Different tungsten electrodes used in TIG welding
Greenhand welders may feel confused by the various color of tungsten electrodes on the shelf. A common question may come out, “What color of tungsten electrode should I choose for my TIG welding?”
Now let’s decode the color system of the tungsten electrode in TIG Welding.
WT20. Its color code is red. It is widely used in welding carbon steel, stainless steel, silicon steel, copper, bronze, titanium, and other materials.
- Start arc much easier than other tungsten electrodes.
- It is very durable.
- Produce a highly stable arc.
- It could carry high current
- Longer service life.
- Containing 1.7-2.2% thorium
Thorium tungsten electrode contains 1.7-2.2% thorium, which is radioactive. Workers must have extra protective measures.
WC20. Its color code is gray.
It is an ideal choice for welding carbon steel, stainless steel, silicon copper, copper, bronze, titanium, and other materials.
- Excellent arc starting performance under low current conditions
- An ideal choice for welding pipe and small precision parts.
- Low consumption rate, long service life, and no radiation
- Can’t carriage high current.
The pure tungsten electrode is the cheapest among all tungsten electrodes. It is suitable for welding magnesium, aluminum, and their alloys under Alternative Current (AC) conditions.
- Easy to buy it.
- Only Work with Alternative Current (AC)
- Ideal for the sine wave and conventional square wave TIG welders.
- worn out quickly
- Mainly works in low current conditions.
WZ3, brown; WZ8, white.
- Mainly for aluminum and aluminum alloy welding
- Excellent to reduce tungsten penetration
- Good corrosion resistance.
- Easier to start the arc than pure tungsten electrode
- The arc is stable
- Good anti-pollution and good current-carrying capacity
- Only work in Alternative Current (AC) environment
- superior performance at high-load currents
- In general, it is the best non-radioactive tungsten electrode
W10 Black; WL20 Golden; W15 light blue.
It works well in welding aluminum and aluminum alloy, carbon steel, stainless steel, silicon copper, copper, bronze, titanium, etc. It is a very promising welding tungsten electrode at present.
- Its conductivity is the closest to 2% thoriated tungsten electrode.
- Durable at high current with minimal burnout.
- Longer service life than red tungsten electrodes under normal current conditions.
- Much easier to start an arc in most uses.
- Lanthanum is not radioactive and very safe.
- It is mainly used in Direct Current (DC) welding
- Ideal for TIG and Plasma welding.