You may have heard a lot about gas for TIG welding, but specifically what gas do you use for TIG welding stainless steel? Many different types can be used in gas metal-arc welding, and these options depend on the material being welded.
What are these different types and the brands you should look for? Read through this article to find out.
The TIG Welding Gas
The gas used in gas metal arc welding is an inert gas that shields the weld area to prevent oxidation, allows controlled heat generation, and helps control molten metal. It also helps cool filler rods and stabilizes arc ignition and gas flow characteristics.
Welding Gas Specifications
There are three standard types of shielding gas required in gas metal arc weldings: nonstick gases, reactive gases, and neutralizing gases.
Nonstick gas should not react with molten metals during the welding process, while reactive gas forms stable oxide films over the weld pool area while shielding it from external air contact or other contaminants. Neutralizing gas reacts with other oxides, so they do not attack either the electrode or workpiece material being welded.
The gas flow rate should be a minimum of six liters per minute for nonstick gas and 25-75 liters per minute for reactive gas. It is important to make sure the gas pressure does not exceed 30 PSI at any point in time, as this can cause damage to the tungsten electrode.
What Gas Is Used for TIG Welding?
Argon gas can be combined with hydrogen gas to form a neutralizing gas. This gas mixture will help remove any oxides that may form on the weld surface, and it is often used when welding stainless steel or other alloys.
What gas to use for TIG welding aluminum? The best gas for TIG welding aluminum is argon/helium mixtures because they produce stable weld pools without adding impurities to the alloy itself. This type of gas provides good arc stability and will keep longer electrodes free from contamination due to the high heat input required by aluminum welding processes. When combined with an inert gas like argon or helium, the gas mixture will have a total flow rate of 25-75 liters per minute.
Here are the best nonstick and neutralizing gases you can buy online:
It is 80 cubic feet with 100% argon gas. This product is guaranteed safe since it meets the standards of DOT and ISO regulations and weighs a total of 50.6 pounds.
- The tank is guaranteed full upon delivery
- Can be refilled by your nearest or local gas provider
- Well-packed for safe delivery
- The bottom of the tank might be rusted, and you need to repaint
- The tank might not be labeled well upon arrival, so retesting is a must
If you need a smaller cylinder tank, this one is perfect for you! The argon welding gas cylinder from Weldfabulous stands 40 cubic feet and contains 100% argon welding gas. This gas cylinder also met DOT/ISO standards.
- Updated stamp and inspection
- Easy to transport because of the size of the tank
- Can be refilled by your local gas provider
- The tank may not be full as advertised
- Feels like the tank has been used and refilled already
Time to own your own tank now with this argon/CO2 mix gas welding tank that is also perfect for the MIG welding process. The cylinder is full and ready to use. The tank contains an industrial grade of 75% argon and 25% carbon dioxide. Primeweld boasts fully certified cylinders that meet DOT 3AA standards with a 10-year date stamped.
- Perfectly stamped
- Long-lasting for your welding projects
- Works as advertised
- Way overpriced compared to its competitors
Carbon dioxide gas is another good option for TIG welding because it protects welds from atmospheric gases or other contaminants during high heat applications where molten metal is present. It also provides good arc stability and keeps electrodes free from contamination due to carbon deposition and better penetration than argon/helium mixtures. When combined with an inert gas like argon or helium, the gas mixture will have a total flow rate of 75-100 liters per minute.
Here are the best reactive gases you can buy online:
This aluminum carbon dioxide cylinder comes with a CGA 320 valve installed. It also has a nice brushed aluminum body with a plain dome and a 5-pound gas capacity. The cylinder has passed the DOT-3AL and TC-3ALM requirements, guaranteeing safety and quality.
- Polished aluminum tank that is way better than advertised
- Comes with a decent quality valve
- With mesh sleeve
- The tank may be delivered without a logo and other identifying information
- Some reviews report the hazard communication standard label with pictogram missing
This carbon dioxide welding gas is budget-friendly that goes with a steel cylinder that can carry about 8 pounds of carbon dioxide. The cylinder is hydrotested, DOT/TC approved, and installed with a CGA320 valve. It is available in blue and black colors.
- It comes with a protective carry handle
- Easy to transport
- Comes with a good finish
- The specs might be inaccurate, as reported in reviews
Tank or Cylinder Only
The gas tanks or gas cylinders are used to store gas fed into the welding torch. These gas tanks come in various shapes and sizes depending on what gas is coming out of them. The gas tank can often be purchased with a welding table and handle for easy transportation. When choosing gas tanks or gas cylinders for your needs, there are some factors you should keep in mind:
- Weight. The weight of the gas tank depends on what type of gases are stored inside that particular tank or cylinder.
- Size. The size of the gas tank depends on the type of cabling you use.
- Combustible gas storage. Gas tanks that are cylindrical in shape should never be used if combustible gases are stored inside. Consultations with suppliers about what type of gas tank to purchase will help narrow down what you need, but it is also a good idea to contact the gas supplier in advance and ask for advice on what type of gas cylinder would best suit your needs.
Only a few gas manufacturers deliver tanks or cylinders containing gas for the community's safety. Hence, you can buy empty tanks or cylinders and refill them at the nearest welding shops in your area.
Choosing the Right TIG Welding Gas
Now that you know what type of gas is used for TIG welding, how do you choose which one is best for your application? The answer depends on the material being welded and what type of shielding is required. It is important to consult with your welding supplier to ensure you are using the correct gas for the application.
We hope this round-up has given you enough insight for an informed purchasing decision. Explore more buying guides, informative blogs, and reviews on Welding Buddy!