Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is a precision welding process requiring high skill and attention to detail. One of the most important aspects of TIG welding is the angle at which the torch is held.
The torch angle affects the weld’s heat input, penetration, and control. So it is better to understand what angle you use for TIG welding and the tips for the best angle.
I described it in detail to provide the best techniques and tell you about the best TIG welding angle.
Why is the Welding Angle Important?
The welding angle is the angle between the torch and the workpiece. The angle can affect the penetration, the appearance, and the strength of the weld.
Using the correct angle is important to achieve a successful TIG weld. If the angle is too steep, the weld may be too narrow and not penetrate the metal properly. If the angle is too shallow, the weld may be too wide and need more strength.
What Angle Do You Use for TIG Welding?
The ideal angle for TIG welding is between 15 and 45 degrees. The torch at this angle allows maximum heat input, penetration, and control. When welding thin materials, a shallower angle should be used to prevent burn-through, while a steeper angle should be used for thicker materials to achieve deeper penetration.
It is important to maintain a consistent torch angle throughout the welding process. This will ensure a consistent weld bead and avoid distortion or warping of the workpiece. Practice holding the torch at the correct angle before welding to achieve the best results.
In addition to the torch angle, other factors such as the amperage, welding speed, and filler material also affect the quality of the weld. Selecting the correct settings and technique for the specific material and thickness being welded.
The Different Welding Angles of Torch
There are four main welding positions: flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead. Each position requires a different welding angle.
In the flat position, the workpiece is horizontal, and the welding torch is held at a 90-degree angle to the workpiece. The welding angle should be a slight push angle of about 5-15 degrees, pushing the weld forward into the joint. This angle helps to ensure proper penetration and a strong weld.
In the horizontal position, the workpiece is in a vertical plane, and the welding torch is held at a 45-degree angle to the workpiece. The welding angle should be a slight drag angle of about 5-15 degrees, dragging the weld across the joint. This angle helps to ensure proper penetration and a strong weld.
The torch should be held at a 75 to 90-degree angle to the workpiece in the vertical position, with the electrode pointed upward. The weld bead should be slightly concave, with a width of approximately 1.5 to 2 times the thickness of the base metal.
In the overhead position, the workpiece is above the welder’s head, and the welding torch is held at a 90-degree angle to the workpiece. The welding angle should be a slight push angle of about 5-15 degrees, pushing the weld upward into the joint. This angle helps to ensure proper penetration and a strong weld.
What is the Correct Angle for TIG Welding in the Flat Position?
The correct angle for TIG welding in the flat position is 90 degrees. This means the tungsten electrode should be held perpendicular (at a right angle) to the base metal. Holding the electrode at this angle maximizes heat transfer and ensures proper fusion between the base metal and the filler rod.
|Material Thickness (mm)||Torch Angle (degrees)|
|Up to 3||90|
|3 – 6||70 – 80|
|6 – 12||60 – 70|
|12 and above||45 – 60|
It also helps to prevent undercutting, which can weaken the weld. When welding in the flat position, it is important to maintain a consistent travel speed and to keep the weld pool narrow and evenly distributed.
How to Choose the Right Welding Angle for TIG
When choosing the right welding angle, there are a few factors to consider:
The thickness of the metal being welded can affect the welding angle. Thicker metals may require a larger welding angle to achieve proper penetration, while thinner metals may require a smaller one. Generally, a welding angle of around 10 degrees is suitable for most materials.
The type of joint being welded can also affect the welding angle. For example, a butt joint may require a different welding angle than a lap joint or a T-joint. It’s important to consider the joint type and adjust the welding angle accordingly.
The welding position, whether flat, horizontal, vertical, or overhead, also affects the angle. Each position requires a different welding angle, as we discussed earlier.
When choosing the right welding angle, it’s important to experiment and practice on scrap material before starting your project. This will help you find the right welding angle and achieve a successful TIG weld.
Tips for Achieving the Perfect Weld Angle
Achieving the perfect weld requires skill, technique, and practice. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results when TIG welding:
- Cleanliness is key: Before you start welding, ensure that the workpiece is clean and free from contaminants such as rust, grease, and oil. Use a wire brush or grinder to remove any surface contaminants and ensure the workpiece is perfectly clean.
- Select the correct filler material: Use the correct material for the welding metal. Using the right filler material can result in a strong and brittle weld.
- Use the right tungsten electrode: The type of tungsten electrode will depend on the material you are welding. For example, a thoriated tungsten electrode is best for welding steel, while a pure tungsten electrode is best for welding aluminum.
- Set the correct amperage: The amperage setting will depend on the thickness of the material you are welding. Use the manufacturer’s recommended settings as a guide, and adjust as necessary to achieve the best results.
- Hold the torch at the correct angle: As discussed earlier in this article, the angle at which you hold the torch is crucial to achieving a successful weld. Practice holding the torch at the correct angle before you start welding.
- Maintain a consistent arc length: Keep the tungsten electrode at a consistent distance from the workpiece throughout the welding process. This will ensure a consistent weld bead and avoid burn-through.
- Control the speed of the weld: Welding too quickly or too slowly can result in a weak and brittle weld. Practice maintaining a consistent welding speed to achieve the best results.
- Use a backpurge: When welding stainless steel, it is important to use a back purge to prevent oxidation and contamination of the weld zone. Use an argon gas back purge to achieve the best results.
TIG welding requires a high level of skill and attention to detail, and the angle at which the torch is held is a crucial factor in achieving a successful weld. You can achieve professional-quality results by holding the torch at the correct angle and practicing the proper technique.
Remember to select the correct settings and filler material for the welded material and maintain a consistent torch angle throughout welding. With practice and patience, you can master the art of TIG welding and achieve the perfect weld every time.