Shop How to Choose the Right Tungsten for GTAW Welding Applications
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) is an important component in the manufacturing of machinery and equipment. In use for over seven decades, GTAW is used in the production and repair process of many modes of transportation including automobiles and bicycles. Additionally, builders of racecars, space crafts, and ships all leverage this process. That said, its value is even more diverse as it is also prominent in the nuclear and pharmaceutical industries, among others.
Because this welding creates an incredibly strong bond, it is popular where protection against cracking is critical. Finally, the clean finish from GTAW results in a high-quality appearance.
What is Tungsten?
Tungsten is a metallic element that is valued for its use in manufacturing. The electrodes necessary in GTAW are comprised of tungsten. Because of its strength and high melting point, it is a critical component; the tungsten electrodes essentially carry the heat.
Choosing the Right Electrodes for GTAW
As with most processes, quality tools and components positively impact the job as well as the result. GTAW is no exception. The correct Tungsten electrodes depend upon the project being built as well as the tools being used. To make the selection easier, electrode tips are color-coded. Understanding the differences is important in choosing the right one for the job at hand.
These electrodes contain both tungsten and zirconium and, as such, are also referred to as zirconiated electrodes. Of particular value in AC welding, these electrodes maintain their balled tip and are resistant to contamination. It is important to understand that brown electrodes should NOT be used in DC welding.
These electrodes, which contain both tungsten and lanthanum, can be fashioned (balled or sharpened) to meet the needs of the welder. Appropriate for use in specific AC and DC welding, these electrodes are incredibly versatile. The addition of the lanthanum increases their capacity. Also, gold electrodes do not contain radioactive elements.
Previously known as orange electrodes, these are non-radioactive and can be used on both AC and DC projects. They are easy to ignite and incredibly durable, which makes them popular among welders.
Often used in AC welding, green electrodes are composed of pure tungsten. For example, green tungsten electrodes are often used in AC welding because of their arc stability. These electrodes can be a good value. They are more inexpensive than others but do need to be replaced more frequently.
Also known as thoriated tungsten, these electrodes are both long-lasting and easy to use. Thus, they are the most popular. They can be used for both AC welding of thinner materials and specific DC welding products. It is important to recognize that thorium is radioactive and specific cautions should be taken when using them.
Purchasing GTAW Electrodes
Clearly, the options for electrodes for GTAW are considerable. And, selecting the correct ones for the job at hand is important. When purchasing electrodes and other welding components, working with a retailer who specializes in welding can be incredibly helpful. The experts on staff can help you select the most appropriate products for both your tools and the jobs you plan to undertake.
Bad Ass Welding is an online web store proudly supplying a broad range of welding products across the country and around the world. Our on-staff experts are available to answer all of your welding questions.