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tig weld problem melting tungsteen

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  • tig weld problem melting tungsteen

    hi ,
    i am learning tig weld and i have a problem.
    i use 1/16' lantha tungsteen , mild steel, and 80-100amps , 15cfh argon,dc

    the problem is that the tungsteen melts and forms a blob in about 2-4minites of continue welding.
    i do not know what i am doing wrong. i read that the 1/16" electrode have much more capacity in amps . why melts?
    it this a kind of contamination? i agree that i am learning and i dip the electrode to pool from time to time.also i use a general purpose grinding the contamination from the above related with the melting?
    should i stop and cool the tungsteen?(please notice that the melting occures if i weld continiusly for about 7-10" welding)
    thanks for any help!

  • #2
    I'm not an expert, but I think you're running too many amps for that 1/16 electrode. Ok for tacks, etc but not for long beads.
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    • #3
      I also agree that 1/16 tungsten might be to small even though it says it should hold more amps that's not always the case. You should be running dc-. Are you using an air cooled or watercooled torch? I would try a 3/32 tungsten. If your not grinding off all of the contamination after dipping then it can blob back up.
      Last edited by MMW; 11-26-2009, 09:04 AM.
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      • #4
        Is it forming a blob after you dip the tungsten in the puddle or before??

        That could be your base metal globed on the electrode and not the electrode it self.
        If the polarity was reversed the tungsten would burn back immediately

        Never use lanthated (sp?) I run the radioactive stuff and pure tungsten, cause IF you're gonna die shouldn't you know what it's from???
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        • #5
          tig welding

          Is this tig unit or is it a lift start (no high freak) If it is a lift start tig Than the torch must be on ground side and ground in the possitive side of welder


          • #6
            If your only problem is overheating the tungsten and you have the polarity correct (DC-, or AC with ~70% penetration), then switch up to a 3/32 tungsten size and you should be good to go.
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            • #7
              first of all many thanks for the help guys.
              the machine has a hf start and i am using it .
              i am welding DC and the polarity is OK.
              the blob do not apear imidiately. it gets biger and biger as i am welding.
              the material is mild steel pipes with 3/32" thick.
              please note that because i am learning i did not try to weld these elements. i am trying to form a good worm upon the steel pipes with about 100amps.
              should i weld a few inches and then wait a bit?
              the gun is aircooled capable of 250amps wp25 i think.
              i am not using pulse or ac.

              i put on the small 1/16" tungsteen because i wanted to learn to weld thin materials and sheets or pipes thiner than 1/16" (stainless) for exaust making.

              can i weld with biger tungsteens grinded to a node and small amps?

              what do you suggest for welding 2/32" or smaller stainless 304 pipes?
              can you help with machine settings?

              should i use pulse and what ?
              tungsteen size?

              thank all of you again!


              • #8
                Are you sharpening the tungsten??? or are you just pulling it out of the container and inserting it in the torch?
                As you mentioned using bigger tungsten's that are ground to a node.

                Yes you can use larger tungsten and sharpen to a point like a pencil All tungsten is sharpened other then AC welding on aluminum on a transformer machine

                But you do need to learn the basics first the student pack the dave mentioned is a very good start. Classes would be next. For some basic pointers follow this link to Millers tig calculator
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by davedarragh
                  I suggest you buy Miller's GTAW Handbook. In fact, you can buy the whole student pack for around $25 on this web site. Sounds like you are in the infant stages of welding, and need to study theories of operation and electricity in welding and some metallurgy as well.

                  Don't take that as a negative, but many run out and buy a TIG machine, then are at a total loss because they don't know enough about it or welding in general, and can't get those "textbook welds" as advertised.

                  What machine are you using?

                  For starting out, that Miller student pack is just about the best thing going. Lots of good info and cannot beat the price


                  • #10
                    How's you gas is it flowing ???????


                    • #11

                      you are pushing too many amps.. step up to 3/32 or 1/8.
                      lanthinated tungstun doesnt hold a point as well as thoreated.
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                      • #12
                        you can use 3/32 and you won't have a problem with getting the tungsten to hot and melting it . What kind of tungsten are you running? You should be using red (throiated) or you could use orange (ceriated) they are better suited to higher amps on DC.
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                        • #13
                          Gee. This thread is really getting interesting.

                          Some good info (buy the Student Pac) along with a bunch of hogwash.

                          Obviously, some of the posters don't have a clue about tig welding.

                          To the OP. You were asked what machine you were running. You elected not to comment. When asked about polarity, you said the polarity was OK. Experienced posters help those who help themselves (and others by providing the information requested).

                          Let me make just a couple comments.

                          1. A 1/16" lanthanated tungsten is "more than adequate" for welding at 80-100A. In fact, in DCEN it's rated for up to 150A. Lanthanated is fine for welding steel but I'd recommend Thoriated for this task. I use the 2% Lanthanated for aluminum on a Sync 250 and a Dynasty 200 DX.

                          2. I suspect gas flow is not the problem. If you didn't have adequate flow, you'd be "burning up" your tungsten almost immediately.

                          3. As a newbie, I suspect you're unknowingly dipping your tungsten. What you're seeing form is either base metal or filler on the tungsten. Not at all uncommon when first starting.

                          4. Read/study the Miller Tig Handbook in detail. You'll get straight answers there, as opposed to some of the gobblygook you've gotten here.

                          BTW. Pulse can be of great benefit when welding thin stainless, but you're not ready to go there yet. Get the basics down pat first.
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                          • #14
                            I have some books from miller and I have the handbook you mension.that's why I do not understand what's goin says that the 1/16 is much capable than the 100amp.
                            the cfh is 15.
                            the electrode is not remember the brand.I will check tomorrow and let you know.
                            also watched some ron covells dvd but I think that the best help is straight comunication with the pros like you guys.
                            posible cause; wrong amp indication?my machine is a chinese brand with square wave inverter type with digital amp indicator about 1500$


                            • #15
                              Just to throw something else out there (maybe not whats happening but you never know unless you ask)...are you accidently stepping on your power cable while welding? That will roll your tungsten back pretty quick. I'm sure we have ALL done this, if you have TIG welded for any length of time.
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