How Does Gas Tungsten ARC Welding Work?

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) is a type of welding that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to generate an electric arc to join two or more metals together. This welding technique is also known as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, and it is popular for its ability to weld thin sections of metals and its precision, control, and clean finishes.

This blog post will explore how GTAW welding works, its advantages, applications, and disadvantages.

What is Gas Tungsten Arc Welding?

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), commonly known as TIG welding, is a highly versatile and precise arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. Heat for melting the metal comes from an electric arc between the tungsten electrode and the welded workpiece. GTAW provides high-quality, clean welds with minimal distortion and is used extensively in aerospace, nuclear power plant construction, food production equipment manufacturing, automotive fabrication and repair shops.

GTAW is characterized by an inverter power supply or direct current output to generate an electric arc between a non-consumable tungsten electrode and the workpiece material. Based on design specifications, the filler rod or wire could be manually added to supplement the weld joint area.

Working on Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

To understand how Gas Tungsten Arc Welding works, we need to start by looking at the equipment used. GTAW welding requires a welding power supply, a GTAW torch, a tungsten electrode, shielding gas, and filler metal.

The welding power supply provides the necessary voltage to create the electric arc between the tungsten electrode and the workpiece. The GTAW torch, on the other hand, holds the tungsten electrode and delivers the shielding gas to protect the weld from contamination.

The tungsten electrode is the non-consumable part that generates and maintains the arc, while the shielding gas creates a protective environment around the weld pool to prevent oxidation or any other form of contamination.

The operator touches the tungsten electrode to the workpiece to make a weld, creating the arc. The arc causes the metal to melt and form a molten pool. The operator guides the GTAW torch over the pool and introduces the filler rod to the molten pool, thus fusing the two metal pieces together.

One significant advantage of GTAW welding is the ability to weld various metals, including aluminium, magnesium, titanium, and stainless steel. The precision and control of the technique make it possible to weld thin sections or complex joints.


GTAW welding is popularly used in aerospace, automotive, and medical industries due to the quality and control of its welds. It can also be used in welding artwork, sculptures, and other creative endeavours.


However, despite its many advantages, GTAW welding has its disadvantages. It is a relatively slow and expensive welding process, requiring a trained and skilled welder, which may lead to high labour costs.


Another downside of GTAW welding is that it requires a clean weld area; any contamination can cause porosity, undercutting, or other defects in the weld. Additionally, GTAW welding could be better suited for thick materials or heavy welds.

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In conclusion, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding is a welding technique that offers precision, control, and clean finishes, making it ideal for welding thin sections or complex joints. However, it can be costly and time-consuming, requiring skilled labour and a clean weld area to achieve successful results.

While GTAW welding is advantageous in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, and medical, its limitations in welding thick metals or heavy welds may require the use of other welding techniques. Overall, GTAW welding is a crucial welding process that welders must understand to determine the most appropriate welding method for a specific application.



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