Tungsten electrodes are non-consumable rods used in gas tungsten arc welding. Tungsten is a rare metallic element preferred in the field of welding because of its innate hardness and high-temperature resistance. These qualities let the electrode carry the welding currents to the arc, thereby melting the metals at the welding point.
Welding Rods and Wires
The type of welding rods and wires you need depend on the type of welding you plan to do. Welding wires are typically used in gas metal arc welding wherein a wire feeding gun supplies wire at configurable speeds and continuously flows an argon-based shielding gas over the weld puddles to protect the weld from atmospheric contamination. Flux-cored arc welding also uses wires but a tubular kind. This special wire is filled with flux and can be used without shielding gas but depends on the filler. Tungsten rods, on the other hand, are ideal for welding thin materials due to its steady, stable arc and good quality welds.
A plasma cutter is a machine that cuts through electrically conductive materials via accelerated jets of hot plasma. Steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, and aluminium are some of the materials best used with the method. Plasma cutter electrodes play an integral part in the cutting process when compressed gas blows through a small nozzle toward the workpiece. The electrical arc forms within the gas between the electrode and the workpiece, which ultimately makes the cut.
Aside from the main welding equipment, stocking up on welding gear keeps you protected and looking good. Accessories like welding sleeves are tubes of fabric with garter on both ends. Slip your arm into the sleeve for protection against the mean sparks that issue from your workpiece. Never go welding without a mask, so consider a customised welding mask to add some personality and attitude to a jobsite. If you own a machine shop or an auto garage, a welding cart is a good investment. You can dedicate the lowest level for your welding machine and reserve the middle and upper level to hold essential tools like clamps, gloves, hammers, and angle grinders.