What Are TIG Torches
TIG Torches is a shortened term that stands for Tungsten Inert Gas Welding, and is also called Gas Tungsten Welding. This is a special method of welding that utilizes an “arc process”, for creating a non-flammable electrode to ultimately produce the weld. TIG welding is often preferred because the heat can be pinpointed evenly allowing the welder to make small, precise welds.
TIG welding is a great choice if you will be welding stainless steel, copper, aluminum, titanium, magnesium or cobalt. It is a slower method of welding than some of the other types, but it can produce a clean, smooth weld on the softer metals. It is also a great choice for metal repair.
Two Types Of TIG Torches
TIG torches come in two different types. The hobbyist that only welds occasionally or in small amounts often chooses the air dry version. There are a variety of reasons including cost and portability. They generally require less maintenance and you do not need to purchase an additional recirculation unit for cooling. They are also not available in high amperage ratings.
The professional welder will usually choose the water cooled TIG torches for their use. A water cooled torch stays cooler while in use and the torch is smaller making it easier to weld for longer periods of time. The initial cost is greater because it requires a recirculation unit for cooling, and these are often expensive. They do require more maintenance, primarily on the cooling unit.
Once you have chosen the TIG torch that will best suit your needs, there are only a few basic things to remember when welding. Make sure you have a good fit. Watch the arc strikes. You will need to weld a bit slower using the TIG and be sure to not try to speed cool the weld. It is also necessary to preheat the torch if the weather is chilly if you want to ensure smooth welds. One way to avoid crater cracks in the welded seam is to taper the amperage off slowly.
Once you get accustomed to using your TIG torch, you will find it very easy.