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Thread: Argon usage and grey welds

  1. #1
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    Argon usage and grey welds

    Hi, new to Tig welding but Mig welding a lot past two years now. I have two questions:

    1. Holy cow is it normal to use this much argon? (10 second fixed post flow, practicing every day for about an hour, 80cf tank, gone in about a month)

    2. My beads are gray in color. Guessing its too high heat am I going too slow? (I run about 15cfh) coupons 1/8 steel using 1/16 or 3/32 tungsten on about 90 amps. How are people getting those shiny beads I see?

    Thanks for your help.

    Tig welding is surely a diff beast than Mig holy cow.

  2. #2
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    Re: Argon usage and grey welds

    Sounds like you're actually using too low amperage. With low amperage you have to move too slow and you have higher heat input into the part. Try around 120 amps and get moving quick and keep a tight arc.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Argon usage and grey welds

    Quote Originally Posted by SquirmyPug View Post
    Sounds like you're actually using too low amperage. With low amperage you have to move too slow and you have higher heat input into the part. Try around 120 amps and get moving quick and keep a tight arc.
    thank you, never thought of that. Can a 1/16 tungsten handle 120 amps?

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    Re: Argon usage and grey welds

    Quote Originally Posted by saltlick View Post
    thank you, never thought of that. Can a 1/16 tungsten handle 120 amps?
    Usually 1/16" thoriated tungsten is listed at handling 150amps. Most of the time anything higher than around 110-120 I like to use 3/32"
    Airco Ac/Dc 300 Heliwelder
    MillerMatic 200 (stolen)
    Miller Maxstar 150STL
    Miller AEAD200LE (welding and generating power)
    Hobart MIG

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  7. #5
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    Re: Argon usage and grey welds

    Are you cleaning of the mill scale before welding?
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  9. #6
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    Re: Argon usage and grey welds

    I use a 3/32 tungsten for all things steel. Sharpened to a pencil type of point, you will not notice any difference between a 1/16th and a 3/32 for for 99% of your applications. Likewise, I almost never weld at over 200 amps for steel, so the 3/32 covers the full gamut. I almost always use a 1/8th tungsten for the aluminum as I don't try to weld sheet aluminum.

    A ten second post flow is nothing really. You can lower it for the purposes of practicing, but in reality, when the outcome counts, its not unusual to see up to 30 seconds of post flow. The rule of thumb is 1 second of post flow for every 10 amps of welding current. If you are going to do any amount of TIG, it will in the long run be much more economical to get the largest tank of argon you can, even if to just save on gasoline and time running to the LWS once a month. Where I get my gas, exchanging an 80 cubic foot tank costs around $50 (about 62 cents/ cu ft). Exchanging a $330 cubic foot tank costs about $100 (30 cents/cu ft).

    You definitely should run more heat on those 1/8th inch coupons

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  11. #7
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    Re: Argon usage and grey welds

    Quote Originally Posted by saltlick View Post
    Hi, new to Tig welding but Mig welding a lot past two years now. I have two questions:

    1. Holy cow is it normal to use this much argon? (10 second fixed post flow, practicing every day for about an hour, 80cf tank, gone in about a month)

    2. My beads are gray in color. Guessing it’s too high heat am I going too slow? (I run about 15cfh) coupons 1/8” steel using 1/16 or 3/32 tungsten on about 90 amps. How are people getting those shiny beads I see?

    Thanks for your help.

    Tig welding is surely a diff beast than Mig holy cow.
    The gas usage sounds about right, you can probably cut that post flow down a hell of a lot to save gas, For general carbon steel work I keep it at around 3 seconds, otherwise an hour practise a day with say about 20 minutes of that is arc time at 15 CFH gives you 16 days of gas from an 80 CF tank, the math add's up I think.

    As for the grey weld, it sounds like your amperage is to low cause slow travel speed and massive heat soak, try more like 120-130 amps on a 1/8" T joint and try and move faster, this will give you way less total heat input so hopefully the weld doesn't oxidise as much.

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  13. #8
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    Re: Argon usage and grey welds

    Thanks guys, I think all of your suggestions worked. I had to much angle, not enough filler to cool the puddle and not going fast enough. Once I got a tight arc going, pushed filler into the puddle and got moving I’m seeing nice and shiny welds with some golds and rainbow colors as well. My heat affected zone is much smaller too. I also started cleaning the metal with acetone. Thanks for your suggestions

  14. #9
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    Re: Argon usage and grey welds

    Good to see positive feedback, these help starter welders when they have questions.
    DIY CNC Plasma table USB BOB Price THC
    Hypertherm 65
    Everlast PowerTig 255 EXT
    Miler 180 Mig
    13" metal lathe
    Mill/ Drill
    ECT, ECT,

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  16. #10
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    Re: Argon usage and grey welds

    Quote Originally Posted by saltlick View Post
    Hi, new to Tig welding but Mig welding a lot past two years now. I have two questions:

    1. Holy cow is it normal to use this much argon? (10 second fixed post flow, practicing every day for about an hour, 80cf tank, gone in about a month)

    2. My beads are gray in color. Guessing it’s too high heat am I going too slow? (I run about 15cfh) coupons 1/8” steel using 1/16 or 3/32 tungsten on about 90 amps. How are people getting those shiny beads I see?

    Thanks for your help.

    Tig welding is surely a diff beast than Mig holy cow.
    At 20 cu ft a hour which is about what you need the 80 cu ft tank will only last 4 hours(5.3 hours at 15 cu ft hr).

    Small tanks can get expensive. The gas is relatively cheap the fill fee is substantial portion of what you pay. That fee doesn't change a lot based on size so when your only paying for the extra gas it reduces the cost per cu ft a lot.

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