What are the most common types of Tungsten electrode?

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What are the most common types of Tungsten electrode?

How do I choose the right Tungsten Electrode?

Great question! At ShopWeldingSupplies.com we know that choosing the right type of tungsten is crucial to TIG welding success. When choosing, you have to ensure the correct tungsten is used for the right type of power source, thickness of material and the type material to be welded. We know, there are many different types of tungsten electrodes available, so learning how to properly select the correct tungsten for each application can greatly improve weld performance and save you time and money.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most commonly produced tungsten welding electrodes for TIG DC, TIG-AC, and Plasma welding. We carry a number of these at ShopWeldingSupplies and links will be provided for easy shopping. 

2% THORIATED
AWS Classification: EWTh-2/WT20
Principal Oxide: 1.7–2.2% Thorium Oxide
Color: RED
This one is radioactive, so be sure to check out the manufacturer’s SDS safety document before using it. Best for use in direct current (d/c) applications using transformer based constant current power sources. Best for use on non-corroding steels, titanium alloys, nickel alloys, copper alloys. Good d/c arc starts and stability, medium erosion rate, medium amperage range, medium tendency to spit.

0.8% ZIRCONIATED
AWS Classification: EWZr-8/WZ8
Principal Oxide: 0.7– 0.9% Zirconium Oxide
Color: WHITE
Nope, it’s not radioactive. This type of tungsten should never be used for DC welding. For use in alternating current (a/c) for aluminum alloys and magnesium alloys using inverter or transformer based constant current power sources. Balls well, handles higher amperage than pure tungsten with less spitting, better arc starts and arc stability than pure tungsten.

1.5% LANTHANATED
AWS Classification: EWLa-1.5/WL15
Principal Oxide: 1.3 –1.7% Lanthanum Oxide
Color: GOLD
This is Non-Radioactive. 1.5% lanthanated tungsten is great for direct current (d/c) as an alternative to 2% thoriated tungsten using inverter or transformer based constant current power sources. Best for non-corroding steels, and titanium, nickel and copper alloys. Best d/c arc starts and stability, low erosion rate, wide amperage range, no spitting.
Shop for some 457 1.5% Lanthanated Tungsten – Click here

2% CERIATED
AWS Classification: EWCe-2/WC20
Principal Oxide: 1.8–2.2% Cerium Oxide
Color: GREY (Formerly Orange)
Non-Radioactive. 2% Ceriated Tungsten is best for use in alternating current (a/c) or direct current (d/c) applications using inverter or transformer based constant current power sources. Good for low-alloyed steels, non-corroding steels, aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, titanium alloys, nickel alloys, copper alloys. Good ignition and re-ignition properties, long service life, excellent arc stability. Low erosion rate, best at low amperage range, no spitting, good d/c arc starts and stability.

PURE TUNGSTEN
AWS Classification: EWP/WP
Principal Oxide: None
Color: GREEN
Non-Radioactive. Pure Tungsten contains 99.50% tungsten. It is great for use in alternating current (a/c) for aluminum alloys and magnesium alloys in low to medium amperage applications using transformer based constant current (CC) power sources only. Pure Tungsten balls easy, but does tend to spit at higher amperages. Most agree that this tungsten is used for non-critical welding applications.

2% LANTHANTED
AWS Classification: EWLa-2/WL20
Principal Oxide: 1.8 – 2.2% Lanthanum Oxide
Color: BLUE
2% Lathanated Tungsten is non-radioactive. Best general-purpose electrode for both alternating current (a/c) or direct current (d/c) using inverter or transformer based constant current power sources. Go ahead and try 2% lanthanated if you’re concerned about the radioactivity of 2% Thoriated Tungsten. Good for low-alloyed steels, non-corroding steels, aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, titanium alloys, as well as nickel and copper alloys. Good arc starts and stability, medium to high amperage range, and a low rate of erosion.

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This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive guide to selecting the right Tungsten electrode for a specific application. If you’re not sure about what to use, there are many resources available out there to help, and our dedicated customer service team is ready between 7:30a and 4:30p Central Monday-Friday to help via our Live Chat feature. We’d love to talk about your project and help you decide what will work best for you.

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  • Matt Hurd
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