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Lanthanated vs. Thoriated tungsten

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  • Lanthanated vs. Thoriated tungsten

    So i am new to TIG welding and have realized that thoriated tungsten tips are radioactive. I know its minimal but if i can i prefer to stop using them. I have done some research and see that lanthanated tungsten is actually very similar to 2% thoriated and doesn't have any of the radioactive materials. It can even do AC welding. That said what are the disadvantages? Weld process is also very similar (I am told). Can thoriated weld a wider variety of metal? I am welding mild steel and stainless steel for the most part. Any input would be great.

    Btw sorry if this has been posted before.

  • #2
    The lanthanated or Ceriated tungstens can be used anywhere that the Thoriated was used plus AC welding especially with inverter power sources. The only negative is that they usually cost a little more than the Thoriated.

    A-

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    • #3
      Disadvantages -

      1. Not availible at most local welding shops
      2. Seems to be a little harder, and there for harder on grinding wheels.

      Advantages

      1. Handle more amperage then any other alloy (accoring to the chart I have)
      2. Can be used on all types of machines
      3. Has the lowest breakdown voltage (meaning easiest to start an arc).

      -Dan
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      • #4
        That's what i thought. Im just a hobby welder therefore the additional cost really wont be that much of an issue. As long as weld quality and procedure is the same i think im going to use only lanthanated. Thanks for your help on this.

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        • #5
          Thoriated is also slightly radioactive and is being phased out last I remember.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by engnerdan View Post
            Disadvantages -

            1. Not availible at most local welding shops
            2. Seems to be a little harder, and there for harder on grinding wheels.

            Advantages

            1. Handle more amperage then any other alloy (accoring to the chart I have)
            2. Can be used on all types of machines
            3. Has the lowest breakdown voltage (meaning easiest to start an arc).

            -Dan
            Which one are you talking about?
            Miller Maxstar 200 DX
            RMLS-14 Momentary Hand Control
            Miller Syncrowave 180 SD
            Porter Cable 14" dry metal saw
            Hitachi 4.5" grinder
            http://mhayesdesign.com

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            • #7
              I try to only use Lanthanated, but I have some Thoriated in the mix that I keep presharpened. I have about 10-15 or so pieces that I keep sharp at one time, and they include only Lanthanated and Thoriated. I can't tell the difference by how they weld. Nor do they have the color at the ends, as I do sharpen them on both ends as well. To say, both weld excellent, and I don't see a downside by one or the other.

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              • #8
                I don't take long welding with AC to tell a difference. The end of the thoriated starts splitting and forming little ***** on all the ends...that is if you weld long enuff without dipping.

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                • #9
                  They say Thoriated has some radioactivity in it. They say the same things with cell phones and me using my bluetooth. Probably the same radioactivity
                  I'm not late...
                  I'm just on Hawaiian Time

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                  • #10
                    Thoriated Tungsten Electrodes

                    Originally posted by tasslehawf View Post
                    Thoriated is also slightly radioactive and is being phased out last I remember.
                    They emit alpha radiation when being ground. None is emitted while welding. A simple dust mask can prevent inhilation hazards when preparing tungsten on the grind wheel. Haven't heard the one about being discontinued, we'll have to wait and see.
                    "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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                    • #11
                      I do wear a dust mask when grinding my tunsten on the wheel, plus I have my exhaust fans on in the shop to help with whatever. I don't like the idea of breathing in Tungsten Dust. Good to know that It's being prevented with wearing a mask.

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                      • #12
                        Well i agree with you guys that everything no days has some kind of warning associated with it. but i guess my point with this thread is that IF Lanthanted is equal or better then thoriated I really have no point in even taking a risk with this radioactivity issue/concern. Lanthanated seems better with the fact that it can do AC at the same time with no known negatives welding DC compared to thoriated. Unless i am wrong about something i see no question which tungsten is right for me.

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                        • #13
                          Im a novice welder and I recently switched to Lanthanated in my 180SD and i love it on both steel and aluminum. It doesnt split on aluminum like the thoriated does and I like the arc quality and starting better than the ceriated. It just sucks that local shops dont stock it.

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                          • #14
                            The radioactivity is low level and as long as it being on the outside of your body, does not pose any real health issues. Issues arise if particles are inhaled and get lodged in your lungs. The radioactive emission to mutate lung tissue is the real issue. Eliminating this risk is very easy. Use Lantanated for Ceriated Tungsten.

                            Shortly after I purchased my Dynasty over ten years ago, I ditched the thoriated and picked up a pack of lantanated. In AC this indeed works better than thoriated or balled pure tungsten. I've recently been using ceriated on stainless with very good results as well.

                            What amazes me is that over ten years have gone by and local welding shops still haven't figured it out. Thoriated and pure tungsten are all they carry in stock. Maybe it's the welding community at large or the retail shop that doesn't want to change. Thank goodness for internet and online retailers.

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                            • #15
                              I figure the risk/exposure must be very low, they still issue thoriated every day in the nuclear power industry. Can't say I've even saw anything but thoriated and pure in the ones I've worked in.
                              Chris

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