Vessel welding methods
TIG welding, or gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), is a process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create an arc and join metal. It requires shielding gas, mostly pure argon or argon mixed with helium, to protect the weld area and electrode from oxidation or other atmospheric contamination. TIG welding can also use a hand-fed filler metal to fill the gap between two close-fitting materials, but some welds do not require it. The process of TIG welding works by melting the base metal with an electrical arc formed between the tungsten electrode and the grounded metal. The tungsten electrode does not touch the metal or consume during the welding, which results in a stable and clean arc. The tungsten electrode can be shaped to a point to control the arc and cone width, which affects the heat input and concentration. The filler metal, if used, is added manually by the welder into the molten pool. TIG welding is a versatile and precise arc welding method that can join almost all metals, especially thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys. It gives the operator greater control over the weld than other processes such as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) or stick welding and gas metal arc welding (GMAW) or MIG welding, allowing for stronger, higher quality welds. However, TIG welding is also more complex and difficult to master, and it is significantly slower than most other welding techniques. TIG welding differs from stick welding in several ways. Stick welding uses a consumable electrode coated with flux that creates a shielding gas and slag to protect the weld. Stick welding can be used for most common metals and alloys, and it is simple and inexpensive. However, stick welding produces more spatter and smoke than TIG welding, and it has less control over the arc and weld quality. Stick welding is also limited by the electrode length and size, which affects the welding position and accessibility. TIG welding differs from MIG welding in several ways. MIG welding uses a consumable wire electrode fed continuously through a welding gun that creates an arc with the metal. MIG welding also uses shielding gas, usually carbon dioxide or a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide, to protect the weld. MIG welding can be used for most metals and alloys, and it is fast and easy to learn. However, MIG welding produces more spatter than TIG welding, and it has less control over the heat input and weld quality. MIG welding is also affected by the wind and drafts, which can blow away the shielding gas.