People who are unfamiliar with welding may not realize that there are several different welding techniques. Being proficient with one technique helps you learn and understand another technique, but there are still things you should learn before switching from one to the other. One of the most common types of welding is called TIG welding. TIG stands for “tungsten inert gas.”
In simple terms, TIG welding uses heat from an arc of electricity to weld. The arc goes from a tungsten electrode to the metal surface you are welding. The inert gas is often argon and this gas protects the area you are welding (the puddle) from air and potential contaminants in the air. If there are contaminants present during the weld, the weld will be weaker and may fail. It can also cause the metal to rust rapidly during the high temperatures reached during welding.
Here are the benefits of TIG welding:
- It can be used with a greater variety of metals and alloys.
- It creates a more finished, clean weld, making it a better option for the aesthetics of the finished piece.
- It is a clean process with no sparks, spatter, fumes or smoke.
- You can generally use one type of gas (argon) for many applications.
- You can complete welds in different positions, including overhead, flat, horizontal and vertical.
All types of welding require special safety gear like heat-resistant gloves and a black-out helmet. You will also need safety glasses and protective clothing and feet protection. Therefore, welding may be best left to the professionals.