GTAW / TIG Method: Pros and Cons

GTAW or gas tungsten arc welding is one of the most popular methods of welding materials.

Specifically, GTAW is the process of joining metals with a non-consumable tungsten electrode.

It requires a special inert gas environment, in particular, argon.

Also, GTAW is the other name for TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding.

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Principle of Operation

The welder melts the edges of the product and filler metal by an electric arc.

The electric arc burns between a non-consumable tungsten electrode and the product.

In such a case, the worker uses an electrode of either pure or activated tungsten.

Besides, a weld pool can contain a filler metal too.

After that, the liquid metal of the weld pool hardens as the arc moves.

As a result, you get a weld that connects the edges of the parts.

Finally, the nozzle feeds special gases which displace oxygen and nitrogen, protecting the metal seams.

GTAW/TIG Advantages

In comparison with the other welding methods, tungsten inert gas welding has the following pluses:

•       it allows to obtain high-quality welds for almost all metals and alloys (including hard-to-weld and dissimilar, for example, aluminum with steel);

•       good visual control of the weld pool and arc;

•       due to the absence of metal transfer through the arc, there is no metal spatter;

•       practically no surface treatment is required after welding;

•       as in the case of MIG (metal inert gas) / MAG (metal active gas) and MMA (manual metal arc) welding processes, GTAW welding can be performed in all spatial positions;

•       as in the case of MIG/MAG welding, when welding GTAW there is no slag, whiсh means that there are no slag inclusions in the weld metal.

GTAW/TIG Disadvantages

The welders name the following disadvantages:

•       The complexity of working on the street during windy weather. The wind blows shielding gas from the welding zone; you can fight this by using barriers or by increasing the gas supply, which will lead to its increased consumption;

•       Better metal preparation before welding versus MMA is required;

•       The design of the burner makes it not very convenient to weld parts at an acute angle;

•       After ignition, a trace remains outside the weld zone that needs to be cleaned; it should also be noted the low productivity of the process and the high cost of the power source (as compared to welding with the consumable electrode.


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