|tungsten inert gas welding|
TIG welding named for the tungsten inert gas description which originally applied to it is a very different beast,so to speak,from MIG welding,with entirely different characteristics, challenges,and equipment settings to produce the best possible results.The setup of a TIG welder is a bit simpler than that of its MIG counterpart, but the actual use is more complex. However,there are many advantages to TIG welding,too.
It is the method which produces the world’s finest welds handcrafted masterpieces that cannot be rivaled by any other welding technique.A quick comparison between TIG and MIG welding might be useful at this point to show how the two methods differ, so that you can understand the techniques that apply to each better:
The first and most noticeable difference between TIG and MIG welding is that the electrode in a MIG welder is also a continuously fed filler metal wire which supplies the welding pool with metal in addition to conducting the electric arc.Thus,the electrode and the filler metal are one and the same,simplifying the actual creation of the weld.In a tungsten inert gas welder,the electrode is a separate tungsten fitting which is not consumed by the welding process (although it will eventually need to be replaced when it is damaged by constant use).
Filler metal is dispensed automatically in a MIG welder,from a spool located in the welder’s main body which feeds wire through the hose connecting the welding gun to the machine.In TIG,there is no spool of filler metal wire.Instead,the welder’s operator feeds filler metal into the welding pool by hand, using a separate filler metal rod.The welding gun of a tungsten inert gas welder feeds only electricity and shielding gas to the welding site.
MIG welding is applicable to only a handful of the most common metals,and can be used with a few more at a pinch, albeit with lesser success.TIG welding,on the other hand,is almost universal welding method; there are few metals which cannot be welded.It is even possible to weld gold.As such,tungsten welding is the best (and sometimes only) welding possible for certain specialized welding applications.
MIG is a more “rough and ready” method that can be used easily in suboptimal conditions. TIG, on the other hand, requires an extremely clean welding surface.You must also be careful not to touch the electrode to the welding pool in tungsten inert gas, as this will contaminate it and force you to stop to clean it lest the quality of your whole weld be compromised.
MIG welds tend to be sloppier than TIG welds,with a lot of spattering of molten metal onto nearby surfaces.TIG welds are very clean,and also very precise,making them ideal for applications such as welding circuitry where spatter could completely ruin the delicate structure of circuit boards.