Mechanical Engineering Blog

TIG Welding Stainless Steel

TIG Welding Stainless Steel

Note: This is a guest post by Gregory Sanders from He is a welding enthusiast who shares his insights into the world of welding on his website.

As a welder, you’ll find yourself discovering new material on a daily basis. It is important that as you’re dealing with different types of material you understand all its functions. TIG welding is a stable welding process that can help you get started.

Although beginners more commonly start out with MIG welders or SMAW they often end up with TIG welding machines. The process has a bit steeper learning curve due to its many adjustable features but TIG welding is an extremely versatile process offering unmatched quality.

What is TIG Welding?

TIG welding is an alternative name for gas tungsten arc welding. The aircraft manufacturers created it to weld magnesium in the first parts of the 20th century.

The process usually works like this:

  1. The welder makes an arc connecting the base metal and the non-consumable tungsten electrode, which is a type of electrode that will not melt.
  2. When the arc hits the base metal, a molten weld pool forms. A thin wire of filler metal is gradually fed into the weld pool, making it melt.
  3. Simultaneously, an inert shielding gas shields the tungsten electrode and weld pool from oxygen contamination. Importantly, no fluxes are used.
  4. The finished product is a robust weld that yields the same corrosion resistance properties as the parent metal.   

What Is TIG Welding Used For?

TIG welding is used for many types of metals and is one of the most popular welding methods. A variety of industries rely heavily on TIG welding and it is used in the construction process in a variety of industries, including the aerospace sector.

Auto manufacturers use TIG welding, for example, on fenders because of its anti-corrosive properties. TIG welding is also generally used in auto body repair shops too.

Also, TIG welding is very common among artists who create sculptures using welding techniques because of the great finishing quality. Lately, the so-called TIG cold welding technique has taken over the internet. In reality, this method has nothing in common with the actual cold welding process. It has earned the name because of significantly lower heat input but unfortunately, these aesthetically pleasing welds lack fusion and thus this method is not very effective in creating strong welds.

TIG Welding Stainless Steel

TIG welding stainless steel

TIG welding is very popular for welding stainless steel. The main use is for stainless steel soldering jobs. The great thing is that it can be used for different deployments across different welding jobs.

Welding stainless steel is known as a difficult task because it retains heat very well. This can lead to warping of the metal. TIG welding, however, is highly suitable for stainless steel, in addition to other metals such as aluminium, nickel alloys, brass, copper, and chromoly.

TIG Welding Stainless Steel Preparation 

The preparation begins when you start your TIG with a power source which can be lit through a torch. You need to take as many safety precautions as necessary in order to maintain the temperature.

Another preparation tip is to use the adaptor that already comes with your accessory package. This way you will not have a tangled mess that needs separate plugging in.

Make sure you also have your foot pedal so you can connect it and you can control the way you’re welding. The foot pedal will give you full control over your final welding project.

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How TIG Welding Stainless Steel Works?

The First Step

The beginning stages of TIG welding will require you to focus on three things: heat, covering, and filler metal. The heat is an essential aspect of the welding process because without this you will not be able to create the electricity that passes through the tungsten electrode.

Filler Rod Selection

The way that the filler rod is seated will actually change everything about the welding process. You want to use both hands when you’re attaching the filler rod. The shielded gas needs to be used to stop any form of contamination.

An ER or filler rod will be used as a wire feed for TIG welding. The correct selection impacts the final welding quality.

The Stainless Steel Welding Process

The greatest attribute about stainless steel welding is its expansive weldability. Most beginner welders will be concerned about the welding processes, however, with stainless steel welding you’ll be able to create the outcome you desire.

The stainless steel welding process begins with the different types of processes such as friction welding, brazing, and resistant welding electron. You’ll need the conductivity of helium to adhere the particles together.

Why Use Tungsten To Weld Stainless Steel

Tungsten is a rare, but useful metallic element that is mainly used for manufacturing. The process largely depends on the hardness and the heat resistance.

To carry out the current you need a particular arc that has a high melting point. Tungsten is a great alternative to thoriated which can work in low-amperage welding. The recommended options are ceriated or lanthanated tungsten because they have strong holding-up power. 

The process will mainly rely on the tungsten’s features such as its weight and the way it processes heat. The best ones are known to be pure tungsten. There is a wide range to choose from so make sure you’re choosing the one that will best fit you!

TIG Welder Power Supplies for Stainless Steel Welding

The main power sources can vary, depending on your project. You want to transfer all this energy work piece by piece. This way you’ll centralize your focus and the electrode that you want to concentrate on.

The main power source is the refractory electrode which will transfer energy slowly in order to form a good arc. The basic equipment in order to make sure the process is in progress is the electrode holder, filler metal rod, and personal safety equipment.

Overall, TIG welding is a crucial welding process that many industries couldn’t live without. Whether you are a welding professional or a hobbyist always be sure to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and all your work materials safe.

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