10 Great Tips for TIG Welding Sheet Metal

TIG Welding

TIG or Tungsten Inert Gas, also known as GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) is one of the best methods of welding. It is very clean and produces least amount of slag and fumes and simply enhances the beauty of any project.

TIG welding is frequently used in aircraft applications as it produces clean and very strong weld joints which are ideal for assembling and repairing multiple aircraft components.

A great amount of learning is required to learn the techniques of TIG welding. It includes all the fundamental of shielded electrical welding and breaks it down to its primary forms such as shielded gas, electrical arc and filler metal. If the TIG welder is well-learned, very strong and incredible looking welds can be created.

Here are 10 important tips for TIG welding sheet metal:

  1. Thumb Rule 1 for 1
    For carbon steel, you should use 1 amp per 1 thousand (0.001) inch of thickness. Stainless steel and other nickel-based metals require less heating probably 2/3rd of an amp per thousandth since nickel is a bad conductor of heat. Magnesium and aluminium are excellent conductors of heat and slightly increase the heat input.

  2. Use Chill Bars
    Use copper chill bars which has argon ports. Both copper and the gas keeps heat away from the weld area. Using a copper shoe attached to a steel structure is fine but it is important to configure the bar so that copper can touch the weldment.

  3. Shield the Backside
    In thin applications, shielding the backside of the weld prevents oxidation and reduces heat input. It also results in a better weld quality and removes metal surface flaws that can cause cracks in high-fatigue applications.

  4. Back Stepping
    In this method, the welder breaks up the seam in sections to scatter the heat. It reduces the solidification rate of weld puddle and increases throat thickness which ultimately improves the final microstructure.

  5. Use a Large Cup
    Use a large cup of 15-16 inch diameter for welding sheet metal in aircraft applications as it provides better coverage of the heat affected zone and weld puddle. It will ultimately improve the bead quality and reduce total heat input.

  6. Use Lens
    Use a TIG torch with a gas lens to prevent turbulence, smooth gas flow and widen the area of gas coverage. It also helps in extending the electrode which allows reaching into corners and provides better visibility of the weld area.

  7. Create Gaps
    Do good amounts of R&D to know how much of pre-gap is required since all parts shrink after welding. It is advisable to cut off excess material after welding and create parts little larger than needed.

  8. Use Sharp Tungsten
    Sharp tungsten will direct the heat on the areas where you want it and also keep away the heat from where you don’t want it. Never use contaminated tungsten as it will result in rework.

  9. High Speed Pulsing
    A high-speed DC TIG welding increases a welder’s directional control over the weld puddle and stiffens and narrows the arc cone. A high-speed pulsing is responsible for reducing the total heat input.

  10. Use Separate Brushes
    To avoid cross-contamination, keep separate brushes for different types of metals. Mention the metal type on the handle of every brush. Aluminium will not remain aluminium if you will clean the weld with a brush soaked with carbon steel particles.

These tips will help in making TIG welding an easy task!

Continental Industries based in Anaheim is a prominent name in TIG welding. For more information about our services, call us at (714) 632-9190.

Continental Industries is a precision sheet metal fabrication company. We have more than three decades of experience in providing world class design, engineering, prototyping and fabrication services to customers in Southern California. Our constant and sincere effort has been to provide excellent support & satisfaction to our customers. We promise quality and our versatile experience speaks through the perfection in our work.

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