TIG welding is the acronym for Tungsten Inert Gas and is an arc welding method that uses tungsten electrodes that are non-consumable to produce a weld. TIG welding is similar to MIG (wire) welding except that the arc is created by non-consumable tungsten electrodes as opposed to consumable wire in MIG. The tungsten electrode is used to create the arc. This makes for an accurate and precise heat zone, a quality that makes the TIG welding process ideal for situations where only a small area of heat is preferred. The inert gases used such as Helium and Argon do not combine with the atmospheric atmosphere which creates an environment that is contamination free. This perfectly shields the electrode and weld zone allowing for a consistent and precise weld. TIG welding is more difficult to master than ARC or MIG and is sometimes compared to brazing in the skills required.
TIG welding is primarily used for where the weld needs to be of a very high quality and high strength. An experienced TIG welder can create welds that are visually of a very high standard and which are often used for motor bike and bicycle frames, stainless steel stairs & stainless steel vehicle bull bars. TIG welding is also used extensively for welding aluminium such as for repairing alloy wheels and aluminium boat building. Other areas that extensively use aluminium welding are the food & pharmaceutical industries.
Critically to welding aluminium is that the welding machine can weld in AC (alternating current) mode. Most TIG welders only weld in DC (direct current) mode. In addition it is also extremely useful if the welding plant you buy has pulse. Pulse allows you to weld thinner metals without the risk of burning through.