So now that you picked a welder, what gas do you need for TIG welding? For most automotive applications argon is used. Most of you that have a MIG welder with an aluminum spool gun know that you need to switch between argon and a C02 mix depending on the material you are welding. With TIG welding argon can be used for everything from steel, stainless, aluminum, brass, and copper without switching back and forth like the MIG process. Helium is another gas you can use with an argon mix, or just pure helium, but when adding helium to the mix, the price goes way up. While argon is used mainly in the automotive industry because it works great and is less expensive than helium or helium mixed with argon. That doesn’t mean that helium does not have its place with TIG welding. For example, when adding a small amount of helium to argon, the arc from the torch becomes more intense. Adding helium will allow several things including, faster welding speed/time for TIG production welding, allow a smaller TIG machine to weld thicker than the machine’s maximum material thickness, and promotes better penetration in thicker aluminum plate. Although going over the maximum rating with any machine is not something I would do very often because you are pushing the machine to the limits of what it is designed to do. For the general automotive shop use and the home hobbyist argon gas works best and has a more stable arc than helium. CT

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