Tungsten inert gas TIG welding is often utilized in various aircraft applications. TIG welding helps in achieving a clean, strong weld joint, making it ideal for constructing and overhauling different airplane components. Now, we will provide you with some instructions on how you can achieve effective TIG welding results.
Use High-Quality PPEs
Although TIG welding doesn’t produce metal spatter that’s generally associated with stick welding, it still produces intense light and heat. The TIG arc can result in providing twice the amount of UV and infrared rays as compared to usual arc welding. Hence, aircraft welders need to use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as fire-resistant gloves, helmet, and clothing.
Apart from using high-quality PPE, make sure to have enough ventilation to prevent inert gases and high levels of ozone from creating any breathing issues. Also, make sure electrical connection leads are kept in reasonable condition to avoid possible accidental damage from hangar traffic.
Proper Use Of Shielding Gases
During TIG welding, inert gases such as Argon, Helium, or a mixture of both gases are used to shield the welding arc and hot metals. Inert gases are gases which have atomic structures that prevent them from reacting with metals or other gases.
Argon is a heavier gas that needs a lower arc voltage than the rest of the shielding gases for a given current and arc length used. The heavier weight of Argon supports better shielding with lower flow rates as compared to Helium. Argon is preferred for thin metal welding.
Helium is the lightest inert gas available among these. Because of its lightweight, around two to three times more volume of Helium is required to shield the weld area as compared to Argon. Also, Helium can be utilized with higher arc voltages as compared to Argon. Helium is preferred for welding thick metal sections.
Cleaning ability is also a key factor while deciding which inert gas to select for TIG welding. Both Argon and Helium provide good cleaning while using Direct Current DC. Nonetheless, while using Alternate Current AC, Argon offers better cleaning. Argon also gives dynamic arc stability while using AC when compared to Helium.
Mostly pure Argon is utilized in TIG welding. But, thicker welding may require a mixture of both Helium and Argon.
Clean Metal Surface Before Welding
Clean the metal area properly before starting the welding process to achieve a good weld result. If you’re welding aluminum surfaces through the GTAW technique, cleaning the surface is essential to prevent contaminants that may result in a lack of fusion, porosity, or inclusions. Make sure to wipe the base metal to get rid of any oil, grease, dirt, or other pollutants.
Remove Oxides From Metal Surface
It’s vital to get rid of oxides on the metal surface, especially while welding Aluminum using a wire brush or scraping tool. Aluminum oxides form due to Aluminum wanting to return to its natural condition as soon as it gets exposed to the atmosphere. Aluminum oxide is an increasingly hard oxide, which can result in contaminated weld puddles, if not removed immediately.