Why Gas Welding over TIG?

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I am interested in knowing why gas is preferred over T.I.G. when welding aluminum. I'm a T.I.G welder by trade and outside of hobby, airplane restoration, etc. I have never heard of gas welding aluminum, except in the old days. 

Thanks, Flathead Ford guy

The Tinman Respondeth:

Dear Flattie, Why Gas welding can be more effective than TIG:

  • On thin sheet from .020 to .090".
  • In breezes or winds up to 40 mph.
  • Easily portable for field work.
  • Thinner bead (by half) makes for easier planishing and cleanup.
  • Soft weld zone makes for easy working.
  • Enables large (4X metal thickness) gaps when in a hurry.
  • Better penetration without costly backpurge on clean or new materials.
  • Better results (penetration) on dirty materials, ie: repairs to aircraft cowlings, motorcycles, boats, autos.
  • Better results on places where the backside cannot be cleaned: ag irrigation pipe (TIG nearly impossible)
  • Easier hole filling.
  • Fewer leaks on tanks.
  • Cheaper on startup, gas costs, no tungsten, electricity or ceramics to replace.
  • Torch may also be used for brazing, soldering, hot working, stress relieving, and annealing. Used by Boeing and Douglas until 1994, when OSHA and MSDS hit the flux industry.
  • Drawbacks: Slower starts (getting up to heat on heavy parts) Limited to 1100, 3003, 3005, 5005, 5052, 6061 alloys. Less practical on heavy (over .125) thicknesses. Needs flux cleanup, so wide lap joints are out. Need to avoid the flux fumes.


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