TIG Welding Advantages and Disadvantages with Key FAQs

TIG Welding Advantages and Disadvantages

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Last Updated on February 28, 2021 by John Patterson

Among all processes and techniques, TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) has created its position in the mind of professionals and operators working in the welding Industry. Maybe you have interested to know more about every single insight that why professionals choose this technique.

Along with all the TIG welding advantages and disadvantages, this article will help you to get an overview of the TIG welding technique.

Before explaining what is Tig welding and the technique let me share an updated list of our recommended Tig Welders on the market.

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2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with PULSE...
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2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with PULSE...
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PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with Pulse CK17...
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PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with Pulse CK17...
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2019 Everlast Power Equipment PowerTIG 200DV 200amp 110/220 Dual...
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What is Tig Welding?

What is Tig Welding?

Image Credit: Mecholic

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) has another technical term GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) is widely used in the American Welding Society (AWS).

In this process, non-consumable tungsten is used as an electrode by delivering a constant current power supply to the welding arc and helps to create a junction between two or more metals.

there are two main reasons that professionals put their own opinion and insights into choosing the best technique. One of the reasons for choosing this technique is its high-quality performance with a high purity welding technique. Diversified usage and its application another reason for becoming much more popular among all other techniques.

It is the beneficiary technique to several industries where quality and accuracy is mandatory to get the output as finished products. This process is widely in the aerospace, automobile industry, repairing, military department, and even any other industries.

If you have ever experience working with the oxy-acetylene technique, then TIG is suitable for you to work with comfortable and easy to adopt the technique quickly. Both techniques are similar as well by using a filler material for build-up or reinforcement.

Tig Welding Video

TIG Welding Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages and disadvantages of Tig welding

Advantages/Benefits of Tig Welding

TIG Welding Technique opens a window in the era of welding industries. For many reasons, TIG is popular and appreciated in many welding industries. These are described in details as follows:

Non-Consumable Electrode

The main feature of this technique is using a non-consumable tungsten electrode. Changing the electrode, again and again, will hamper productivity and production time as well.

In the TIG welding technique, you will be able to work overtime flawlessly with single electrodes and can be changeable after a certain period whenever you decrease due to use a long period.

In any other technique (especially in MIG welding) due to the consumable electrode, it is required to replace it after some time during the operation. Moreover, it will decrease your production cost to purchase the electrode again and again.

Detailed Precision

Through the TIG welding process, it can be achieved a high level of precision. The professional or operator can control the gun, speed, and depth of the weld. Using a foot pedal, the operator can control the heat of the arc to protect the thin, fine metal from damage.

Smoke & Fumes

In many welding processes there produce huge smokes and fumes. It’s disrupting the concentration of the operation process. As argon or helium gas is used in the TIG welding process, it produces less smoke and fumes.

Eventually, it does not produce any spark during the operation. If the environment is clean and uncontaminated metals, it increases the visibility to work with perfection.

No-Flux & No-Slag

As the inert gas creates a shield to protect the molten metals so there does not require any flux. So there is no hassle due to slag or slag inclusion.

High-Quality Welding Performance

To get functional benefits and requirements, TIG ensures high-quality welding performance. For top-notch strong welding, TIG is the most favorable choice from any other welding method.

Clean Welding Process

Many professionals give their preference to TIG for the clean weld. All welds should look nice, clean, shiny, attractive for a better appearance. As all welding technique requires the finishing but surprisingly in TIG technique It does not require any finishing due to appealing starts from the beginning of welding.

Thin Section Weld

TIG is the best choice for thin gauge metals and for that this method widely used in Art Industry.

Spatter

Sometimes spatter creates a big issue when it drops on the metal base and it requires grinding to remove spatters. But in TIG Technique less spatters produced unless the metal base is not cleaned. Otherwise, the TIG welding technique does not produce any spatter at all.

Welding Position

There are three positions of the welding technique. They are overhead, down-head, and inclined. Overhead welding is the most difficult among these positions. There is a high chance of filler metal falling due to it requires deposition against gravity.

In most cases, the overhead position is impossible for many welding techniques. But along with the TIG machine, it is possible for nice and smooth welding. But expert and skilled professional is required for that purpose.

Versatility

The filler is required to join together the two pieces of metal in all welding processes. But it is not a mandatory requirement to use filler in TIG Technique. In the TIG technique, It is possible to work on both ferrous metal (stainless steel) and non-ferrous metal (Copper, Aluminum, and Magnesium), etc.

Corrosion Resistant

As with all welding processes, corrosion-resistant is a factor to protect from rusty. The TIG welding process is another choice for corrosion-resistant welding.

Disadvantages of Tig Welding:

Despite having advantages there are some disadvantages over given for your concern:

Time Consuming Process

Time Consumption is a major factor in the TIG welding technique.  The deposition rate of filler metal is slower than any other welding technique. But it provides quality output among all other welding techniques.

Complicated During Application

TIG welding technique requires engaging both hands during operation. One hand is involving to hold the torch while another hand holding the filler materials simultaneously.

It is difficult to create an arc between the electrode and base metal accurately. For the newcomers in this industry, it is challenging to operate the TIG welding technique.

Thinner Materials

This process is just only applicable for thinner and lightweight metals but it does not work properly with the thicker materials.

Price

The TIG welding machine is much more expensive than any other welding machine. But whenever it is a priority quality outcome over the expense of purchasing a machine then TIG is the best choice from any other welding machine.

Cost for Inert Gas

In this process, inert gas is used which is very costly. There is no need to use flux materials. Cleaning is a prerequisite requirement before the operation as inert gas does not have any property of cleaning action.

Safety Issue

TIG produces a huge amount of UV rays which may damage the eye and any other parts of the body. So it is a mandatory requirement to ensure safety during operation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question #1. What is Tig Welding used for?

Answer: There is a diversified application of the TIG welding technique because different types of metals/metal sheets can be weld through this welding process. Though several industries use this process but most commonly used in the Aerospace, Automotive, Repair & Art industries.

Aerospace: Aircraft and spacecraft are constructed in part by part. The manufacturing company produces crafts for their commercial purpose. In that case, TIG welding is used for the strength, quality, and precision

Automotive: In the automobile industry, TIG welding widely used to manufacture vehicles. Because the TIG welding process reduces corrosion overtime to avoid rusty and ensure safety concerns as well.

Repair: The TIG technique is widely used for repairing any type of metal and tools for better precision.

Art: TIG used to produce industrial fixtures or sculptures made by meta for better appearance and artistic crafting.

Question #2. What gas is used for Tig Welding?

Answer: To protect the weld area and electrode from oxidation and any other contamination there use inert gas as a shield. Mostly Argon is used widely for that purpose. Sometimes Helium is used for that purpose. When Helium is used then that is termed as “Heliarc Welding”.

Question #3. When was TIG welding invented?

Answer: TIG welding was introduced in the year of 1941. Russell Meredith invented this process when he was at Northrop Aircraft. At the very beginning, Meredith named this process Heliarc because of using Tungsten as electrode arc and helium as shielding gas.

After that, it was renamed Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) when the argon is using that purpose. According to the American Welding Society, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding became the official technical term whereas Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) is widely using as a general term.

Question #4. What size Tungsten for TIG welding?

Answer: Electrode size mainly varies depending upon the diameters, the shape of the tip, characteristic of arc. Most commonly used are:

  • 1/16
  • 3/32
  • 1/8
  • 5/32
  • 3/16
  • 1/4

Question #5. Why Tungsten is used as an electrode in the TIG technique?

Answer: Tungsten is comparatively harder than any other metal and slightly radioactive. The melting point of Tungsten is very high approximately 3400° C.

It has excellent characteristics of electrical conductivity to pass the current within high temperatures and keep protection from burning up. There is a unique characteristic of tungsten alloy to produce a hotter arc than the actual melting point of the tungsten.

The tensile strength is up to 500,000 lbs./square inch which is extremely from any other metal component. Though Tungsten is much strong it is also brittle. For these reasons, TIG welding is used for a non-consumable electrode for creating an arch in TIG welding.

Question #6. Which inert gases are used in TIG welding?

Answer: There are two inert gases used in the TIG welding process. One is Argon and the other one is Helium or a mixture of both Argon and Helium together.

Sometimes Hydrogen and Nitrogen gas also used as a mixture along with Argon gas as per requirement. But Argon and Helium mixture typically used for deep penetration of thick metals. Mostly pure Argon is widely used to cover all the welding needs.

Question #7. Why Helium and Argon are used from other inert gas in TIG welding?

Answer: These two gases are also known as “Noble Gas”. These gases do not change their characteristics during welding.

Question #8. Why inert gases are used in TIG welding?

Answer: Inert gases are used for shielding and protecting the welding area from contamination by the environment.

Question #9. What is better Mig or Tig Welding?

Answer: There have some basic differences between TIG and MIG in the aspect of techniques, applications, and finished products. The basic differences are given below:

Quality: MIG welding is for the quantity whereas TIG welding is much more concerned about quality.

Precision: The level of precision is high in TIG welding over MIG welding. There is precisely controlled in heat generation, speed, and depth during the operation. It is very difficult to get detailed precision during the MIG welding operation.

Cleanliness: TIG welding is better than MIG welding in the aspect of cleanliness. TIG welding is environment-friendly. It does not produce smoke, fumes, or even sparks. It is not necessary to use filler metal at all.

Strength: TIG welding widely used in the aerospace and automotive industry because of the high capability to produce strong and quality welding on thin materials.

Question #10. Can I use TIG welding outdoor?

Answer: Before welding outside, you have to ensure the environment must be clean and safe. But it is very difficult to operate outside maintain the environment during operation.

Question #11. How hard is TIG welding?

Answer: Both hands required to be engaged during the operation. One hand is involved to hold the torch another hand involved to separate the filler material. The operator has a foot pedal to control the electricity.

Question #12. What polarity for TIG welding?

Answer: There are two types of polarity in Direct Current. Among these two polarities: one is Direct Current Electrode Negative (DCEN) and another one is Direct Current Electrode Positive (DCEP).

The electrode Negative (-) is the TIG Torch is connected with the negative end of the circuit or terminals and on the other hand, the electrode Positive (+) is the TIG Torch is connected with the positive end of the circuit or terminals.

Direct Current flows the electricity in only one direction and that flows from the negative (-) terminal to the positive terminal (+).

Question #13. What shade lens for TIG welding?

Answer: Lens Shade basically depends on the amperage for welding and perceived by the eyes.
50-150 A: Average shade strength level 10 (Mostly Common)
150-500 A: Shade strength level 12 and higher (Best for welding)

In Conclusion

After having a clear perception of TIG welding advantages and disadvantages, it is necessary to be trained up to operate properly with accuracy. But This TIG method or process is to ensure quality welding.

Happy Welding!!!

About the author

John Patterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.