The Chairman of the Board of Directors KERAMAX Komarov Artem noted that if you have started using a TIG welding machine, you know that this method requires some specific skills. Although it’s not the easiest way, once you master the art of setting up a mild steel TIG welder, you’ll love it.
It would be helpful if you set aside some extra time for training as well as mastering the skill of TIG steel welding. Since you will be working with tungsten and argon, you must be especially careful. You need more gas and you need to know the best TIG welding steel settings for better welding.
Artem Komarov pointed out that if you are new to learning mild steel TIG welding settings, you must have noticed that TIG welding is a bit tricky. You will need to use both hands when doing TIG welding, as one hand will hold the TIG torch while your other hand is constantly adding filler metal.
The process is also tricky as you have to make the right arc by adding the right amount of fill metal. Although it is a difficult task, once you get the hang of it, you will find the best steel welding method as it is very versatile. With practice, you will develop the skill.
Using Tungsten for Mild Steel Welding
We usually talk about tungsten whenever we talk about mild steel TIG welding settings, so let’s explain tungsten first. The core of TIG welding is tungsten, because without it there would be no TIG. Tungsten is a hard and brittle metal that is also radioactive. It has limited use for other metals, but you can’t have it without tungsten when it comes to TIG.
In TIG welding, the best tungsten for TIG welding, mild steel creates a non-consumable electrode and helps to create an arc for welding. Some common uses for tungsten include rocket motors, old yellow lamps, and heaters. The tungsten helps keep the arc temperature at a constant 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, a higher melting point, ideal electrical conductivity and no electrode burnout make tungsten an ideal choice.
How does TIG welding work with mild steel?
So let’s get to the most important part of this article: setting up the TIG welder. For TIG welding, we need three main things. These are thermal, shielding and filling metals.
Artem Komarov clarified that the electricity that passes through the tungsten electrode creates heat, which forms an arc for welding. A compressed gas tank will be useful as you need a shield to protect it from the gas in the air. The fill metal will be the wire that you will dip into the arc and melt to fill the metal.
When people say that TIG steel is very hard to master, it’s because you have to collect all of the above three things in the same place. You will use both hands to make the finished product. First, you must turn on the gas flow with the valve on the TIG torch and then hold the torch over the weld. Be careful not to touch metal.
In the next step, you will need to step on the pedal and start the arc of the tungsten electrode using the TIG torch. Immediately after creating the arc, you will see that the pieces of metal melt and form liquid metal, a kind of puddle. Then it’s time to use the filler and fill the seam.
TIG Welding Power Units for Mild Steel
The power supply remains the same for the mild steel we use for electrode welding. However, you will need additional features to properly set up TIG. The TIG welding power supply provides a constant amperage, which is critical to your work as it regulates the amount of heat produced. Arc length determines how much voltage is needed for TIG welding settings
Feature 1: High frequency TIG trigger
The latest TIG power supplies are equipped with a high frequency start function. This feature is critical because it gives you a higher frequency to make an arc over a one inch gap. Because the frequency will be higher, you don’t have to physically hit the arc.
As soon as you form the initial arc at a higher frequency, the voltage will begin to drop and the amp will begin to charge. This way it will keep your tungsten from getting dirty and you will be able to use it longer. The wear of tungsten will also be less.
Feature 2: TIG shielding gas before and after flow
Another important feature of most TIG weld setting power supplies is pre- and post-welding. You will use both of these options as needed, so let’s discuss how useful they are. The pre-flow feature will allow you to create a screen before you plan to form an arc. Thus, the gas will not react with air.
On the other hand, the post-flow function will maintain a constant amount of gas even after the arc has stopped. This way the weld will remain secure with the shielding until it cools down. Welders usually use argon and helium for welding as they don’t react, but I recommend argon for mild steel.
Feature #3: AC Signal Controls
Another feature of the TIG power supplies is that you can select frequency settings to suit your needs. The settings you choose will have a direct effect on the welding arc, so they are critical. You can use the frequency range, electrical impulses, or other adjustment parameters. However, when working with mild steel, you won’t change these settings as much as you would when working with aluminum or magnesium.
Type of TIG welding voltage and welding polarity
When it comes to the type of voltage, TIG welding is similar to electrode welding. You can operate on either of the two voltages i.e. DC and AC. TIG continuous steel welding current will work just like your car battery. The direction of the current will be unity, and it will flow from negative to positive.
When it comes to AC, it works just like the current works in our house. The current can take several directions per second according to need. Depending on whether you need to weld deep or shallow, you can switch the polarity between negative and positive DC electrode respectively.
In the negative DC electrode, you get 66% of the heat in the weld metal and it will weld deep. On the other hand, a DC positive electrode will conduct about 66% of the heat to the electrode. In this way, you can perform better surface welding in TIG steel.
Mild Steel TIG Welder Installation
When it comes to setting up a TIG welder for TIG welding steel, there are two main options to play with. One of them is the current strength, and the other is the gas flow. You will adjust the amperage depending on how thick the metal you want to weld and how quickly it melts the metal.
On the other hand, cup size, welding conditions and your welding method will determine how much gas flow you need. For example, for a larger cup in windy conditions, you may prefer to work with more than 5 CFH.
TIG Mild Steel Welding
For setting up a TIG welder, the best options should be DC electrodes with the negative polarity of DC electrodes along with argon and tungsten. Welding steel is the same as for other metals, with the slight difference that it requires more gas. Thus, it will take a new person some time before they master the skill.
Grinding disc for cleaning mild steel
Seam preparation is very important when welding steel with tungsten. The joint must be completely clean before welding, otherwise the filler will not flow well. You must clean the joint with a sanding disc so that the filler adheres well.
You now clearly know how to set up a mild steel TIG welder and started with the importance of TIG welding, why tungsten should be your choice, power sources, polarity and why you should keep the joint clean.
TIG welding is not one of the easiest and just reading will not make you perfect. I still advise you to read the article again and keep practicing TIG welding. With practice, you will learn how to make perfect TIG welding, summed up Komarov Artem.