When it comes to TIG welding aluminum, selecting the right gas is crucial. The type of shielding gas used can have a major impact on the quality and integrity of the weld, as well as the speed and ease of the welding process.
Argon or helium is the most commonly used gas for TIG welding aluminum. These two gases are used as pure or mixed. Pure argon is the most popular. However, the ionization potential and thermal conductivity of helium are much higher than that of argon.
Argon is the most commonly used gas for TIG welding aluminum, and for good reason. It provides a stable and consistent arc, resulting in smooth, clean welds. Argon also helps to prevent oxidation, which can cause porosity and other defects in the weld.
Additionally, argon is an inert gas, meaning it doesn’t react with aluminum during the welding process, further helping to maintain the integrity of the weld.
While argon is the go-to gas for TIG welding aluminum, helium can be used as well. In fact, helium is often used in TIG welding applications when higher welding speeds are required. The increased heat transfer properties of helium allow for faster welding speeds compared to argon, which can be particularly useful for welding thicker sections of aluminum.
However, the use of helium also increases the cost of the welding process, as helium is more expensive than argon. But remember that you cannot weld aluminum with 100% helium with AC TIG because the cathodic cleaning action does not occur.
A mixture of Argon and Helium.
While pure argon and pure helium are the two most common options for TIG welding aluminum, a mixture of these two gases is also a good option. Argon-helium mixtures can provide the best of both worlds, offering a balance of the speed and consistency of helium with the stability and affordability of argon.
This mixture can be tailored to meet specific welding requirements, making them a versatile choice for a wide range of TIG welding applications.