Tungsten Welding (GTAW), also known as TIG welding, is an arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to form the weld. The welding area and the electrode are protected from oxidation or other atmospheric contaminants by an inert shielding gas (argon or helium). A binder is generally used, although some welds, called autogenous welds or fusion welds, do not require it.
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When helium is used, this is referred to as helium arc welding. The
DC welding power supply generates electricity, which is conducted by the arc through a column of highly ionized gas and metal vapor, a so-called plasma.TIG welding is commonly used to weld thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, magnesium and copper alloys. This process gives the operator more control over the weld than competing processes such as arc welding and arc welding, resulting in stronger, higher quality welds. However, TIG welding is relatively more complex and difficult to master and much slower than most other welding techniques. A process related to the , plasma arc welding, uses a slightly different welding torch to create a more concentrated welding arc and is often automated accordingly.
After the discovery of the short pulsed arc in 1801 by Humphry Davy and the continuous arc in 1802 by Vasily Petrov, arc welding developed slowly.C. L. Coffin came up with the idea of gas-shielded arc welding in the 1890s, but even into the early 20th century, welding non-ferrous materials such as aluminum and magnesium remained difficult because these metals react rapidly with air, resulting in porous and filled welds.  Flux-coated electrode processes did not satisfactorily protect the weld area from contamination. To solve this problem, bottled inert gases were used in the early 1930s.A few years later, a DC gas-shielded arc welding process for welding magnesium appeared in the aerospace industry.
In the early 1940s, Northrop Aircraft developed an experimental magnesium aircraft, the XP-56, for which Vladimir Pavlecka, Tom Piper, and Russell Meredith developed a welding process called Heliarc because it used a tungsten electrode arc and helium as the shielding gas (the flashlight design was invented by Meredith in 1941 This is now often referred to as Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TIG) especially in Europe, however the official name of the American Welding Society is
Inert Gas Tungsten Welding (GTAW) Linde Air Products have a wide range of air and water cooled Torches, gas lenses to improve shielding, and other accessories were developed to increase process utilization.First, the electrode would heat up quickly and despite tungsten’s high melting point, tungsten particles would transfer to the weld. To solve this problem, the polarity of the Changed electrode from positive to negative, however this change made it unsuitable for welding many non-ferrous materials.Finally, with the development of AC equipment, it has become possible to stabilize the arc and produce high-quality aluminum and magnesium welds.
Development continued over the following decades. Linde developed water-cooled guns to prevent overheating when welding at high currents. In the 1950s, as the process grew in popularity, some users turned to carbon dioxide as an alternative to the more expensive argon and helium welding atmospheres. However, this proved unacceptable for welding aluminum and magnesium as it affected the quality of the weld and it is rarely used. with GTW. Using a shielding gas that contains an oxygen compound such as carbon dioxide will quickly contaminate the tungsten electrode, making it unsuitable for the TIG process. In 1953, a new GTAW-based process called plasma welding was developed. It offers better control and improves weld quality by using a nozzle to focus the arc, but is largely limited to automated systems, while GTAW remains primarily a manual manual method. The development of the GTAW process has also continued and there are now many variations. The most popular are the GTAW pulsed current, manual programming, hot wire, dabber, and enhanced penetration methods.