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TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes Technical Properties
Chemistry & Application Information For the Welder
TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes Technical Properties
TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes Technical Properties

Our Tungsten Electrodes are manufactured by one of the world's largest makers of welding electrodes and meet ANSI/AWS and European ISO 6848 Standards for quality, performance and finish.

Select the Tungsten for your application from the list below.

1.) 2% Thoriated, Red Thoriated tungsten electrodes (AWS classification EWTh-2) contain a minimum of 97.30% tungsten and 1.70 to 2.20% thorium. They are the most commonly used electrodes today and are preferred for their longevity and ease of use. Thorium increases the electron emission qualities of the electrode, which improves arc starts and allows for a higher current carrying capacity. This electrode operates far below its melting temperature, which results in a considerably lower rate of consumption and eliminates arc wandering for greater stability. It also features a lower level of weld contamination than other electrodes. Applications: carbon & stainless steel, nickel alloys and titanium.

2.) 1% Zirconiated, Color Code WHITE Zirconiated tungsten electrodes (AWS classification EWZr-1) contain a minimum of 99.10% tungsten and 0.80% zirconium. A Zirconiated tungsten electrode produces an extremely stable arc and resists tungsten spitting. It is ideal for AC welding as it retains a balled tip and has a high resistance to contamination. Its current carrying capability is equal to or greater than thoriated tungsten. Under no circumstances is zirconiated recommended for DC welding.

3.) Pure Tungsten, Color Code GREEN Pure tungsten electrodes (AWS classification EWP) contain 99.50% tungsten, have the highest consumption rate of all electrodes and are typically less expensive than “alloyed” counterparts. Pure tungsten also provides good arc stability for AC sine wave welding, especially on aluminum and magnesium, but is not typically used for DC welding. Produces weaker arc starts as compared to thoriated or ceriated electrodes.

4.) Lanthanated, 1% Black or 1.5% Gold Lanthanated tungsten electrodes (AWS classification EWLa-1.5) contain a minimum of 97.80% tungsten and 1.30 to 1.70% lanthanum. These electrodes have excellent arc starting, low-burn-off rate, good arc stability and excellent re-ignition characteristics. Lanthanated electrodes work well on AC or DC electrode negative with a pointed end or they can be balled for use with AC sine wave power sources. These electrodes maintain a sharpened point well and can replace both ceriated and thoriated because, unlike thoriated tungsten, these electrodes are suitable for AC welding and, like ceriated electrodes, they allow for lower voltage arcs. The 1.5% lanthana increases the maximum carrying capacity by approximately 50% for a given size electrode.

5.) 2% Ceriated, Grey An excellant alternative to Thoriated tungsten especially in low amperage welding. These electrodes perform best in DC welding at low current settings but can be used in AC or DC processes. With its excellent arc starts at low amperages, ceriated tungsten has become popular in such applications as orbital tube and pipe manufacturing, thin sheet metal work or jobs where small and delicate parts are welded. Takes 10% less current to start and has a very stable arc. Applications include carbon and stainless steels, nickel alloys and titanium.

Electrodes are 7" (175mm) long with ground finish and are color coded to indicate type. Each package contains 10 color coded electrodes.


Balled Tip A balled tip is generally used on a pure tungsten electrode and is suggested for use with the AC process on sine wave and conventional squarewave TIG welders. To properly ball the end of the tungsten, simply apply the AC amperage recommended for a given electrode diameter and the ball on the end of the tungsten will form itself. The diameter of the balled end should not exceed 1.5 times the diameter of the electrode (for example, a 1/8-in. electrode should form a 3/16-in. diameter end), as having a larger sphere at the tip of the electrode can reduce arc stability and/or fall off and contaminate the weld.

Pointed / Truncated Tip A pointed and/or truncated tip (for pure tungsten, ceriated, lanthanated and thoriated types) should be used for inverter AC and DC welding processes. To properly grind the tungsten, use a grinding wheel specially designated for tungsten grinding (to avoid contamination) and one that is made of borazon or diamond (to resist tungsten’s hardness). Note: if you are grinding thoriated tungsten, make sure you control and collect the dust, have an adequate ventilation system at the grinding station and that you follow manufacture’s warnings, instructions and MSDS sheets.

Grind the tungsten straight on the wheel versus at a 90-degree angle to ensure that the grind marks run the length of the electrode. Doing so reduces the presence of ridges on the tungsten that could create arc wandering or melt into the weld puddle, causing contamination. Generally, you will want to grind the taper on the tungsten to a distance of no more than 2.5 times the electrode diameter (for example, with a 1/8-in. electrode you would grind a surface 1/4 to 5/16-in. long). Grinding the tungsten to a taper eases the transition of arc starting and creates a more focused arc for better welding performance.

When welding with lower currents on thinner materials (those ranging from .005- to .040-in.), it is best to grind the tungsten to a point. A pointed tungsten allows the welding current to transfer in a focused arc and helps prevent thinner metals, such as aluminum, from becoming distorted. As a note, using pointed tungsten for higher current applications is not recommended, as the higher current can blow off the tip of the tungsten and cause weld puddle contamination.

Instead, for higher current applications, it is best to grind your tungsten to a truncated tip. To achieve this shape, first grind the tungsten to a taper as explained above, then grind a .010- to .030-in. flat land on the end of the tungsten. This flat land helps prevent the tungsten from being transferred across the arc and/or from balling.

Information by Weldcraft, WNI, CK & Others.