There are numerous processes that welders use to join metals, TIG is one of them. Heat, the type of pressure and the type of equipment differentiate each process from the other. TIG or GTAW is among the most popular welding processes as it not only creates high-quality welds but also requires top-notch skills thus guaranteeing stellar workmanship. How TIG worksThe acronym stands for tungsten inert gas which refers to the process of using electrodes to create a weld. Also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), this arc welding technique uses an inexhaustible tungsten electrode to weld two metals together. TIG welding employs a constant current welding power supply to create an electric arc between the workpiece and the tungsten electrode, using the heat to generate a weld. You might need filler material or a wire for reinforcement. The point where the arc hits the base metal results in a molten weld pool where the filler metal or a fine wire is slowly fed by hand to melt further creating a weld. The weld area is usually protected from contamination by using an inert shielding or a cover gas, either argon or helium. The finished product in this process is a slag and sound free weld that has the same properties as the parent metal. Where TIG welding is usedGTAW is a great solution to many manufacturing challenges and is utilized widely in parts that require a corrosion-resistant, sturdy weld that can stand the test of time. This type of welding can be used for a wide range of metals rendering it more versatile than other processes. Since the process grants the welder more control on thin sections of non-ferrous metals and stainless steel, it is best suited for small sections that require a slag-free weld. Many industries utilize TIG welding for this reason. It is widely used in the construction of aeroplanes and spacecraft. Car manufacturers use TIG welding because of its anti-corrosive properties. Auto body repair shops also employ the process as artists appreciate the high-quality welds realized during sculpture welding. Race car fabrication requires the use of TIG welding for chrome-moly steel and aluminium for sturdiness and great finish. GTAW can be performed manually, automatically or by using a hybrid approach. Great welders can make a good career out of top industries such as aerospace, petroleum, and construction. History of TIG welding TIG welding has a long history that originates from a Hobart Heli-Arc machine. It gets its name from helium gas which was used as a shield around the electric arc. The process was developed in the 1930s and used widely in World War 2 to create many aircraft parts. Before the welding technology was invented, welders would rely on welding aluminium and alloy steels with a torch which was time-consuming, tiresome and required lots of skill.Types of TIG Welding ServicesThere are many welding processes that professional welders may employ but these two types of TIG welding stand out orbital TIG welding and manual TIG welding. None can be considered superior to the other and the choice remains solely on the welder as both result in a superior quality weld if done the right way. Orbital TIG welding is an easy process that allows for automation when required. It is clean which makes it produce a higher quality weld than most welding processes. Manual welding is a more precise solution to difficult joints or areas of application. It allows for more accurate and refined results in cases where orbital welding is not possible. Advantages and disadvantages of TIG weldingAdvantagesThere are many advantages that TIG welding offers. One of the top benefits is that it allows a welder maximum control. A welder can control the amperage and heat with precision using their thumb or foot remote control switch. The TIG welder is thin which is advantageous as the welder gets more control to get an accurate and beautiful weld. This makes TIG welding quite desirable in projects that require detailed designs, curves or any form of artistry on the base material. The process works great on thin material as TIG welding uses low amperage. With a remote control switch and low amperage, the welder is able to quickly switch from working on thin pieces of metals to larger ones rendering the TIG welding a versatile process. There are no fluxes used and one is able to create a low-profile weld bead which is clean and free of slag. TIG welding gives a solution to welding critical joints and where highly precise welds are needed. It can be performed on a number of metals including stainless steel, aluminium and copper and when done correctly, results in a high-purity, top quality weld compared to other welding processes.The cost of TIG welding is friendly although this largely depends on the scope the project and the materials that will be used. DisadvantagesOne of the top disadvantages of TIG welding is that it takes a high level of skill and dexterity when compared to other types of welding. It is comparatively more complex and difficult to master. Further, TIG welders will need both their hands and a foot to perform their work making it quite undesirable if you do not appreciate nimbleness. It requires a high level of focus and hand-eye coordination which ends up taking so much time and energy. GTAW can be performed on most metals but there are some that cannot be welded using this process. It can only be performed on clean metals to maintain a high-quality weld and though it is known for producing one of the best welds, it has a low deposition rate which translates to the fact that one cannot TIG weld things very quickly making it slow and times consuming. It is quite difficult to separate two items that have been welded using GTAW without destroying each component. It can be done but isn’t advisable as the items cannot be reused for any other application and most welders discourage this process.Although TIG welding is considered cheaper as the cost of equipment and material is affordable, the process must be done by a qualified technician resulting in higher labour costs. The overall costs may also increase in case of improper welding, contaminations, unbalanced heating or inclusions as products can become defective.TIG welding is a complex and time-consuming process that requires the mastery of the skill for a high-quality weld. It, however, is quite rewarding as the results of the process are admirable and precise if done correctly. Despite its challenges, TIG welding is one of the most efficient ways to join two metals.