TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is a very precise and intricate welding process. It is a type of arc welding used to join metals that are delicate, thin or hard to weld. It is highly regarded for its accuracy and precision.
As an arc welding method it is especially desirable when a high-quality, clean weld is needed on delicate or thin metals. One of the primary benefits of TIG welding is the ability to adjust its amperage and voltage accurately to obtain the best welding parameters.
AC balance is an important setting that affects the welding process and its results – but what is AC balance in TIG welding? In this article, we’ll explore AC balance and its affect on welding, while also providing some key facts and figures. Did you know, for instance, that TIG welding is one of the most popular types of welding, used in around 80% of all welding processes?
It is also great for welding a wide variety of materials including aluminium, stainless steel, magnesium and titanium. By the end of this article you will know the importance of AC balance and its application in TIG welding.
What Is AC Balance In TIG Welding?TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is a type of welding that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. TIG welding can be used on nearly all metals, but it is most often used on thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous materials such as aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys.
A crucial step in TIG welding is selecting the right balance setting, which involves selecting the right AC balance setting.
What Is AC Balance?
In TIG welding, the welding arc is generated through a combination of electrical current and the inert gas used (either argon or helium). AC (alternating current) balance is a setting that allows the welder to control the ratio of direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) in the welding arc.
When welding aluminum and magnesium, higher levels of AC are required to maintain enough cleaning action, as these metals often have oxide layers on the surface. In contrast, for welding stainless steel, higher levels of DC are better, as DC encourages deeper fusion. So, the AC balance setting determines the ratio between AC and DC, allowing the welder to find the right current combination for the material being welded.
The Settings and Their BenefitsTIG welders come with two main AC balance settings: peak AC and pulsed AC. On some welding machines, the settings can be adjusted, while on others they may be set to a certain configuration.
Peak AC produces a high frequency AC waveform, which produces low heat, reduces warping and promotes good penetration into the material. This setting is commonly used for welding aluminum and magnesium, which often have significant oxide layers on the surface that need to be cleaned away. On the other hand, pulsed AC, as the name suggests, pulses the AC and DC.
This setting is often used for more sensitive metals, like stainless steel, and can reduce the overall heat input while providing greater penetration into the material and increasing the joint strength.