Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding
Tungsten Inert Gas welding or TIG welding is a process where electric arcs are created between a non-consumable electrode and materials intended to be welded together. The electric arc heats up and melts the materials, causing them to bind together. Filler rods can also be used to fill in any gaps between material.
TIG welding can also be referred to as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding or more simply GTAW and is one of the most common types of welding techniques used in industry today. In TIG welding a non-consumable tungsten electrode is held in place inside a welding head. When electrically charged and held in close proximity to the material, the electricity arcs from the electrode to the material, thus heating it up. Inside of the GTAW head an inert gas (often argon or helium) is passed around the outside of the electrode. This inert “shielding gas” prevents outside contaminants from entering the weld area. The welder typically holds the head with one hand and holds a filler rod in the other. When the filler rod comes in contact with the hot, molten metal it melts and fills any gaps between the materials being welded. TIG Welding can also be done without using filler materials
TIG Welding can be used on a variety of metals, but most commonly is used on carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper. TIG welding requires much greater control than other more automated welding methods, like MIG Welding, and therefore requires more training. This level of manual control also typically makes the process slower, but can allow for greater quality and strength of welds.
Our TIG Welding Process and Approach
TIG Welding is a critical element of our in house fabrication capability. At AKI, we make use of all of the common welding technologies in order to best solve our customers challenges. Our in house team have years of experience in a wide range of techniques and are all certified welders. In addition to in house capabilities we have a strong partner network that enables to round out our welding capability.
For a current list of all of our welding equipment see our Equipment List.
Our approach is focused around flexibility. We thrive in projects that range from low volumes or even single piece such as prototyping, to high volume production runs. We can support a variety of materials, from steel to stainless steel to aluminum and more. We cover industries from medical, to energy to defense to instrumentation and robotics and more. From small weldments to large frames, our goal is to service a wide range of needs for our customers. Have a current or upcoming project? Have a member of our team contact you to discuss.
TIG Welding Applications
TIG Welding can be used in a wide variety of applications as it is a very versatile welding technology. Aerospace, automotive and other general industrial markets are key users of GTAW. Because of the high level of control over the process, TIG is ideal for thinner wall material, and more intricate welds.
The Advantages of TIG Welding
TIG welding provides a number of significant advantages, including, smoother, higher quality welds, good surface finish, reduced weld spatter, better control of the weld bead, and can be done without filler material. TIG welding is however a slower process, than other weld technologies and thus can be more costly overall. As previously mentioned, it also requires more practice and training to master.