take its correct shape, like a droplet. The droplet should be the same size as the diameter of the electrode, shiny in color with a smooth sphere.

Electrode with shiny droplet

If the color is dull, it means there is not enough gas coming in or it is of poor quality. If the electrode melts, it means it was chosen incorrectly. It is necessary to install a larger diameter electrode.

When welding aluminum, it is recommended to use a gas lens (collet holder). A mesh is inserted inside the structure, passing through which the gas creates better protection for the tungsten electrode and the weld pool.

The collet holder is installed in the torch

There are special nozzles with different diameters for the lens. The larger the nozzle diameter, the better the protection.

The electrode should protrude from the nozzle by 3-5 mm. With a larger shot, tungsten heats up more and is destroyed faster.

about equipment.

How to set up the device

Let's look at the step-by-step instructions for beginners using the Ironman 200 AC/DC welding inverter as an example.

1) The leftmost function is the AC balance setting (CLEAN WD.), which has 2 polarities - minus and plus.

Our connection technology uses 50/50 polarity; the polarity changes depending on the type of task. For example, when welding pure aluminum, the balance is adjusted in the negative range. This way the metal, bath, and electrode will heat up less, and the seams will turn out thin and beautiful. Due to the low heating of the electrode, it can be sharpened more sharply.

For dirty aluminum, it is better to set the positive range, so the heating of the metal will be stronger, and the cleaning of the bath will be better.

Be careful: a positive half-wave has a detrimental effect on the tungsten electrode.

Based on the diameter of the electrode, the correct balance of alternating current is adjusted.

2) The next function (CURRENT) is the welding current setting. To weld aluminum, for example, 2 mm thick, it is enough to set the force to 60-65 A.

3) Third toggle switch (DOWN SLOPE) - crater filling setting (slow arc decay). Setting the arc decay time depends on the thickness of the metal. For 2 mm it is enough to set it to 3 seconds.


10 tips to help a beginner TIG welder

TIG welding (Tungsten Inert Gas) is becoming increasingly popular due to the exceptional quality of welded joints. But, unfortunately, it is practically not used in mass production. This is due to the fact that it has low productivity and all work on it is often done manually. And where there are people, there is a human factor, so every welder who works with TIG welding should know these 10 simple rules:

For TIG welding, more than any other, the cleanliness of the welding area is important, since any contamination will lead to loss of quality of the weld being applied. In the case of welding aluminum, even if the etching was carried out several hours before the start of welding, before the process itself it is advisable to brush again to destroy the newly formed oxide film, since during the welding process the metal becomes very sensitive to this kind of contamination.

Despite the fact that TIG welding practically does not melt the electrode, like conventional methods, the chemical composition, diameter and sharpening of the electrode still matter.

If in the case of diameter everything is more or less clear: thinner material means smaller electrode diameter, then questions arise with the chemical composition. So let’s solve them by considering the differences in the three most popular types of electrodes:

Pure, unalloyed tungsten (indicated by a green mark on the electrode)

Pure tungsten is commonly used for welding aluminum because it works well with alternating current and can be used with a variety of shielding gases. The disadvantages include relatively rapid consumption (combustion) compared to other types of electrodes, but this is more than compensated by the low cost of pure tungsten electrodes.

Thoriated tungsten (indicated in red)

The main advantage of a thoriated electrode over the previously presented pure tungsten electrode is better stability of operation at direct current. These electrodes can also be used on alternating current, but only on small thicknesses. Their main drawback is a small amount of radioactive radiation, so they require special conditions for storage and handling.

Lanthanated tungsten (indicated in blue)

This type of electrode is easy to use - it is much easier to light and hold an arc on them, and the shape of the sharpening of the tip is better preserved. Also, the advantages include significant wear resistance and, as a result, less consumption per unit of seam.

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When welding critical structures, it is extremely important to know what thickness and grade of metal you are working with, since depending on these factors you need to select filler wire, electrode and type of sharpening. Accordingly, the greater the responsibility of the seam, the more scrupulous you need to be in choosing the material used.

The type of current used when welding greatly affects the final result.

Alternating current is typically used to weld aluminum and magnesium. This is due to the fact that a constant change in polarity causes the destruction of the oxide film that covers the metal (the melting temperature of aluminum is 660°C, and the melting temperature of the oxide film is about 2000°C).

In other cases, the use of direct current is allowed.

    Depending on the material being welded, the electrode must be prepared differently. In the case of welding steel sheets of medium thickness, it is enough to simply sharpen it “in half” (sharpen an electrode with a thickness of 3 mm to 1.5 mm). This helps focus the arc and improve positioning accuracy. The thinner the metal, the more sharpening is needed.

    For alternating current it is necessary to slightly round the end, for direct current - flat sharpening. And one more thing: you need to sharpen so that the grooves remain along the length of the electrode, and not across, since this way the arc will burn much more focused. For aluminum, completely different laws apply.

    When welding aluminum, it is necessary that the tip of the electrode be rounded to improve arc stability.

    You also need to remember that the electrode wears out, so you need to monitor its condition (if necessary, sharpen it and keep it clean)

    Most modern welding machines for TIG welding have an automatic current control system, but what to do if the machine does not provide it, and the seam needs to be applied? When manually controlling the current intensity, it is recommended to start the process with as much power as possible, and only after the formation of a weld pool, reduce it to comfortable values.

    For TIG welding, more than any other, it is important how the nozzle moves. To begin applying the seam, you must place the nozzle at an angle of 90° relative to the seam. After the formation of the weld pool, the angle decreases to 70-80°. When filling the crater, the angle is reduced to 20-30°.

    When working with aluminum, you need to be extremely careful, since it has significant thermal conductivity and does not have tarnish. Therefore, when welding aluminum, the risk of injury is much higher than when welding other metals.

    Different connections require different approaches. When lap welding, for example, it is necessary to increase the focus of heat on the ends, since this will provide maximum strength with minimal heat input. It is also necessary to take into account the shape of the weld when adding filler material (more heat - more filler metal).

    Nothing helps with TIG welding like an experienced hand. After all, even after reading all the theoretical recommendations, but taking the holder and filler wire for the first time in your life, you will not get a perfect seam. Therefore, before you start making complex and important seams, you need to practice.


    How to cook aluminum with argon


    There are several ways to permanently connect this capricious material; each has advantages and disadvantages. But reliable and aesthetic seams that do not require additional processing are created only by welding aluminum with argon. The success of the work is determined by the correct choice of equipment, consumables and knowledge of the nuances of the method.

    Features of welding aluminum with argon

    When performing work, you need to take into account the unusual characteristics of this metal:

    1. Due to increased chemical activity, the surface of aluminum upon contact with air is quickly covered with an oxide film. It melts at a temperature of more than 2000⁰C, and metal - 660⁰C. If hard pieces of film get into the seam, its strength will decrease.
    2. When welding aluminum, it is difficult to control the process, since its color does not change after melting.
    3. The material is hygroscopic, therefore it absorbs atmospheric moisture, which, when heated, evaporates from the surface, reducing the quality of the connection.
    4. Due to the high coefficient of linear expansion, the joint may become deformed and crack when cooling. To compensate for shrinkage, argon welding is carried out with increased wire consumption or the seam is modified.
    5. If the gas flow is incorrectly adjusted when performing argon welding of aluminum, it foams when there is a shortage, and when there is an excess, it makes it difficult to form a seam.

    Necessary equipment and materials

    To operate, you will need a device that produces alternating current, since welding aluminum with direct current using the argon method cannot be carried out. The best option would be an inverter with a TIG mode and a set of options allowing:

    • ignite an arc without contact;
    • weld a crater at the end of the seam;
    • adjust current balance;
    • set the period of time during which the argon supply continues after the arc is turned off.

    To reduce gas consumption for welding aluminum, you need to acquire a torch with a gas lens (collet holder), inside of which a mesh is placed. When argon passes through the cells, protection of the welding site is improved at lower consumption. To install lenses, nozzles of several diameters are available; the larger the size, the more reliable the protection.


    Argon arc welding

    Hello dear readers!

    In this article, we will look at the device and process of TIG welding in clear language.

    When it comes to auto body repair, TIG welding is mostly associated with repairing aluminum vehicle bodies. In addition to aluminum, any other metal can be joined by such welding, including different types of metals can be welded into one part. Let's look at the device, operating principle and some details of the application of this type of welding.

    TIG welding is a manual process that requires the welder to use both hands. What sets TIG apart from other types of welding is how the arc is created and how the filler material is applied. With one hand, the welder holds the torch, which creates the arc, and with the other, he supplies the filler metal to the weld joint.

    Due to the fact that you have to use both hands, this welding is considered the most difficult to learn, but it is also considered the most versatile, as it can be used even when welding different metals. The process is quite slow, but if used correctly, the result is a high quality seam.

    Typically, TIG welding is used if you need to weld something unusual, different from steel, and where you need a neat, thin seam.

    TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas Welding) translates as Tungsten Electrode Welding in an Inert Gas Environment. The full and more correct name of TIG is Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW, Tungsten Arc Welding in a shielding gas environment).

    This welding was first introduced in the 1940s and was used with Helium as the shielding gas.

    Why is Tungsten used for welding?

    Tungsten is a very hard, slightly radioactive and brittle metal. Its use is limited compared to other metals. In TIG welding, Tungsten is used as a non-consumable electrode which is used to create the arc. It heats up to 6000 degrees Celsius. Its high melting point and good electrical conductivity prevent it from burning.

    How does TIG welding work?

    This type of welding requires three things: high temperature, shielding gas, and filler metal. The high temperature is achieved by electricity passing through the tungsten electrode and creating an arc with the metal. The gas comes from a cylinder and flows to the welding site to protect the seam from exposure to air. Filler metal is a wire that is fed into the arc by the welder and melts.

    The process occurs in the following sequence: first, the welder opens the gas, then the electrode is brought to the connection of the parts being welded at a sufficient distance so as not to touch the metal, then the pedal is pressed and a welding arc is formed.

    The metal of the parts being welded begins to melt, and the welder with his second hand begins to push the filler wire into the zone of the welding arc, which melts and fills the welding joint.

    TIG welding is similar to stick welding. The TIG welding electrode holder sleeve can be installed on an arc welder and this design will work as TIG.

    The welding arc in TIG welding can be formed in the same way as in electric arc welding with electrodes, but more often TIG machines have a “high frequency start” function. This allows you to avoid touching the metal to create the welding arc. As soon as power is applied to the electrode, an arc is formed at a distance of up to 2.5 cm from the metal.

    This is done due to a short moment of high voltage, which helps to overcome the distance to the metal and create an electric arc. Immediately after the arc is formed, the voltage drops to the value set on the device. Thus, the tungsten electrode does not receive physical impact and does not wear out.

    Shielding gas for TIG welding

    Shielding gas protects the welding area from air. Argon/Ar and Helium/He can be used. Argon is most often used. Since these gases are inert, they do not change the characteristics of the weld. Three types of gas mixtures are less commonly used.

    The first is Argon and Hydrogen, the second is Argon and Nitrogen, the third is Argon and Helium. Argon mixed with Helium is used when welding thick metals for better penetration of the seam. Pure Argon works well for most welding applications.

    Types of Tungsten Electrodes

    Tungsten is the main ingredient that makes up the TIG welding electrode. Sometimes a small percentage of other metals are added to improve the characteristics of the welding arc created by the electrode. Cerium, Lanthanum, Zirconium are added.

    Electrodes come in different diameters and have different end shapes. The characteristics of the welding arc created depend on the shape of the end. The end of the electrode must be shaped manually.

    A sharp “tip” is used for welding steel. The end can be given this shape using a fine-grained grinding wheel or a special sharpening device for Tungsten electrodes.

    An electrode with a rounded “tip” is usually used for welding aluminum and magnesium. To get this shape, you need to create a welding arc, if possible over copper (but other metal is also possible).

    The shielding gas should be Argon. The welding machine is adjusted in a certain way so that the tungsten electrode begins to melt and a drop forms at its end.

    When the drop forms in the form of a small ball, you need to stop the welding arc.

    Preparing metal for TIG welding

    Metal preparation is especially important when TIG welding. It should be free of rust, oxidation, scale, paint residues, oil and other contaminants. There should only be pure metal. It must be cleaned by physical means, or chemical acid cleaners in the case of aluminum welding.

    Setting up a TIG welding machine

    There are two main settings of the device - changing the current strength and adjusting the flow of shielding gas. The current setting depends on the type of metal and its thickness. The flow of shielding gas is adjusted depending on the environmental conditions, the type of metal and the socket of the electrode holder.

    Aluminum welding

    For welding aluminum, an electrode made of pure Tungsten or Tungsten with the addition of Cerconium is used. It is required that its tip be prepared in the shape of a small ball (see above). The unit must be set to A/C (alternating current).

    It is required that the welding arc be created remotely ("high frequency start" function). 100% Argon is used as a shielding gas. With the correct settings of the welding machine and the selection of a suitable electrode, you can weld aluminum sheets of any thickness.

    As you can see in the photo below, the seam is obtained with high decorative and strength characteristics.

    TIG welding process

    It is better for beginners to learn how to weld using TIG welding, starting with 2 - 3 mm steel. When welding, it is necessary to control the distance between the electrode and the metal being welded. To do this you need to take a stable position. The electrode is located approximately 20 degrees from the vertical position.

    The distance between the electrode and the metal should be from 1 to 1.5 times the diameter of the electrode. If, for example, an electrode with a diameter of 1.6 mm is used, then the distance will be approximately 2 mm.

    Before starting welding, you need to slowly move your hand over the surface, controlling the angle of the electrode and the distance to understand that nothing is in the way.

    Start by forming a welding arc. The length of the arc affects the heat in the welding area. The larger the arc, the greater the heating. Feel how it acts on the metal, melting it. Try welding without filler metal first.

    After understanding the entire process, start adding filler wire to the welding area. The filler metal must be fed correctly and melted by the metal being welded, not by the welding arc.

    It must be supplied close to the arc and within the range of the shielding gas.

    In conclusion, we can say that TIG welding, despite the initial difficulty of mastering, is considered one of the most versatile types of welding, producing a high-quality weld.


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