What Color Tungsten For Aluminum, Mild, And Stainless Steel?

what color tungsten for aluminum, mild and stainless steel?

What Color Tungsten For Aluminum, Mild, And Stainless Steel?

TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Welding, and it’s also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding in a more technical sense (GTAW). A non-consumable tungsten electrode relays current to the welding torch in this method. You can utilize a variety of tungsten electrodes for the process, but not all of them will be effective. Continue reading to learn about the best tungsten for TIG welding.

Tungsten Electrode Types

Choosing the appropriate electrode is an important aspect of a successful welding job. The metal and the joint determine the electrode’s kind and size. We’ll go through a few prominent electrode options and their applications in this article.

Green Tungsten (Pure Tungsten)

Tungsten electrodes are made out of 99.5 percent tungsten, making them easy to manufacture. The ball tip form enhances the arc’s stability. They’re very good with magnesium and aluminum alloys, and they’re perfect for applications requiring low to medium amperage. Pure tungsten can only be used with an AC power source.

Gray Rare Earth

One of the elements added to pure tungsten is a rare earth. Rare Earth is classified as EWG by the American Welding Society (AWS). Although all Rare Earth electrodes contain an undefined combination of natural additions, manufacturers must state the percentage composition of each substance present on the box.

The metals to be welded and the intended results will determine the combination you use. You can ensure that the arc is stable and obtain excellent weld penetration by using the various available combinations.

Rare Earth electrodes also allow for smaller electrode diameters, higher current levels, and less tungsten spitting than other electrode kinds.

Thorium Oxide 

97.3 percent tungsten and 1.7-2.2 percent thorium oxide make up thorium tungsten electrodes. They are ideal for arc welding techniques because of their low radioactivity and high current carrying capacity. They are long-lasting and simple to use, which is a plus.

Electrodes made of thorium oxide are suited for use with a DC power supply. They have high melting points and can withstand high temperatures with little melting. Because they have average corrosion rates and moderate amperage requirements, they are appropriate for use on thinner steel plates.

However, thorium oxide produces alpha particles, which are harmful to humans. By substituting rare Earth for thorium oxide, many of the particles’ health hazards are eliminated while many benefits are retained.

Thorium electrodes are appropriate for a few types of AC welding applications, including thin-gauge aluminum and materials that are less than 0.060 inches thick. They’re also the best choice for carbon steel, stainless steel, nickel, and titanium DC welding projects.

Electrodes with Lanthanum

They’re made up of 97 percent tungsten and 1.3 to 1.7 percent lanthanum. Only Direct Current power sources are suitable for lanthanotid electrodes. Lanthanum increases the current carrying capacity of electrodes by 50%.

Striking an arc with Lanthanum electrodes is more comfortable, and these electrodes offer superior arc stability, re-ignition qualities, and low burn-off rates. They come in handy for welding the following materials:

  • Alloys of aluminum
  • Alloys of magnesium
  • Alloys of nickel
  • Alloys of copper
  • Alloys of titanium
  • Steels with a low alloy content
  • Steels that do not corrode
  • Oxide of Cerium

Ceriated electrodes, also known as 2 percent Ceriated electrodes, are constructed of 97.3 percent tungsten and 1.8-2.2 percent cerium oxide. They’re best for low-current AC applications, although they can also be used in some DC ones.

Ceriated electrodes are the perfect electrodes for you if you need to weld small delicate parts or work with thin metal sheets, pipe fabrication, or orbital tube manufacture. They can be used with the following metal compounds:

Steels that do not corrode, Alloys of carbon, nickel, aluminium, magnesium, titanium, and copper

They’re long-lasting electrodes with good ignition and re-ignition properties. They produce extremely steady arcs and can also be employed at low current levels. Ceriated tungsten outperforms pure tungsten in terms of present carrying qualities when erosion rates are low.

Electrodes with Zirconium

Zirconiated electrodes are 99.1% pure tungsten with 0.15-0.4 percent zirconium. They are useful in situations where tungsten contamination is too high to tolerate. They are ideal for magnesium and aluminium alloys because they can sustain greater amperage levels and have better ball retention.

They function especially well with air conditioning and are extremely resistant to splitting. They can carry a lot of electricity and produce very steady arcs. Zirconiated electrodes, unlike most other electrodes, are not suited for use with Direct Current.

Power Supply Using Direct Current

There is just a one-way flow of current with Direct Current power sources. The flow of the stream is positive to negative or negative to positive. A DC power supply is used by smaller devices such as batteries, phones, flashlights, and remote controls.

In their welding techniques, welders switch from positive to negative and vice versa. For various reasons, a DC supply is preferable to an alternating current source.


  • Welders who demand faster deposit rates will benefit from a DC supply.
  • Produces less spatter, resulting in a smoother weld.
  • Increased output yield
  • An electrical arc that is steady and stable.


  • It necessitates the use of specialised equipment.
  • Expensive and unsuitable for aluminium
  • Production of high-intensity heat
  • Procedure with a high level of risk
  • Take extra precautions when using Direct Current power sources. In DC welding, there is a risk of a magnetic field build-up, which can cause the arc to blow up. It can be used for stainless steel TIG welding, vertical welding, single carbon brazing, and various other tasks.

Power Supply using Alternating Current

Depending on the supply frequency, an AC power source changes the current flow from positive to negative and negative to positive roughly 120 times per second. The current switches direction throughout the cycle, providing you the benefits of DC power while reducing some of the disadvantages.


  • Cleaning the arc a little
  • It works with the majority of electrodes.
  • Provides excellent metal fusion.
  • Provides high penetration levels.
  • Supports a variety of weld styles, including large plates, aluminum TIG welds, and even fast-fill welds.
  • Magnetized metal welding is possible with this product.
  • Ideal for welding at higher temperatures
  • Excellent for repair work.


One main disadvantage of employing an AC power supply is its directional instability, which directly impacts product production.

Properties of Tungsten

When utilized with an AC power supply, tungsten exhibits the requisite balling qualities. However, the metal has poor heat resistance and must be modified to improve both heat resistance and current carrying ability. Rare-earth elements, lanthanum, thorium, cerium, and zirconium, are added to tungsten to improve ball retention. They aid in the electrodes’ point maintenance.

TIG welding productivity is directly proportional to the electrode used, the power supply used, the shield gas used, and the welding task itself. When utilizing rare-earth tungsten electrodes, use commercially available kinds.