TIG Welding: Definition, Application, How to Work, Types, and more


TIG welding, also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), is an arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The weld area is protected from oxidation or other atmospheric contamination by an inert shielding gas (usually argon or helium), and a separate welding filler material is often used. A constant-current welding power supply produces an arc between the tip of the non-consumable tungsten electrode and the weld pool. The electrode does not melt during the process, so it must be manually sharpened as needed between welds using a stone.

This article presented TIG welding, explained it, and discussed how to use it and its pros and cons. To learn more about tig welding, contact a Diecasting-Mould representative.

How Does TIG Welding Work

TIG welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create an electric arc between the tip of the electrode and the metals being welded. A constant current power supply is used to generate the arc. An inert gas, such as argon or helium, flows through a torch and delivers the gas to the weld area through nozzles around the tungsten electrode.

The gas shields the weld area from oxygen and other gases in the air that could react with and contaminate the hot weld metal. It also helps conduct heat and electricity. A filler rod made of the same or similar material as the base metal is often added manually to increase welding deposition rates.

When the electrode is brought close to the base metal, the constant current power supply senses the change in electrical resistance and triggers, generating an arc. Temperatures at the tip of the arc can reach over 6,000°C, melting the base and filler metals to form a weld pool.

The welder carefully controls the weld pool using the electrode like a brush, forming a joint. As the weld pool solidifies behind the arc, it fuses the materials. By precisely controlling variables like arc length, travel speed, and filler addition, high-quality welds can be produced.

Uses of TIG Welding

Different Parts of TIG Welding

The torch, electrode, gas, power source, and work cables are core TIG welding system components.

Types of Materials That Can Be TIG Welded

TIG is very versatile and can fuse an array of metals provided the proper gases and techniques.

Advantages and Disadvantages of TIG Welding

TIG enables high-quality precision welds but takes more skill and equipment investment compared to other techniques.



Difference Between TIG Welding and Laser Welding

The key differences are that the laser uses a focused non-contact beam vs TIG’s electric arc, and the laser typically provides faster, more precise, and higher-powered welding capabilities.

  1. Electrode: TIG uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create an arc, while laser welding uses a focused laser beam.
  2. Heat Source: The electric arc heat source in TIG welding is concentrated but not as precise as the laser beam, which can be tightly focused.
  3. Shielding Gas: TIG requires an inert shielding gas like argon to protect the weld area. Lasers typically do not need external shielding gas.
  4. Filler Material: TIG often uses a separate filler rod added manually, while laser welding can join materials without filler.
  5. Welding Speed: Laser welding is generally much faster than TIG, which must be moved along the joint manually.
  6. Joint Preparation: TIG typically requires a beveled joint for proper penetration, while a laser can often fusion weld without edge preparation.
  7. Material Depth: Laser energy can be absorbed to weld deeper into thick materials, while TIG is better for thinner gauges.
  8. Precision: The laser beam enables highly precise welds down to a few microns in width and depth. TIG is less precise.
  9. Cost: Laser systems are more expensive initially but can have higher welding throughput rates than TIG.