TIG Welding Benefits – A Great Skill To Have

TIG Welding Benefits

TIG welding benefits – TIG is often referred to as the hardest welding process to learn. It requires great dexterity and steady hands at all times. However, once learned, it can offer many benefits due to it’s versatility and cleanly nature. We have found that our projects that are high end really benefit from the TIG process, and clients love the look of a nice TIG bead.

Large Amperage Range

One of the great things about TIG is that its amperage range is larger than almost any other process. You can weld super thin sheet metal at 30 amps, up to 1 inch thick material at 300 amps. The wide range of torch options can tackle just about any gauge of steel or aluminum. Granted, machines and torches that are capable of high amperages are more expensive, but it can be done. This makes TIG extremely versatile and offers a huge benefit to welders with a wide array of projects.

Bead Versatility

TIG Stacking Dimes
Stacking Dimes : Wikimedia Commons

TIG welding can produce beads of all sizes. Super thin beads can be accomplished with 1/16″ filler metal, and wider beads can be completed with 1/8″ filler metal. You can even use no filler metal if you just need to fuse two pieces of material. This makes TIG a great choice for all welding projects from small to large. Having an assortment of different filler diameters will ensure that you are prepared for any job.

Wide Range Of Metals

A unique TIG fact is that it can weld just about any metal out there. Other processes like Stick are limited to steel, aluminum, stainless, and cast iron. TIG can weld all of these, and also chromoly, copper, magnesium, gold, bronze and brass. Filler metals are available in all of these materials; although the process remains largely the same, you can switch out filler metals for all sorts of projects. Some of these fillers get really pricey, with steel rods being the least expensive of the bunch.

One Gas For Everything

Although processes like aluminum TIG can benefit from a helium shielding gas, most metals can be shielded with straight argon. This is a huge help for newer welders who don’t want a bunch of extra equipment. They can learn aluminum TIG, Steel TIG and stainless TIG while keeping the exact same gas bottle hooked up to their machine. It makes runs to the supply store less daunting, and gives you more freedom to try welding on different metals.

Cleanly Process

Processes like MIG and Stick produce lots of sparks and spatter. Flux core MIG and Stick also produce a slag coating, which must be removed to see your final weld. Because of these factors, a lot of smoke and fumes are produced while performing these processes. This can make welding inside a lot less enjoyable, and can pose health risks over the long term.

When performed properly, TIG doesn’t produce any sparks and hardly any smoke. This makes the fumes a lot less dangerous, and can make for a more enjoyable experience. Welders should still be aware of the fumes and wear a respirator – but it is nowhere near as toxic as Stick and MIG. It also lowers fire dangers, because there are no sparks or slag bouncing around your work area. This makes TIG a great process for a small garage or home shop area.

Aesthetics

TIG Walking The Cup
Walking The Cup With TIG, A Classic Weave : Wikimedia Commons

TIG can produce some of the most beautiful beads ever. The “Stack of dimes” look can really enhance your final product, and weaves can look awesome as well. This makes it a top choice for high end jobs, especially with interior work in homes or offices. Often times, clients will enjoy seeing the beads instead of having them ground off with a grinder. Stainless TIG can also produce a wide array of colors, giving the weld a rainbow type of look.

Although these beads can be stunning, it takes a lot of practice to get to this level. Novice TIG welders will need to put a lot of time in before they start producing these types of beads.

Tight Spaces

TIG is a great option for getting a weld into a tight corner, where a MIG gun or Stick electrode just can’t fit. This makes pipe welders and boilermakers very fond of this process – because they can perform welds that would not be possible otherwise. These jobs often require a mirror setup – sometimes you can’t see your actual bead because your welding hood won’t fit in the area.

These are advanced processes, but with practice they can be quite rewarding. This experience level is why combo welders and pipe welders are paid a great wage. Not many welders will get to this level.

Range Of Tungsten Sizes

With MIG and Stick, the electrode is what actually deposits filler metal into your weld joint. With TIG, the tungsten electrode just heats the metal into a puddle, and then you add filler with your other hand. The multiple sizes of tungsten can tackle very thin metals to very thick metals. These come in different blends, and can be switched out while using the same torch.

However, you must be aware that the collets and collet bodies are sized for the different diameter tungstens. It takes lots of practice to get a feel for the right cup, collets and back caps that are necessary for each project.

Weld In Any Position

TIG allows you weld flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead. This means that just about any joint configuration is possible with a TIG setup. Vertical and overhead TIG take lots of time to master, but they are very possible.

For welders that plan on building a wide array of items, TIG welding benefits are huge, and it is a solid choice. You can tackle repair jobs, and fabricate very high quality products. Once you are proficient, it becomes a lot more enjoyable – and you may not want to go back to Stick or MIG for awhile.