How to TIG Weld Aluminum

TIG welding involves the use of a tungsten electrode and a inert gas. Here is the procedure to weld aluminum through TIG, for improved quality.
ScienceStruck Staff
Last Updated: Jul 3, 2018
Tungsten Inert Gas welding is a process that includes the use of a tungsten electrode. This electrode is used to weld a number of metals and it requires an inert gas, mostly argon, to prevent contamination in the air during the welding process.
TIG weld requires a constant power supply. This process is used for welding several metals and alloys like aluminum, nickel alloy, copper alloys, etc.
TIG welding method is an expensive alternative, but it is used because of a number of reasons. It produces a high quality and clean weld, it can weld more number of metals than any other method, there are no sparks produced in this method.
There is no need to use any flux, as the gas protects the puddle from contamination, and there are no smokes or fumes produced in this method. This method can be used to weld metals in any of the positions - flat, overhead, vertical, or horizontal. These make TIG method a popular method, even though it is expensive than the others.
Things Required
  • Welding helmet
  • Welding gloves
  • TIG welder
  • Argon gas
  • Aluminum rod
  • Metal bench
  • Clamps
  • Stainless steel brush
  • Heat sink
Process
1. The first thing to do is to clean the rod. For this you will need to clean it with brake cleaner and distilled water. A stainless steel brush might come in handy here. You will need that brush to shine the part of the rod, where you need to weld.

2. Next comes the part where you hold the rod with the help of the clamps on the heat sink.
3. With the help of a blow torch, preheat the rod to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, so that the weld is not only cleaner but also stronger.
4. Now comes the part where you weld the aluminum. Ensuring that your electrode is away from the metal, is one of the basics. There should be at least an inch gap between the two so that the melted metal does not stick to the electrode.
5. With quick and clean strokes, weld the metal as soon as the pool has formed. Do not heat the metal for a long time or it will wrap.
A Few Points To Remember
  • The melting point of aluminum is very high, so pay attention while heating the rod for welding, to ensure that it is ready to be welded.
  • Aluminum is a good conductor of heat. Hence, it can become very hot once the process has begun. Ensure that you use a foot current control, so that you can control the current when the metal is heated very much.
  • As tungsten and aluminum, both, are good conductors of heat, ensure that you are well protected. It is necessary to use a helmet and gloves, while TIG welding. It is also a good idea to wear a long-sleeved coat, as tungsten can cause sunburns.
  • Use pure argon gas while TIG welding this metal.
  • Allow the metal to cool down after the welding is complete.
TIG Welding Cast Aluminum
  • Use a mix of helium and argon. The reason being, helium helps to make the arc stronger than plain argon, and this strong arc is needed for cast aluminum.
  • Clean the rod with the help of thinners, so that the rod is completely devoid of any contamination.
  • Always preheat the rod for a smoother and cleaner weld.
  • Do not use the torch gas a lot. Use the required amount of gas to shield the puddle and not more.
This is an easy method of welding, but needs to be done with extreme care. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you take the help of some expert.