What is Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding?

Tungsten Inert Gas welding or TIG welding is a process where electric arcs are created between a non-consumable electrode and materials intended to be welded together. The electric arc heats up and melts the materials, causing them to bind together. Filler rods can also be used to fill in any gaps between material.

TIG welding can also be referred to as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding or more simply GTAW and is one of the most common types of welding techniques used in industry today. In TIG welding a non-consumable tungsten electrode is held in place inside a welding head. When electrically charged and held in close proximity to the material, the electricity arcs from the electrode to the material, thus heating it up. Inside of the GTAW head an inert gas (often argon or helium) is passed around the outside of the electrode. This inert “shielding gas” prevents outside contaminants from entering the weld area. The welder typically holds the head with one hand and holds a filler rod in the other. When the filler rod comes in contact with the hot, molten metal it melts and fills any gaps between the materials being welded. TIG Welding can also be done without using filler materials

TIG Welding can be used on a variety of metals, but most commonly is used on carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper. TIG welding requires much greater control than other more automated welding methods, like MIG Welding, and therefore requires more training. This level of manual control also typically makes the process slower, but can allow for greater quality and strength of welds.

 

 

Our TIG Welding Process and Approach

TIG Welding is a critical element of our in house fabrication capability. At AKI, we make use of all of the common welding technologies in order to best solve our customers challenges. Our in house team have years of experience in a wide range of techniques and are all certified welders. In addition to in house capabilities we have a strong partner network that enables to round out our welding capability.

For a current list of all of our welding equipment see our Equipment List.

Our approach is focused around flexibility. We thrive in projects that range from low volumes or even single piece such as prototyping, to high volume production runs. We can support a variety of materials, from steel to stainless steel to aluminum and more. We cover industries from medical, to energy to defense to instrumentation and robotics and more. From small weldments to large frames, our goal is to service a wide range of needs for our customers. Have a current or upcoming project? Have a member of our team contact you to discuss.

TIG Welding Applications

TIG Welding can be used in a wide variety of applications as it is a very versatile welding technology. Aerospace, automotive and other general industrial markets are key users of GTAW. Because of the high level of control over the process, TIG is ideal for thinner wall material, and more intricate welds.

The Advantages of TIG Welding

TIG welding provides a number of significant advantages, including, smoother, higher quality welds, good surface finish, reduced weld spatter, better control of the weld bead, and can be done without filler material. TIG welding is however a slower process, than other weld technologies and thus can be more costly overall. As previously mentioned, it also requires more practice and training to master.

What is Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) Welding?

Gas Metal Arc Welding or GMAW is a welding process where an electric arc is created between a consumable wire electrode and the materials being welded. This heats the material up and allows multiple materials to be bonded together. The wire electrode then acts as a filler material for any unfilled gaps.

GMAW uses a weld gun which serves to feed the filler wire from a wire reel through the gun to the weld surface. The gun also passes a shielding gas around the wire. The shielding gas serves to prevent outside contaminants from entering the weld area. The shielding gas can be an inert gas, such as argon or helium, which is referred to as Metal Inert Gas or MIG welding, or it can be a active gas, using mixtures of oxygen, argon and CO2, in this case called Metal Active Gas or MAG welding. The main difference between the two is that the gas types play a role in the stability of the arc and the amount of spatter. MIG is the more common of the two and for the purposes of this discussion we will use the terms MIG and GMAW interchangeably, as they often are in industry.

Because the welding process with MIG or MAG welding is mainly controlled through the gun, it can move faster than TIG welding and lends itself to higher levels of automation, such as robotic welding. GMAW welding can be used on carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and more.

Our GMAW Process and Approach

MIG/GMAW Welding is a critical element of our in house fabrication capability. At AKI, we make use of all of the common welding technologies in order to best solve our customers challenges. Our in house team have years of experience in a wide range of techniques and are all certified welders. In addition to in house capabilities we have a strong partner network that enables to round out our welding capability.

For a current list of all of our welding equipment see our Equipment List.

Our approach is focused around flexibility. We thrive in projects that range from low volumes or even single piece such as prototyping, to high volume production runs. We can support a variety of materials, from steel to stainless steel to aluminum and more. We cover industries from medical, to energy to defense to instrumentation and robotics and more. From small weldments to large frames, our goal is to service a wide range of needs for our customers. Have a current or upcoming project? Have a member of our team contact you to discuss.

GMAW Welding Applications

MIG welding is ideal for higher volume production parts due to the consistency of the weld and the speed at which a weld can be made. For this reason MIG technology is often paired with robotic automation. This makes it a common solution for automotive production and commercial and residential construction, as well as numerous other industries using sheet metal fabrications.

The Advantages of Gas Metal Arc Welding

GMAW welding provides a number of significant advantages, including, faster weld time, leading to higher overall throughput. It is also widely considered the easiest welding technology to learn, as it is less manual. Oftentimes people compare it to a hot glue gun which helps highlight why it might be mastered faster than other weld types. MIG welding does create good high-quality welds and has reduced weld splatter.

What is Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)/ Stick Welding?

Shielded Metal Arc Welding or SMAW, sometimes called Stick Welding, is one of a number of general arc welding technologies. Much like both TIG and MIG welding, SMAW welding works by creating an electric arc between a weld gun and a work material to heat up the material past it’s melting point. SMAW or Stick Welding uses a shielding gas to prevent outside contamination, like oxygen from reaching the weld and creating impurities.

SMAW makes use of a consumable electrode that is jacketed in flux, which heats up and acts like a filler metal much like in MIG welding. However unlike MIG welding, Stick welding is a manual process where the electrode (consumable filler material) is not fed automatically. When both the electrode and the material are heated up they form a pool of molten metal, which when cooled form the weld bead. As the electrode continues to heat up the flux jacket heats up and melts creating a gas which functions as the shielding gas.

Our Stick Welding Process and Approach

While MIG and TIG welding are more commonly used, SMAW Welding is a another element of our in house fabrication capability. At AKI, we make use of all of the common welding technologies in order to best solve our customers challenges. Our in house team have years of experience in a wide range of techniques and are all certified welders. In addition to in house capabilities we have a strong partner network that enables to round out our welding capability.

For a current list of all of our welding equipment see our Equipment List.

Our approach is focused around flexibility. We thrive in projects that range from low volumes or even single piece such as prototyping, to high volume production runs. We can support a variety of materials, from steel to stainless steel to aluminum and more. We cover industries from medical, to energy to defense to instrumentation and robotics and more. From small weldments to large frames, our goal is to service a wide range of needs for our customers. Have a current or upcoming project? Have a member of our team contact you to discuss.

SMAW Welding Applications

Arc welding is probably the most commonly used welding technology worldwide. Generally SMAW is used for larger, less precise welding applications. Good example industries are ship building, and large scale steel construction. It is also commonly used in repair industries. Because of its versatility, SMAW covers a very broad range of general industries and applications.

The Advantages of SMAW Welding

Shielded Metal Arc Welding is generally considered to be an easier technique to learn than other specialized welding types. In addition to it being a very versatile and simple technology it is also very cost-effective, which explains in part some of the popularity. SMAW can also be used to weld virtually any thickness material as long as it is properly prepped. However, SMAW is less controllable than some of the other techniques discussed, and can therefore lead to reduced weld qualities. It is also more inclined to create weld spatter.

Welding Test Services and Certifications

At Alle-Kiski Industries our welders, equipment and weld processes are certified to a variety of AWS (American Welding Society) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) certifications. Please contact us for an up to date list on our certifications.

Additionally, we offer a wide range of test and inspection services for our weld projects. Many of these services are provided through our in house QC department, and we supplement this offering with additional services through our partner network. When needed we leverage the expertise of an outside partner laboratory to provide additional certified inspection results on our shop floor. A list of some of the common test and inspection services we provide is shown below:

  • Visual Inspection (VT)
  • Dye Penetrant (DP) (also called Liquid Penetrant: LPI) Testing
  • X-Ray (Industrial Radiography- RT) Testing
  • Ultrasonic Testing (UT)
  • Magnetic Particle Testing (MT)
  • Hydrostatic Test (HT)

Contact us to get a complete list or with any questions