The applications for TIG welding are ever increasing. It is now common to see TIG welders being used in novel applications in fabrication, construction, mining, automotive, aerospace, and agricultural applications.
TIG welding, already a high-skill method is also less tolerant of poor setups where operating conditions vary too frequently or too far off the prescribed limits. It is easy to get carried away with how robust most modern welders are as they allow for large margins of error. In particular, AC/DC TIG welders allow you to work with materials like aluminium. Working with such reactive metals requires patience and diligence. It is best to understand the functionality of the various features so that you can take advantage of the advanced features at your disposal. To avoid looking like an amateur when AC/DC TIG welding, the first step is to read up. Researching your project always pays off, and you may even discover novel ways to approach your project. Here three tips for improving you AC/DC TIG Welding
• Get to know your AC Balance Control: The polarity of the electrode determines the balance between the penetration and cleaning. Cleaning refers to the removal of the oxide layer and penetration the depth of the weld, as with any welding method. An AC.DC TIG welder with AC balance allows you to control how much of each AC cycle is devoted to each. This gives the user a lot of control over their weld and allows for intricate and superior welding methods. Any decent AC/DC TIG welder should have AC Balance Control.
• Electrode Tip: Get used to shaping the Tungsten electrode tip according to the type and thickness of the metal. For instance, pointed electrodes are best used for welding steels in EN state. For aluminium and magnesium, rounded or tapered ball ends are best. When working with reactive metals, this spreads the arc over a wider area, limiting the sudden rise of temperatures that would otherwise melt the tungsten. In some cases, you may also need to start the arc over a piece of copper to avoid blowing through the metal or melting the electrode.
• Practice: This sound like a no-brainer, but take time to practice and don’t rush into your main project. Use a small bit of the metal you are about to weld and practice welding it with the settings you chose. If you made a mistake, you will probably blow through the metal. It is best to limit mistakes to a trial piece instead of the actual workpiece. It will also give you a moment to reflect and think about any errors. If all goes well, you can be confident that the weld will work out the way you planned. Such a practice should be inculcated as a habit, and even old-timers will tell you the value of preparation.