TIG welding, formally known as Tungsten Inert Gas welding, or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, uses a non consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. This fabrication method compels an arc between the base metal and the electrode, producing a high quality weld. It is used to join two materials together, like stainless steel or aluminium and melt them tohether.
When we look at 3 phase AC/DC models, a good starting point would be the Miller Syncrowave 300 AC/DC TIG Runner. An all-in-one water-cooled plug and play package, incorporating AC balance control providing oxide removal, creating high quality welds. The sets DC TIG feature can increase travel speeds and sits alongside fan on demand, and wind tunnel technology. This robust welding machine is slightly higher on the pricing spectrum, which is justifiable through the long array of features.
The material that you are welding will play a factor in the choice of TIG welders available. If you are welding aluminium you would need to purchase an AC/DC TIG machine, as DC only TIG welders will not weld aluminium. AC/DC options, are slightly higher end on the pricing spectrum. You don’t want to rule out the choice to weld more materials, so purchasing a machine that can weld more materials may be a wise option.
You need to consider the amperage you require from a machine, if you are welding thicker materials, you’ll obviously need a higher amperage machine. Work on 35 amps per mm to be welded & remember to consider the duty cycle of the machine, according to the amount of work you’re performing. Aluminium welding generates more heat & at high amperage, will definitely require water cooling
One of the more important aspects to look at is the electrical supply you have available to you; this supply will determine the machine you purchase. If you are running 110volts, make sure you have enough power to translate into output. Inverter based three phase TIG machines will need 32 amps, make sure you have it.
As a standard most welding machines come with a warranty period, some maybe longer than others. We would consider a 3-year warranty as a minimum requirement & as an indication of build quality.
Unsure on which gas to use for TIG welding? For TIG, only inert gases are allowed, as reactive gases will ruin your work piece. The preferred shielding gases are dependent on the material and intended use. Pure Argon is the desirable choice as it can be applied to various material types, it is generally more affordable and helps provide a consistent arc. Pure helium, allows TIG welding at higher voltage settings, reducing welding time, but this is generally more expensive. You can have a mix of both shielding gases, producing higher heat inputs, whilst maintaining a consistent arc. Hydrogen can also be used, but primarily when TIG welding stainless steel.