A tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding machine is used to create fixed rigid metal joints. The process involves temporarily melting two pieces of metal that are in close proximity together and fusing them upon cooling. Industry professionals use different welding techniques depending on the desired production specifications and materials involved in the project. However, TIG welding is known to produce the strongest and most precise welds compared to all other welding types.
TIG welding differs from metal inert gas (MIG) and stick welding as it does not require consumable filler materials such as wire and rod to be performed. Instead, TIG welding machines use a non-consumable welding electrode with an extremely high melting point, far greater than the workpiece, to generate sufficient heat resulting in molten metal. This technique of welding has the versatility to weld thicker workpieces and a greater range of metal types (including aluminium) that other types of welding are not.
TIG welding machines are made of strong, impact proof material making them suitable for most work environments. Features include a foot pedal or thumb wheel to control the amount of heat produced by the welding torch, a thermostat controlled fan to regulate machine temperature and a removable steel mesh dust filter.
TIG or tungsten inert gas welding is more difficult than other traditional types of welding as it does not use a filler material. Tungsten is the type of metal used in the electrode and is considered a non-consumable metal. This refers to the fact that the electrode does not melt to form a weld between the spaces in the workpiece. Instead, it produces enough heat to turn the base metal into a liquid state, known as molten metal.
TIG welding shields the molten metal by utilising inert gas (argon) that is stored in high pressure cylinders to prevent a reaction with oxygen and water vapour from taking place. This results in a strong high quality weld.
A TIG welding machine produces extremely high temperatures by producing an electric circuit capable of melting metal. Improper use of equipment, lack of skills and even small mistakes while welding can result in serious injury or death. For this reason, specialised equipment must be worn at all times.
Here is a list of safety equipment that should be worn while welding:
Multi-process welding machines refer to the machine’s ability to perform two or more of the following types of welding; stick, MIG, TIG, flux-core arc, wire and plasma cutting. TIG welding machines are capable of performing both TIG and stick welding, therefore are considered multi-process. A selector switch on the machine allows the operator to easily choose the required setting.
TIG welding is unique in that it is capable of welding aluminium. Aluminium is a problem metal for all other types of welding because of its oxidising properties. The oxidation causes welds to become brittle and weak. TIG welding machines minimise oxides from forming at the base of the weld by producing alternating AC and DC currents. It is important to note that not all TIG welding machines have the ability to produce both AC and DC currents.
When choosing a TIG welding machine there are many considerations to be made.
The first of which is the duty cycle. The duty cycle refers to the percentage of time that the machine can be safely operated at a certain amperage. For example, a machine may run with the following duty cycle - 60% duty cycle at 320 amps - cycles are generally measured in a ten minute time frame. This means the machine will run continuously at 320 amps for 6 minutes and then cool down for the remaining 4 minutes.
Another consideration to make is the current output of the machine. If the intended use of the machine is to weld aluminium, then a machine that produces both AC and DC currents will be required.
The thickness of the metal being welded should also be considered when choosing a TIG welding machine. The thicker the material, the higher the output current range will need to be.
If you are looking to a buy a TIG Welder for sale, suppliers on IndustrySearch include Wilson's Industrial Sales, Welding Industries of Australia, WeldQuip Group, Gentronics, ACL Industrial Technology, The Lincoln Electric Company, Kemppi Australia