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Tig Welding Hint - Tungsten Selection


Choosing the correct Tungsten Electrode for the job.

Before you begin welding it is critical to know the materials to be joined are compatible with the filler wire to be used and that you have the correct Tungsten electrode for the job. Following are a few details regarding Tungsten selection;

  • Pure: Non-Radioactive, Color Code: Green. Low current capacity. Recommended for use in AC welding of Aluminum.
  • 2% Thoriated: Radioactive, Color Code: Red. 2% Thoriated is the most commonly used in the USA, primarily for DC welding. It has a low work function and provides high load and amperage capability. Vapors, grinding dust and disposal of thorium dixoide raise health, safety & environmental issues.
  •  Lanthinated 1.5% & 2%: Non-Radioactive, Color Code: Blue / Gold. The most commonly used Non-radioactive Tungsten as an alternative to 2% Thoriated Tungsten. Lanthinated Tungsten offers long electrode life under heavy or pulsing amperage loads. Offers improved and stable arc, good resistance to contamination and long service life.
  • 2% Ceriated: Non-Radioactive, Color Code: Orange. Recommended for short welding cycles, low amp DC on orbital tube, pipe, thin sheet and small part applications. Not recommended for high amp settings because the oxides in ceriated material tend to migrate quickly to the heat at the electrode tip.  
  • Zirconiated: Non-Radioactive, Color Code: Brown / White. Zirconiated material tends to ball up easily in AC applications.Performance includes good arc starting and current capacity. Not recommended for DC welding.