TIP TIG comparison with TIG, MIG & Hot Wire TIG.

TIP TIG provides superior weld quality and mechanical properties, and also less weld heat than both the traditional DCEN TIG and MIG process. TIP TIG is also much easier to use than TIG, & TIP TIG will lower TIG labor costs by 200 - 400%.

TIP TIG was invented by Plasch, Austria. Ed now Em Craig, (weldreality.com) who wrote this section, found TIP TIG in Scotland thanks to D.Matherson. Em attained the TIP TIG rights from Plasch for total sales in North America & Australia. In 2009, Em connected with friend and business partner Tom O'Malley. Together at the Philadelphia Naval YARD, Em & Tom created TIP TIG USA.

2019: After studying the  DCEN TIP TIG process, versus the traditional DCEN TIG process now for more a decade, you will find the TIP TIG, TIG and MIG comparison data available at this site is unique and comprehensive. The information is based strictly on my weld process control and application expertise over a 50 year period. As I have spent hundreds of hours producing  this TIP TIG web section, and I receive no remuneration for presenting this original TIP TIG data, I would appreciate that if you wish to copy or present this  copyright data, please first obtain my permission at ecraig@weldreality.com.


The
Evolution of DCEN TIG is


To understand the weld differences between the decade old, unique, DCEN TIP TIG process, and the traditional 70 year old DCEN TIG process, and to realize the  TIP TIG weld application, quality & productivity benefits, it helps if weld decision makers understand the  TIG arc, it’s plasma functions and wire to weld transfer characteristics which for decades have restricted the important  TIG process from attaining it’s capability as a cost effective Semi-automatic and fully Automated arc weld process. Its also important to note the weld benefits attained with TIP TIG in comparison to Pulsed MIG and to the automated Hot & Cold Wire TIG processes. 

Note: DCEN (Electrode Negative) is used with TIG welds on steels, alloy steels and alloys, while  DCEP, (Electrode Positive) or Variable EN-EP  polarity is used for TIG welds on  aluminum. The TIG polarity requirements apply to both traditional TIG and TIP TIG.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE TRADITIONAL 70 YEAR OLD DCEN TIG ARC? As TIG welders cannot consistently feed small diameter weld wires fast enough, TIG welders will typically use wire diameters  1/16 to 1/8, (1.6 to 3.2 mm). Part of the TIG welders skills is to feed the wire and make a rapid contact with a  small fluid (fast freeze) area at the front edge of the TIG weld.  Note how both the small fluid weld area and a good portion of the TIG plasma energy is required to assist in melting  a small amount  of the TIG wire tip. Its also notable with the DCEN TIG weld, that the TIG wire dipped in the weld pool absorbs energy away from both the small fluid weld area and from a large portion of the TIG arc plasma. This process practice adds to the fast freeze effect on the TIG weld puddle.

To maintain and increase the small weld pool energy, the traditional  TIG welder is required to rapidly withdraw the large diameter wire out of the weld pool. The wire withdrawal allows the full TIG arc plasma energy to be applied to the TIG weld surface  increasing the weld energy and fluidity, this  allows the TIG welder to push their weld wire back to the leading edge of the weld pool.


Traditional DCEN TIG (GTAW) weld: 

2018: Over 10 years ago, TIG welder  skill requirements and weld labor costs were were dramatically reduced, unfortunately most of the managers and engineers in the Power, Medical, Defense, Aerospace, Oil and Gas industries appear not to be aware of this important weld process fact.

 

A PROCESS THAT REQUIRES THE HIGHEST  MANUAL ARC WELDER SKILLS: The DCEN TIG manual wire feed requirement, maintaining the correct arc length between the tungsten and weld and also having the ability to read the weld pool fluidity are important  prerequisites of the manual TIG welder’s skills required. 

The TIG manual wire feed in-out of the weld pool and having to use a large wire diameter dramatically influences  the TIG weld deposition rate, the weld speed potential, and the  weld joules generated. A frustration for every weld shop is the high TIG welder skill requirements and very low deposition rates  generate the highest arc welder costs.

Note: For those of you who have an interest in welding submarines or ships, be sure to scroll down to find out about the cost consequences  for the US Navy and it’s prime contractors, officers and managers who for decades and the present have lacked the ability to ensure the best possible weld quality. Also more data on ship and sub welds in the weldreality programs.  


Traditional DCEN TIG plasma and the weld wire Influence on the plasma and weld .

With traditional DCEN TIG, apart from the tungsten size used, the weld current enabled has to be  first compatible with the weld joint type and part thickness and compatible with the weld wire size selected  and  wire feed rate applied. 


WIRE SIZE CONSEQUENCES: For decades, a prime issue with traditional TIG, has been on most welds that require filler metal, has been the resulting SLOW weld speeds.  The large diameter  DCEN TIG wire, and wire dipping action into the welds, typically results in  average DCEN TIG deposition rates of approx. 1 lb/hr. When manual TIG welding, if the welder utilized smaller TIG wire diameters such as 0.035 – 0.045, the TIG welder would find they lack the ability to continuously feed the small diameter wires in a controlled manner at weld deposition rates greater than that attained with the easier to control, slower fed, larger 1/16 to 1/8 wires. 

Question: Em, can you provide more info. on the weld deposition rate capability with manual  DCEN TIG welding?

Answer. An average weld deposition rate attained with a 1/16 or 3/32 steel wire and  DCEN TIG, is approx. one pound / hr, with a 60 minute arc on time or less. So lets say that instead of using the common 3/32 steel or stainless TIG wire which the welder would be feeding into the weld  pool at a controllable approx. 8 inch minute, the welder decides to try and feed a smaller 0.035 wire. So that 8 inch/min of 3/32 wire delivers around a pound/hr with an arc on time of 100% and to attain that one pound an hour with the 0.035 steel or stainless wire would require that the manual TIG welder feeds that wire around 70 inches per-min, (not going to happen with traditional TIG), more on this subject below.

For 7 decades, a unique attribute of the high temp. traditional DCEN TIG process , is that the electrode negative straight polarity  weld transfer can promote rapid weld cooling through arc / weld heat conduction into the positive work. The potential metallurgical weld and part benefits from rapid weld heat conduction with DCEN  TIG welds has been greatly restricted  by a process that has always provided the lowest weld deposition rate capability and  usually the slowest arc weld speeds that retain the arc heat.

In contrast to straight polarity, (electrode negative)  TIP TIG, both MIG and gas shielded flux cored use electrode positive, reverse polarity which concentrates the majority of it’s lower temp. arc plasma energy under the positive MIG and flux cored wire tip.  Even with the higher MIG and flux cored higher weld deposition  rates that enable high weld speeds, the MIG & flux cored concentrated arc plasma results in   welds with large  heat affected zones,  welds often subject to surface oxidation, high stresses and distortion.

So what weld benefits could be produced with a DCEN (straight polarity) TIP TIG process that can produce much higher weld speeds (much lower weld joules) than the traditional DCEN TIG process? More on this important subject to follow.

To change that 70 year old  DCEN TIG mostly manual process into the easier to use, much  higher weld deposition, semi-automatic and automated TIP TIG process, dramatic, innovative process changes were required by Plasch, Austria: However its one thing to change the weld dynamics of an arc weld  process and another thing to evaluate the often subtle differences and weld process and application benefits attained against the competing, commonly utilized  ac weld processes, and that’s what I have done for a living over four decades.

For those like myself that love to look at what goes on in the depths of a welding arc plasma, and examine in detail the weld transfer characteristics of the weld metal being deposited, please note in the left  DCEN TIP TIG video, how in contrast to the manual DCEN TIG weld above, the TIP TIG, smaller diameter, constant  fed weld wire melts and forms droplets at the Outer Plasma Periphery. This weld drop formation and the unique droplet detachment enables the majority of the DCEN TIP TIG plasma energy to be consistently applied on the weld and part surface.

REMEMBER THAT TRADITIONAL DCEN TIG HAS TO UTILIZE PART OF THE PLASMA ENERGY TO  KEEP THE WELD SURFACE FLUID, AND A LARGE PART TO MELT THE LARGE DIAMETER TIG WIRE TIP. ALSO THE TIG PLASMA WIDTH AND DENSITY IS INFLUENCED BY THE AMOUNT OF TIG CURRENT USED.

TIP TIG BENEFIT: Keeping the TIP TIG weld pool agitated can slow the weld solidification. It’s not just the small diameter TIP TIG wires, or the wire feed angle that places the wire at the outer plasma periphery to enable  small TIP TIG weld drops to transfer across an arc plasma into a weld with more energy, that are distinctly different than DCEN TIG, its also the patented TIP TIG “Wire Vibration” and resulting small “Weld Droplet Agitation” that enables the weld drops formed  on the TIP TIG wire tip, to rapidly detach and transfer into the fluid weld area.

INNOVATIONS THAT MAKE TIP TIG UNIQUE?  Without the TIP TIG wire vibration that results from the patented wire feed action, those small weld drops on the wire tip may be slow to detach and grow in size, and the continuous fed weld wire could run into the weld pool disrupting both the wire feed and causing weld transfer issues.

The TIP TIG agitated weld drops also when transferred into the fluid weld, create a slight stirring action which assists in slowing the weld pool solidification. The slower weld solidification is further  assisted with an additional  Hot Wire, small power source. Apart from the current delivered to the tungsten from the TIG power source, the HW  power source  typically delivers  approx. 70 to 100 amps to the wire tip before it enters the arc plasma, this adds additional energy to the weld surface which enables smaller wires to be rapidly fed into the weld enabling much higher weld deposition rates than traditional TIG, (100 to 400% more weld). More weld wire also increases the potential for “increased weld current” than that attained with traditional TIG welds. 

The increased TIP TIG weld current capability and wire feed agitation result in unique TIG welds with a wider more dense arc plasma, welds with increased weld surface fluidity, welds with superior weld fusion and reduced weld porosity, welds with  increased arc stability and decreased arc length sensitivity, and welds that enable much higher weld speeds producing the lowest possible weld joules. This enables TIP TIG to be an easy to use,  all position,  SEMI-AUTOMATIC or  AUTOMATED  TIG weld process  that is providing weld and  part application benefits never before attained in the weld industry.

  

TIP TIG, weld attributes and  unique weld benefits.

Too help understand TIP TIG  take special note of what is going on in  the TIP TIG arc plasma, at the wire tip and the weld surface.


To evaluate the TIP TIG manual and automated “weld application benefits”, requires a comprehensive understanding of the TIP TIG weld capability differences between the following three widely used arc weld processes most utilized for code quality steels, alloy steels and alloys welds.

[1] Traditional Manual DCEN TIG.
[2] Automated DCEN Hot Wire TIG.
[3] Reverse Polarity Pulsed MIG.


2019. WHY CHANGE THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT? Since the 1940s, DCEN TIG has been attaining the highest manual arc weld quality, however for more than a decade, TIP TIG has been a superior semi-automatic and automated arc process, providing many weld and application benefits. 

For 70 plus years, DCEN TIG above changed little, however from arc welds on submarines or spaceships or welds in nuclear plants, DCEN TIG has  been the arc weld process of choice when manual code quality steels, alloy steels and alloy welds were required.  


2019: Its been approx. 10 years since DCEN TIG evolved into a process called DCEN TIP TIG, however a primary issue in  the global  weld industry has been the slow acceptance  of  the TIP TIG process, and the weld reality has been that many companies that use traditional DCEN TIG are missing out on an opportunity for their companies to extend their weld application capability and make dramatic weld quality improvements with  extensive weld cost savings.  Its important to also note that out of all the common arc weld processes daily utilized, the DCEN TIG  process has  required the “highest manual welder skills” that when combined
with the lowest weld deposition rates  typically produces the “highest arc weld labor costs”.

Few in mfg. facilities like change, however when that change can dramatically improve weld quality and drive down weld costs, who in the front office is going to take ownership and drive the change?


One hindrance against weld shop progress and TIG evolution, is often weld shop attitude. 
Those that know me will be aware from my arc weld  process controls  – best weld practice books, 40 plus weld articles, and process control training materials and workshops,  would be aware that for more than three decades, I have been more than a little frustrated with;
(a) the global, lack of management and engineer weld process ownership,
(b) the why change the way we have always done it attitude,
(c) the play around with the weld controls weld shop acceptance,
(d)  the reliance on a weld salesman for weld advice,
(e) the lack of weld process controls and best weld practice expertise.
With the above in mind, I would like to  start this blog on the now approx. decade old TIP TIG process, by asking a question.

“How long do you believe it should take experienced global weld decision makers to recognize the superior weld quality capability, the improved part mechanical or metallurgy properties and dramatic weld cost reduction benefits derived from a an arc weld process such as TIP TIG”? 

[] TIP TIG enables the lowest possible all position welder skills, 
[] TIP TIG always provides superior weld quality than manual TIG, and also Automated Hot Wire TIG and the Pulsed MIG process.
[]  TIP TIG while providing the highest possible arc weld quality, also provides the lowest possible weld heat. This unique combination enables extraordinary weld quality & part metallurgical benefits never before attained in the welding industry. 
[] TIP TIG with providing the lowest possible arc weld heat enables the lowest possible weld stresses and distortion.
[] TIP TIG with the lowest possible weld heat and  inert gas enables the lowest possible weld fumes.
[] TIP TIG dramatically lowers hourly labor costs from increased TIG weld productivity typically in the range of 200 to 400%.
[] TIP TIG is the first semi-automated and fully automated arc weld process that has the potential on most all position, steels. alloy steels and alloy welds, to eliminate the need for weld rework.
[] TIP TIG requires less all position welder skills than any of the traditional arc weld processes.

As someone who has been requested by frustrated managers to solve their weld problems and improve their weld quality and productivity in over a 1000 weld shops in 13 countries, I am well aware that the majority of the companies employ front office personnel that lacked the Weld Process Control – Best Weld Practice expertise that’s necessary for front office weld process ownership.

In  many companies, the front office personnel responsible for the weld shop  will often  rely on the weld shop personnel that when not playing around with their weld controls, will be asked to evaluate weld equipment or consumables that’s typically recommended by a sales rep. That sales rep will usually have had  no previous experience in running a weld shop and will have limited weld process controls and best weld practice expertise.

As the TIP TIG process was not invented by the major global weld equip. manufactures, it’s unlikely a weld sales rep will turn up at your facility and  discuss, or even be aware of the weld benefits of the TIP TIG process.  Also, it’s not likely that any company that has to seek arc weld process advice from a weld salesman, will be anxious to seek out new weld technology that’s not introduced by the conventional weld distributors. However as the useless politicians in Washington keep informing us, “it’s time for change”. And let’s face it! there should be no room in the highly competitive, global weld industry for arc weld process confusion, weld process ignorance or weld process apathy, especially  in any business in which the arc welds play an important role in their organization.

The DCEN TIP TIG process, is a unique arc weld process that provides a continuous fed, preheated and agitated weld wire into a DCEN (electrode negative) arc. Variable polarity TIP TIG can also provide remarkable TIG weld benefits.

With the TIP TIG  there is a relationship between the TIP TIG wire diameter, the continuous fed wire feed rates, the wire to tungsten placement, the tungsten size, profile  and current utilized. To attain weld optimization  with TIP TIG,  there are specific techniques and best weld practices that should be applied. All of these requirements are provided and simplified in my TIP TIG process control and best weld practice self teaching / training program provided below.

WHILE AMERICA SLEEPS AT THE WHEEL:

It’s ironic that the first customer for  TIP TIG at our USA facility, was  the “Chinese National Oil Company”. 

With the inconel ID and steel pipe OD, TIP TIG, one weld process for root to cap. Pipe welds without weld defects were the requirement. With each TIP TIG welder producing 300% more weld than a TIG welder, it takes a few minutes for these pipe welders to complete the  Subsea pipes. Two hands on the torch enables more controls. It’s nice not have a TIG wire getting in the way and not having to use a foot control. No spatter, no weld cleaning and no weld fume concerns in the confined ship area.


TIP TIG and Welder Skills:  AS the TIP TIG weld wire does not have to be fed manually, and a foot amp control is not necessary,  in contrast to regular TIG, the TIP TIG process dramatically reduces welder skills.  However to attain the full TIP TIG weld process and weld application potential, and to also break the common weld shop “Play Around”  with the weld controls approach to many arc welds, it would be beneficial if  in 2019 that management take a role in process ownership and ensure that both the TIP TIG process controls and best weld practices are learnt.

To learn the “all position” TIP TIG pipe welder skills would take a TIG welder  between 1 to 2 days. And with someone who has never welded with any process, it would take them with TIP TIG, if taught correctly, 3 to 5 days to pass  any code pipe welder qualification test.


TIP TIG and Weld Practices:
  No matter what the skill level of the welder is, the weld personnel should learn the unique TIP TIG weld practices, techniques, and the few required optimum weld settings. These are available in my TIP TIG Self Teaching – Training  program. This program requires approx. 10 to 12 hours. 

Em’s TIP TIG, or MIG and Flux cored  Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Self Teaching / Training Programs.

As I write this in 2019, I hope this blog will help take some of the weld process and application confusion out of the TIP TIG process. I also hope that the TIP TIG info and application data at this site speeds up the acceptance of  this unique, important weld process and enable weld decision makers to be aware of  where DCEN TIP TIG process  belongs throughout the global weld industry.

Importance of  Weld Process Controls:  recognize that while the lack of Manual and Robot MIG weld process control expertise and best weld practices maybe an acceptable way of  life with the majority of front office weld decision makers in the global Auto & Truck industry, an industry that is used to daily accepting 30 – 60% daily robot MIG weld rework and extensive daily robot down time. However this lack of expertise should not be considered acceptable in weld shops that produce code quality welds. Weld shops that have an interest in enhancing their company’s weld capability and reputation. Weld shops that have an interest in reducing their weld costs and increasing profits. 

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the global lack of arc weld process controls &  best weld practice expertise, along with the too common reliance by weld shops for weld  advice from sales reps, would influence the weld shop and the front office culture and possibly have  a negative impact on the acceptance of  a new arc weld process such as the TIP TIG. 

Sales Influence on weld shops: Lets face it, when weld sales reps are required to guide key weld shop decision makers on arc weld equipment or consumables, products that in reality have changed little in decades, this is usually an indication that the company lacks the ability for Weld Process Ownership. When this expertise is lacking, someone will pay a steep price. 

MIG – FCAW – Advanced TIG – TIP TIG or  ROBOT MIG, every weld shop  will benefit from focus on Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice Expertise.


A GLOBAL INDUSTRY  THAT TOO FREQUENTLY RELIES ON INEXPERIENCED  SALES ADVICE TO RESOLVE THEIR WELD PROCESS ISSUES: 

Many in the weld industry rely on weld sales reps for arc weld process advice, and these sales reps often will have a degree in English or History, and  usually have never run a weld shop.


Costly power source Bells and Whistles. It’s not difficult to comprehend that much of the traditional Pulsed MIG weld equipment purchased over the last three decades, will have been purchased as a result of weld sales influence, and as a result of dubious product marketing weld claims from weld equip. mfgs.  The MIG equipment purchased would often be loaded with costly, useless electronic bells and whistles, circuit boards that rarely influenced the weld quality or productivity, circuit boards that however typically enabled the weld equipment and distributor’s  to increase their MIG power source profits.

Salesmanship also has influenced  the purchase of  weld consumables. For example, instead of the four MIG gas mixes required for all global MIG welds, we have more than 40 mixes to choose from. (Ed – Em, was a key writer of the AWS MIG gas specifications). And instead of using MIG wires many companies will often purchase unnecessary and more costly, Flux Cored or Metal Cored wires. 

What makes TIP TIG Unique? In contrast to many of the weld power sources produced in the last two decades, the DCEN TIP TIG process does not derive its increased TIG weld quality productivity and weld application capability from a weld power source loaded with  electronic bells and whistles. TIP TIG DC Weld Current. The TIP TIG weld amps are derived from a conventional,  suitable, 300 to 500 amp DC TIG power source. That TIG power source is combined with a patented TIP TIG Wire Feed delivery system,  a small Hot Wire TIG power source and a unique torch.


TIP TIG Mechanical Wire Action drives TIP TIG benefits: Through a patented mechanical action, the TIP TIG wire feed drive roll mount goes back and forth at high speed. This action on the wire creates a restricted tension and release on the continuous fed weld wire. The mechanical action on the TIP TIG continuous fed wire creates an agitation effect on the weld wire, which when viewed is similar to a vibrating guitar string. The pre-heated agitated TIP TIG weld wire is fed through the unique TIP TIG torch that delivers the wire to a specific point near the tungsten.

TIP TIG WIRE AGITATION AND WELD BENEFITS:

TIP TIG Wire Agitation enables benefits. As the TIP TIG weld wire makes contact with the outer periphery of the TIG arc plasma, the wire tip melts and a droplet is formed.  The TIP TIG wire agitation helps detach and speed up the transfer of the molten weld drops into the fluid weld pool. Without the wire agitation the droplet at the wire tip could grow larger, and the continuous, rapid fed wire  could be driven into the weld causing a disruption. No Manual TIG welder could provide a continuous fed weld wire consistently at the TIG arc plasma sweet spot. The TIP TIG optimum wire placement at the sweet spot in the arc outer plasma periphery, is using an area in the plasma in which minimal plasma energy is utilized for the wire melt, and therefore in contrast to regular DCEN TIG, more of the TIP TIG arc plasma energy can be maintained over the fluid surface of the weld.

TIP TIG Plasma Heat Distribution is different than TIG.  Again note with regular DCEN TIG, the plasma distribution and the intermittent plasma task between   melting the large diameter TIG wire and heating the weld and part surface. The TIP TIG wire agitation and the wire preheat are the defining  difference between TIP TIG and the traditional, manual, DCEN TIG process. The TIP TIG wire  agitation is also the prime difference between  TIP TIG and the Automated Hot Wire TIG process. 

Note: TIP TIG is highly suited as both a Manual and Automated weld process. In contrast, regular DCEN TIG is rarely suited to weld automation, and the Hot Wire TIG process is rarely suited as a manual arc weld process.

TIP TIG weld benefits especially with  complex metals and difficult weld applications.

You would think that weld shop evolution would be driven by the  high tech. industries such as aerospace, defense, medical, power and oil.


As diverse as the global weld industry is, you would  think the high tech. industries would be especially keen to rapidly embrace an evolved proven arc weld process such as GTAW. Especially with TIP TIG, a process  that simplifies the welder skills, a process suited to both manual and automated welds. A process that dramatically drives down the weld costs. A process that enables extended weld application potential and also always provides superior weld quality and metallurgical benefits.

TIP TIG should be  the logical manual and automated arc weld process of choice for the high tech industries. From welding investment castings in fighter planes or welding super alloys, armor plate, high strength steels on submarines and tanks, alloy steels and most alloys. With many of it’s welds, the high tech industries industries often look towards complex, automated weld processes such as the Electron Beam, Laser, Plasma  or the Friction Stir process, to produce high quality welds with minimal influence on the weld Heat Affected Zones, which in many instances, (weld joint design permitting), may also be delivered by the much lower cost, manual or automated  TIP TIG process. 


Think of the manual or automated weld application possibilities.

With nuclear spent fuel containers and engineers are not considering TIP TIG, someone in the office is asleep at the wheel.


Please remember that TIP TIG is both a manual and easily automated weld process. If the TIP TIG manual or automated process is  suitable to the joint design, (the alloy is usually not relevant), remember that in contrast to the sophisticated automated weld processes, if TIP TIG is suited to the weld joint design and thickness, that the TIP TIG weld equipment that will typically costs 5 to 10% of a laser or EB unit, will produce the weld quality desired with minimal weld heat influence on the part weld’s HAZ. 

Note: The easy to use TIP TIG process would not require the special process expertise that comes with a Laser, EB or Friction process. TIP TIG would also have less weld dimension tolerance concerns and less weld fixture requirements than is typically required with the mentioned automated weld processes.


Why would anyone not consider TIP TIG for welding LNG Vessels?

2019: For more than a decade the use of the TIP TIG process should have been a no brainer for the LNG industry. No other manual or automated arc process is better suited to weld duplex and stainless  LNG applications. I hope it does not take another 10 years before managers and engineers wake up to the benefits of the easy to use, cost effective process that always provides the highest all position weld quality potential, with lowest heat input.

 

A moment on Pulsed MIG. I have spent over 35 years evaluating the Pulsed MIG process and written hundreds of pages on why so many weld issues occur with this process. After 35 years of pulsed MIG evaluation, the same weld quality issues are occurring especially with steels, alloys and alloy steels  >5 m.  My web site weldreality.com and my weld process control training programs go into extensive details why the use of this process requires weld shop caution on many applications. However the reality is for three plus decades,  pulsed MIG has been  presented by the weld equipment manufactures and distributor sales reps as the greatest thing since sliced bread, of course many weld shops will buy into another crutch for their steel and alloy steel welds.

Without question pulsed MIG provides excellent weld benefits for aluminum welds that benefit from the moderate weld energy attained. In contrast steels and sluggish alloys benefit from “consistent high weld energy”, so the weld shop has the option of pulsed MIG which spends 50% of its time at a low back ground current usually less than 120 amps and the traditional MIG spray mode in which the high energy is relatively constant. 

Pulsed MIG weld Fusion and Porosity: One thing that influences both  Pulsed MIG and Spray weld fusion is the weld deposition rates typically attained with these two weld transfer modes are often too high, and will require fast weld travel rates. The rapid weld speeds and the pulsed MIG weld energy produced on many steel and alloy welds especially on parts > 5, may  produce marginal weld fusion or lack of weld fusion.

Marginal weld fusion in scrap test welds usually means lack of fusion in the part welded

In contrast to pulsed MIG welds, TIP TIG provides a much “higher arc temperature” and “lower deposition” rates that require slower weld speeds than pulsed MIG.  Remember slower weld speeds are helpful in attaining good weld fusion especially with all position welds and welds on sluggish alloys. Also with TIP TIG you have the weld metal agitation which when combined with the higher TIP TIG arc and weld temperatures should enable TIP TIG to always produce superior weld fusion than any pulsed MIG weld. As TIP TIG does not use the reactive gas mixes required by pulsed MIG, TIP TIG with its inert argon and high temp welds, should always enable the lowest weld porosity potential.

If a company is considering manual pulsed MIG for welding submarine high strength steels, the duplex and stainless metals on LNG vessels, or for that matter welding any code quality welds on parts thicker than 5 mm, be warned. Do weld section macros first on scrap of the same metal type and thickness. Apart from the middle of the weld joint where you will often find marginal weld fusion, also make sure you examine the first inch of weld, and any weld tie-ins. There is a good chance you will reveal lack of weld fusion or porosity. That weld defects are not likely to occur with TIP TIG welds made in any weld positions.

Old weld technology on new space exploration.

As someone who for a short time was involved with weld joint design and weld process decisions on the Moon & Mars Orion Spacecraft, I am well aware that many of the weld joints required in Aerospace, Defence and Power industry are unique, and yes many will justify the use of EB, Laser or Friction Stir.  However lets face it, a good engineer in the high tech industry would be aware of the practical and cost effective weld technology available. And when possible, that engineer should be making practical, cost effective weld process decisions. YAWN.

TIP TIG and dramatic weld Heat Reductions: Few of the engineers that deal with high strength steels and alloys will be aware that in contrast to regular TIG and pulsed MIG, that TIP TIG has the capability not only to meet any weld quality requirements but also provides the ability to reduce traditional TIG and Pulsed MIG weld joules input by approx. 60 to 75%. Proof in TIP TIG video below.

What could the remarkable TIP TIG weld joules reductions do for the parts that your company daily welds?

[] Think about the DCEN TIP TIG low heat and the reduction of stresses that reduce weld crack and weld HAZ potential.
[] Think about the DCEN TIP TIG lowest weld heat and ability to eliminate weld distortion concerns.

[] Think about the DCEN TIP TIG low weld heat that enables the smallest weld HAZ and easily attains the best possible mechanical and corrosion properties.
[] Think about the DCEN TIP TIG low weld heat and producing arc welds with the lowest possible oxidation potential, reducing  weld porosity concerns.
[] Think about the DCEN TIP TIG low weld heat capability,  and the weld shops present use of ASTM and other  specification guidelines for preheat – inter-pass and post heat treatments with  high strength. alloy steels and alloys. The common heat treat recommendations typically used in the global weld industry in 2019 belong to arc weld processes such as MIG – TIG and Flux Cored that on average will put  50% more weld joules  into the welded parts than the DCEN TIP TIG process.


Weld Preheat,
Inter-pass or Post Heat may be reduced or eliminated.


With DCEN TIP TIG
, your typical preheat, inter-pass and post heat weld heat recommendations may either be eliminated or dramatically reduced. As you will see in the video below, the weld heat from DCEN TIP TIG is so low, that welding  heat sensitive Titanium can  be done without a gas trailing shield.

2019. The following  SpaceX 300 series, stainless vessel will be the world’s largest,  21st Century spaceship. It’s a pity that  TIP TIG which has been around more than a decade, would likely not have been given the consideration it deserves for some of the required welds. 

It’s also a sad engineering fact that 20 Century arc weld processes, weld specifications and weld procedures are still being used for 21st Century space travel. 

In a few years, Mr. Musk wants to send humans on a round trip to Mars in his companies giant, 300 series stainless spaceship. It’s understandable that Mr. Musk at his Tesla CA. facility, possibly did not understand the human, arc weld process controls & best weld practice expertise that was and still is required by his MIG and Resistance robot workers, however the sad reality is that it’s also likely that when welding the parts for his SpaceX vessels, the SpaceX engineers will like their peers at many of the other aerospace companies. likely will not be aware of the TIP TIG weld application potential, and also these companies and SpaceX will be using Arc Weld Specifications and  Weld Procedures and weld guidelines that were likely first established three decades ago. 


If you worked in a weld shop, you may have heard this.


Many weld shops have a hard time breaking from the welding PAST: In 2019, at the majority of the major global high tech companies, most of the manual, code quality arc welds will be made using the 70 plus year old DCEN TIG, (GTAW) process. And if not using traditional DCEN TIG for their manual welds, the weld shops will likely be using pulsed MIG, SMAW, and the Gas Shielded Flux Cored process. These  arc weld processes will require higher welder skills and always provide inferior weld quality with higher weld heat than DCEN TIP TIG.

For decades the global weld industry has been utilizing arc weld processes, in weld shops that expected weld REWORK.

As most weld shops will be aware, when X-Ray weld quality was required, with the traditional, primary manual arc weld processes that have been utilized  for decades, costly weld rework was the expected norm. This should  no longer be the case when the TIP TIG process is selected.

SHOP ATTITUDES CAN INFLUENCE  WELD QUALITY, WELD  COSTS AND WELD SHOP EVOLUTION:

How weld shop attitudes can also affect weld process evolution & progressive weld process changes in weld shops. Lets face it, who has not heard the following two phrases in their weld shop. “Why change the way we have always done it”. Or  what about that old weld shop favorite.  “Can you give me sometime to play around with the weld controls?” Welder skills also play an important role in new process acceptance.  Traditional DCEN TIG for example requires the highest welder skills, and in some weld establishments these skills can create a welder diva mentality, whereas some of those TIG  welders may proudly proclaim,  “I am a Nuclear TIG Welder” or “I am a Titanium TIG welder”. TIP TIG takes a few days to learn and it takes weld quality to higher levels ever attained by manual TIG welders.


So what is  more complex to weld than large scale  TITANIUM parts?

So when the Army wanted to make lightweight Howitzers out of Titanium, TIP TIG was available and I tried to inform them how this process would simplify the application and would cut  hundreds of millions of dollars of the mfg. costs. A decade later I doubt if any of the Army personnel involved in weld engineering decisions will be aware of the TIP TIG process, and especially the weld benefits it would bring to any alloys, all high strength steels, investment castings and  armor steels.

Weld Costs, Skills and Processes.  Apart from the weld deposition rates attained and weld rework required, weld costs are also influenced by the required welder skills. Weld shops take note, all of the traditional arc weld processes such as traditional DCEN TIG, Pulsed MIG, Flux Cored or the SMAW process, require higher all position welder skills than required with TIP TIG. Also as we are all aware when hiring TIG welders, the welder skill requirements will influence the hourly labor costs, and also the manual welder skill differences will affect weld defects.

Note. Every business is aware that  in 2019, all position skilled weld personnel are in short supply. With TIP TIG not only do you enable the highest all position weld quality, this also is a process that requires the lowest all position welder skills. 


With TIP TIG, in contrast to TIG, the weld application size and thickness are no longer that relevant.
 

Weld quality and Process influence:  Weld quality is not only influenced by manual welders skills, but also by the weld process selected. Apart from what influence a manual welder has on the welds being produced, the weld process selected will also influence the weld quality attained. Most weld shops are aware of the potential for lack of weld fusion and porosity with the Pulsed MIG process. And weld shops will expect trapped slag and porosity from the Flux cored  or SMAW process.  The high welder skills as required by traditional DCEN TIG, will also influence the weld quality attained, and the slow TIG weld speeds will influence the weld heat and hourly weld labor costs.

Effectiveness of QA weld programs: There is something else that surprisingly influences  the opportunity  to attain optimum weld quality at the lowest weld costs. With many companies, the QA department is supposed to be a driving force for the  company’s  attainment of consistent optimum weld quality.

Many QA weld programs are simply not cost effective, as the programs implemented rarely enable the company to attain the best possible weld quality at the lowest possible weld costs.In many companies,  costly weld  QA resources are typically  focused on  FINDING weld defects, rather than on using weld process control and best weld practice expertise that could  enable weld defect PREVENTION or reduction. 

A missing link in the QA department: It’s ironic that at many of the companies that weld, that most of the weld supervisors, and QA inspection personnel responsible for critiquing and finding the weld defects, will usually lack the Weld Process Control and Best Weld Practices expertise that is necessary for the  prevention or reduction of weld defects. 

If you owned the weld shop, do you believe it would be more cost effective for the shop to place it’s focus on FINDING or on PREVENTING weld defects? 

Note: When the key weld and QA decision makers lack weld process control – best weld practice expertise to guide their organization in the requirements for weld process optimization, this is usually another hurdle to overcome in the acceptance of  of new weld technology. 

After assisting over 1000 companies in 13 countries with their weld issues. From my perspective, it  does not matter if someone works in the front office, the QA office or on the weld shop floor, the first management and engineering priority should be on  the organizations Weld  Process Controls  &  Best Weld Practice expertise. These are subjects that over a thirty year period that I have both simplified and condensed.  If you can give any of these process subjects 15 – 20 hours of your time, and pay the cost of a good dinner for four, become an expert. My Training / Self teaching resources are available here. 

DCEN TIP TIG – Advanced AC TIG – Robot  & Manual MIG – FCAW, Weld Process Controls – Best Weld Practice Expertise  here.

Its  2019,  and the majority of prime  Aerospace, Defense and Nuclear companies and their contractors have for more than a decade been using the outdated arc weld processes, outdated weld specifications and procedures, and not being aware of  the arc weld process controls and best weld practices required for weld process optimization.

At 10 plus billion dollars to build these subs, I would  anticipate over a 100 million dollars plus for weld rework, the question is WHY?

2018:  The Navy is unhappy with its primary submarine builder Electric Boat, and will pay closer attention to EB and their contractors work on its top priority program, the $128 billion Columbia-class nuclear missile submarines. Apart from the usual excessive weld rework costs that are common in most ship yards, unexpected  “weld defects” were revealed in the Columbia ballistic missile tubes. The poor weld quality problem also affects English Royal Navy Dreadnought – class submarines.

Over the summer, the Electric Boat contractor BWX, discovered the welding problems on the missile tubes and notified Electric Boat, leading to a halt to the installation of the missile tubes. The company admitted this week that the faulty work on this easy to weld application will cost at least  $27 million to fix over the course of the next year.

Electric Boat president Jeffrey Geiger  response to his companies poor weld quality results,  ” Electric Boat needs to change it’s  “inspections and quality control practices at the supplier,” and discussions were also had on the difficulty of getting skilled welders.

Note from Em:  The Electric Boat, BWX  and Navy weld fiasco, is  again more evidence that for decades the Navy and  its prime contractors responsible for the welds, will in too many cases lack the ability and accountability for Weld Management Process Ownership. You will note when discussing the Electric Boat /  BWX  weld issues, how the company senior management talks about its inadequate weld inspection. Did they forget that the QA / Inspection dept does not create  weld defects, and as they have done for decades, the management never gets to the root cause of their costly, never ending   weld quality issues.

I agree that the QA/ Inspection departments have a partial  responsibility for weld quality, and also would again like to emphasize that that most companies take a poor QA / Inspection approach to weld quality in that they take an approach in which the focus is on finding defects rater than giving the weld inspection personnel with the process controls – best weld practice expertise to help prevent the weld defects. And as for  the so called  difficulty to find skilled welders  there is no MIG – flux cored or TIP TIG weld that cannot be done in a Navy yard  by someone who has “never welded” and within two months with the “proper training” apply optimum weld quality on a submarine or a ship. Also what you wont see is that the Navy is allowing its contractors to utilize outdated weld specifications & weld procedures, and that the Navy is ignoring weld technology  that could dramatically improve their weld quality potential,  reduce welder skills and dramatically lower weld costs. From the Navy to some of the world’s largest defense companies, you are in weld reality witnessing management, engineers and supervisors  that lack  weld process control and best weld practice expertise.

Note from Em continued: For decades the Navy had cracking concerns with the high strength steels used for their Sub hulls. I fully understand that being cautious in the acceptance of new weld technology or improved weld mfg. methods and practices is an understandable Navy engineering trait, let’s face it, when it comes to Subs, everything should be tried tested and proven. However the approach taken at this time to welding by both the Navy and it’s contractors is simply an outdated joke at the taxpayers expense. If someone comes along with a better weld approach that would result in higher weld / part quality and lower weld costs, then as we know, weld quality and part destructive and metallurgical tests are not rocket science, and it would not be not be  difficult  task for most  engineers that have an interest in thinking outside the welding box to  quickly reveal and  compare the weld results obtained from any arc weld process tested and from any new weld methods developed.


2019. Like many Aerospace companies, will the Navy continue to create advanced technology products,  yet keep allowing  inferior arc weld technology and the use of ineffective methods for weld quality control? 

My business partner Tom and I introduced TIP TIG to Australia, and the Australian Government Navy Department found out how easy it was with TIP TIG welds for their workers to pass the Navy destructive, explosive hull weld tests. 

Sept 2018. WHY AUSSIES ARE  LEADING THE WAY IN SUBMARINE  WELD  REPAIR TECHNOLOGY:   

While the world’s prime defense contractors  are usually stuck in an arc weld time warp, ASC Pty. Ltd, an Australian Government business owned ship builder has proven that the TIP TIG process  attains astounding weld quality and cost results on it’s  Submarine Hull Weld Tests. 

Ed Craig..2018. Collins Sub… The Australian Government company ASC approves TIP TIG as it’s arc weld process of choice for Submarine Hull build / repairs. The following comments are from the ASC Chief Executive Officer is Mr. Stuart Whiley….”To evaluate and approve  the TIP TIG process, ASC used an explosive weld test on Submarine Hull, High Strength Steel Plate”. 

To gain Commonwealth  engineering approval, ASC-welded test specimens of the hull steel had to pass repeated explosive bulge tests at a facility in Victoria. Not only did TIP TIG prove to be a superior process to the DCEN TIG process, the TIP TIG process solved a major problem for the Aussies, as this country has a concern with finding the skilled TIG welders to work on submarines.  TIP TIG quickly revealed it’s much easier to use than TIG,  it provides superior weld quality and mechanical properties and has the potential to lower reduce the TIG weld costs in the range of 200 to 400%.

TIP TIG was brought to Australia in 2009 – 2010 by myself,  and my business partner Tom  O’Malley, (both formerly TIP TIG USA owners). We established the Australian TIP TIG distributors and TIP TIG USA trained the Ausy personnel in the use of this unique weld process. In 2019  the Ausy government placed an order for 50 billion dollars to purchase submarines, and I know with TIP TIG that they will now feel confident that when it comes to doing future sub weld repairs it will be a simple task with TIP TIG. 

In conclusion from Em:  The following are a few  of the  things that would help any shipyard working on Merchant or Navy contracts.
[] Have the ability to take less advice from weld sales personnel.
[] Do not accept any welder training program that produces welders who  “play around” with weld controls.
[] Those that make make weld decisions, ensure you have the expertise required for weld process ownership.
[] Where  appropriate for all position code quality welds, consider TIP TIG.
[] For MIG – Flux Cored and TIP TIG welds, implement Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice Training for  welders, inspectors  and involved front office personnel.
[
] Change the QA weld  inspection approach from defense to offence so inspection personnel , learn how to prevent rather than simply reveal weld defects. 

 If you want to discuss  TIP TIG call me eastern time U.S. 828 337 2695.  If you want Arc Weld Process Controls and Best Weld Practice Self Teaching  / Training Programs that are necessary for process optimization and ownership, check the following link.

Em’s TIP TIG, or MIG and Flux cored  Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Self Teaching / Training Programs.


When using traditional DCEN TIG and welding a complex, heat sensitive alloy such as Titanium parts > 1/8, the weld shop will be aware of the sensitivity of the titanium to weld heat and the oxidation formation potential. This is an oxidation revealed when welding in the weld color, and that color will often be the subject of many QA personnel decisions that often result in  costly titanium part rejects. To prevent the oxidation that occurs with the weld solidification and cooling  of the titanium welds, a cumbersome inert gas trailing shield will be attached to the manual TIG welder torch, who typically will be welding at slow weld speeds that are the primary cause of the weld heat generated.

In contrast, the use of  DCEN TIP TIG on the > 1/8  titanium parts, would reveal that not only will TIP TIG not require the gas trailing shield,  it will always create the highest possible arc weld quality with the lowest possible weld heat.  As for the welder working with TIP TIG they will not require the typical welder skills of feeding a weld wire and will not require a foot control. The bottom line is most titanium applications can be welded with two simple weld settings using the same weld practices as they would use on simple steel or stainless applications.

Take a moment with the TIP TIG video below. Welding  a complex titanium alloy without using a gas trailing shield. 

When I set the TIP TIG data for a first time attempt on these titanium vessel parts, I knew as I set the weld data for Tom to weld the titanium, that we would not need to use  a gas trail shield.This I believe was the first time in North America that titanium was welded successfully without the use of a gas trail shield.

Em’s TIP TIG, or MIG and Flux cored  Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Self Teaching / Training Programs.

 

The above TIP TIG weld was made on scrap titanium parts that were dirty and not cleaned before weld, (smoke from cutting lubricants still on parts).  Note that  No Gas Trailing Shield was used. Note the fast TIP TIG weld speed for this 5 – 6 mm weld. Also and most important, take a look at the finished, acceptable SILVER weld color which shows the weld heat was so low that no detrimental titanium weld oxidation took place. Imagine this high quality, low weld heat on your alloys or high strength heat sensitive welds.


Concerned 
about weld distortion and the cost
consequences of weld rework revealed by NDT? 

Take a moment, which weld process would you select? The the weld shop wanted both the highest API code weld quality, (no weld rework)  and the lowest weld heat to minimize weld distortion that affects the flange placement. TIP TIG was selected.


Reminder on a few of the TIP TIG weld benefits: Reduced all position welder skills  – reduced weld defects – reduced weld distortion – superior mechanical and corrosion properties – the lowest possible weld fumes.

Managers and engineers involved with welding alloys and high strength steels should be aware that  TIP TIG not only reduces the welder skills, it also dramatically reduces the weld defect potential and enable the highest possible weld properties with the lowest possible weld stresses and distortion. 

Finally, attaining all position, code quality welds that should not require weld rework  is a simple task with TIP TIG. Also any TIG welder that occasionally feels the twinges of aching finger or leg weld joints, should appreciate the TIP TIG weld benefits obtained from not having to manually feed a TIG weld wire through their fingers, and being able to use one or two hands to control their weld torch. And lets not forget no leg work required as no foot amp control required.

2019. For seven  decades, pipe welds were never this simple. If you can lean on a pipe, move your hands in a controlled manner with TIP TIG you will make a good pipe welder.

So what do you think is unusual in the above TIP TIG, P91 pipe weld  application? Apart from the use of one hand, no foot control, no weld spatter, no weld smoke, pipe welder skills reduced and each hour the three to four hundred percent increase in the TIG weld deposition being produced for the weld shop.

P91 TIP TIG weld from first time user, (above video) and
of course NDT 
revealed defect frees.

First time TIP TIG user, X-Ray defect free. You should see what he will do with a few more hours with this process


What you don’t see with the above TIP TIG pipe weld is the best possible weld fusion and lowest weld porosity potential is attained. What you also don’t also see is always the lowest possible distortion and lowest possible weld  stresses. What you also don’t see is the  best possible metallurgical results. You cannot attain the same weld results with regular TIG or Pulsed MIG, and it takes a less than one hour to demonstrate the results.

Note: As all position TIP TIG welds are easy to do, the weld position presented is not that relevant which means with many of your parts less positioning of the parts.

Also on most parts welded > 1.6 mm, the weld application, steels and alloy metal types are not that relevant. And remember with TIP TIG in the weld shop, it does not matter if the welds are either manual or automated. 

A  60  MINUTE TIP TIG DEMO, NO SALES CHAT, & IT’S EASY TO PROVE THE NUMEROUS WELD CLAIMS AT THIS SITE:

As below, a company can spend money on fancy TIG welder jackets, helmets  gloves, yet in this weld shop the welders will still be using in 2019, a 70 year TIG process which takes 3 times longer to do the TIG welds. Using a  process that provides inferior weld quality and higher weld heat and costs than attained with the TIP TIG process.

DCEN TIG changed little in 70 years.

Manual or Automated weld, it’s all the same with TIP TIG. While traditional DCEN TIG is not suited as a Manual, Semi-automated weld process, and it also makes for a poor fully automated TIG process. And also lets not forget that the Automated Hot Wire TIG process is not considered  practical as a Manual TIG weld process. 

In contrast, the TIP TIG process is ideally suited both as a Manual, Semi-automated process, and an easy to use fully Automated arc weld process. As TIP TIG provides respectable weld deposition rates it should be given consideration instead of Pulsed MIG as TIP TIG will produce far superior weld quality with much smaller weld HAZ that will always enable superior mechanical properties, less distortion and stresses.

Question.  So why can’t  the weld shop just attach any old  MIG wire feeder to a TIG torch and make the regular, 70 year old  DCEN TIG process into a Manual Semi-Automated TIG process? 

Answer.
A prime issue for decades with both the traditional manual DCEN TIG and also the Automated DCEN Hot Wire TIG process, is that they are both have wire feed restriction issues and both are  arc length sensitive.

Restrictions of the manual DCEN TIG & weld heat.
[1] The lack of ability with regular TIG, to manually feed a small diameter wire typically above one pound/hr into a rapid freeze weld usually results in welds with very slow weld speeds that with the high TIG arc temperatures, will  often result in  high weld heat. Remember it’s the slow weld speeds and high TIG arc temp. weld heat will often affect the part distortion, weld cracks, weld and part stresses, and the metallurgical properties.
 

[2] Plasm Restrictions and arc length sensitivity.  DCEN TIG arc length sensitivity is influenced by the amount of current and voltage used, also by the TIG arc plasma energy  that’s delivered directly to the weld surface.

The traditional DCEN TIG plasma energy is influenced by its function of melting a large TIG  wire  and the wire placement at the leading edge of the arc plasma. This  large wire placement and melt requirement intermittently deprives the TIG pool of a good portion of the plasma energy from the weld pool surface that can result in a small fluid, fast freeze weld pool that’s sensitive to electron flow disruptions. (arc length sensitivity).   

In contrast, TIP TIG reduces the TIG fast freeze weld effects and arc length sensitivity by the following:  The use of small diameter weld wires, and increased deposition rates that enable higher amps and volts to be used.

TIP TIG’s consistent weld wire placement at the plasma outer periphery  does not deprive the plasma energy from the weld surface.   The TIP TIG wire is angled to the outer periphery of the plasma. With the smaller diameter TIP TIG wire, there is sufficient energy in the plasma periphery to melt the wire  and uninterrupted, plasm energy on the TIP TIG weld surface is part of what makes TIP TIG unique. (The TIP TIG wire placement and small weld drops takes minimal energy from the TIP TIG arc plasma).

TIP TIG’s wire melt at the arc plasma periphery enables most  of the TIP TIG plasma heat to react on the surface of the weld part, this not only assists with electron flow that reduces arc length sensitivity, it also enables increased weld fusion and lower weld porosity. 

TIP TIG’s patented agitation of the weld wire not only assists in the small. rapid droplet transfer from the wire tip. The agitated drops also result in a slight stirring action of the fluid pool. Any agitation of molten metal  should slightly slow down the weld solidification times, an action that assists in electron flow so it helps reduce arc length sensitivity concerns, and assists in weld fusion and weld porosity reduction.

TIP TIG is a Manual or Automated arc process. The above unique DCEN TIP TIG arc plasma attributes combine to allow for a weld that in contrast to DCEN TIG, will provide much higher weld travel rates, a dramatic reduction in weld heat,  and the increased arc energy enables slower weld pool solidification and improved electron transfer stability. These benefits enable the TIP TIG process to be either a Manual Semi-automated or fully Automated TIG process.
 
Please note:  All of the TIP TIG info. at this site and in my other blogs are my own original thoughts on reviewing the TIP TIG process for the last decade.  This site is copyright protected and this information is not printed elsewhere. If you want to use it, please at least require my permission

That DCEN TIG Arc Length Sensitivity (ALS)  has Cost Consequences. ALS can cause arc / weld outages and is one reason why the automated Hot Wire DCEN TIG process, will depending on the weld application, often require costly  Automated Arc Length Control (ALC) equipment. However as  you see below with a common stainless tank welds. Arc Length Control equipment is not a requirement with Automated or Robot TIP TIG welds.

Below: TIP TIG attached to low cost automated carriage. The multi-pass  stainless TIP TIG welds are being made without the usual  TIG “arc length sensitivity concerns” that would occur with HW TIG.


No Arc Length Sensitivity issues with automated TIP TIG.

TIP TIG for the root and TIP TIG for the fill passes. No matter the weld application size or thickness, if you want the highest possible manual or automated weld quality, with the automation you can get out a carriage, a  rotating table, or utilize a robot. 


THERE IS NO OTHER ARC PROCESS THAT CAN DELIVER HIGHER MANUAL OR AUTOMATED WELD QUALITY: Costly NDT will be utilized on most TIG and MIG welds to primarily reveal lack of weld fusion and excess weld porosity. In contrast to DCEN TIG welds, or from any available MIG Spray or Pulsed MIG welds, the higher TIP TIG weld pool energy generated with any all position TIP TIG welds, should always  enable the best possible weld fusion potential and always the lowest weld porosity formation potential. 
Always remember that apart from attaining the highest manual or automated weld quality potential, TIP TIG will also always enables the lowest possible weld heat input. And now think about what that does for mechanicals, for corrosion, distortion, stresses and cracking concerns.

Please note when comparing TIP TIG with Pulsed MIG, that the  TIP TIG welds  not only provides much greater arc temperatures, the TIP TIG weld are  also protected by an inert gas.  So in contrast to MIG, with TIP TIG there are no CO2 or O2 reactions that always influence MIG weld porosity and MIG weld surface cleaning. Also with the Reverse Polarity (RP) Pulsed MIG weld, most of the MIG weld energy is highly focussed in the arc plasma, which is necessity to melt the MIG wire.

That MIG Reverse Polarity plasma energy concentration at the wire tip area of the plasma, results in high localized weld heat that has great influence on the MIG weld heat affected zones. In contrast  with the electrode negative (EN) polarity  TIP TIG process, the majority of the TIP TIG plasma energy is driven to the base metals and with the weld speeds attained, enables the lowest possible weld heat input which enables extraordinary weld and  part metallurgical benefits as discussed below. 

WHEN ITS EASY TO USE IT ENHANCES THE WELD QUALITY POTENTIAL: The following, relaxed, pipe root TIP TIG welder still uses on the root, the same  walk the cup welder techniques as any TIG welder, however with fillet welds the TIP TIG welder will use weld techniques similar to MIG welds. 

Question.  Some may wonder how TIP TIG enables both the highest available arc weld energy while enabling the lowest weld heat capability?

Answer on weld energy. In contrast to a traditional DCEN TIG weld, the constant fed, smaller diameter TIP TIG weld wires typically enable a 100 to 400% increase in the TIG weld deposition rate capability. The increased weld deposition with the smaller TIP TIG weld wires enables increased TIG weld current to be used. As the TIP TIG weld wire and weld droplet transfer into the weld plasma provide minimal influence on the TIP TIG arc plasma energy and on the weld surface, therefore with the higher TIG weld current used, smaller wires utilized and more of the TIP TIG plasma affecting the fluid weld surface, the TIP TIG welds will provide greater weld energy than any other arc weld, and lets not forget the influence of the TIP TIG weld agitation which also helps slow down the weld solidification and adds to the weld fusion and reduced porosity capability.

For those weld shop managers and supervisors that care about looking for real world methods to reduce their weld shop labor costs, please note the TIP TIG increased weld deposition reduces DCEN TIG weld labor and weld gas costs typically in the range of 100 – 400%. Also in contrast to TIG, the weld wire costs are reduced typically by 15 – 25%.

Answer on Low Weld Heat. The increased TIP TIG weld deposition that’s possible on most parts > 1/16, (>1.6 mm), enables “higher TIG weld speed capability”. The faster TIP TIG weld speeds combined with DCEN polarity, (EN = work becomes large heat sink) enables extraordinary TIP TIG low weld and part heat that can provide extensive reductions in weld distortion and weld stresses. The low weld heat enables extraordinary weld & part metallurgical results that have never before been attained anywhere in the arc weld industry.

So today in most weld shops, we have traditional DCEN TIG with often slow weld travel rates of 1 to 5 inch/min that can create high weld & part heat, and we also have reverse polarity MIG and Gas Shielded Flux Cored that also provide high part heat, so these three arc weld processes typically end up with large weld heat affected zones.

TIP TIG usually enables 50 to 65% less weld joules than the same welds made with DCEN TIG or made with Reverse Polarity MIG and Flux Cored. Think about your application  benefits. 

In my next blog and in my TIP TIG self teaching / training program there is much data on TIP TIG welding alloys. And you will see why in 2019,  that the  TIP TIG  process is the only global Arc weld process with it’s low weld heat ability that can weld most  titanium parts > 3mm, without the use of a Gas Trailing Shield, and those titanium welds will meet any  Aerospace, Defence. Oil or Nuclear weld quality requirements.

As most alloys and high strength steels are relevant for most global weld shops,  and those alloys mostly attain their properties through heat treatment, why would any weld shop ignore an easy to use, ten year old process such as TIP TIG that always enables both the highest weld quality potential with the lowest possible weld joules. 

I did the following untouched  steel fillet weld.

Is your weld shop using more than one weld process
for root and fill passes?
 

Most global weld shops would consider choosing two arc weld processes for their open root and fill passes on pipe or plate welds. Processes such as TIG & Pulsed MIG or  Stick & FCAW and  TIG & FCAW or STT / RMD MIG & flux cored. Please remember that  TIP TIG is optimum for all position roots and for all fill passes.

Irrespective of the weld automation or the manual welder’s skills utilized, with MIG, SMAW and flux cored, as  NDT would reveal, there will often be process influenced weld fusion – weld slag – weld porosity issues, and with the inconsistent manual welder skills, the weld shops will typically anticipate some weld rework.

Of course the weld shop may may simply choose to  do the pipe root and fill passes completely with the super slow, time consuming DCEN TIG process as any country’s  Navy will attest, the weld defects mostly a result of the welders skills will still be an issue. In contrast, using my TIP TIG training program and the two simple TIP TIG weld settings that I recommend for any pipe or plate  welds, the weld shop should  anticipate using X-Ray evaluation, zero weld rework. The easy to use TIP TIG process will be highly cost effective for any pipe or plate  fill passes with any pipe / plate wall thickness or any pipe diameter.

TIP TIG Small Tubes Heat Exchange.

Imagine the weld benefits on these small diameter heat exchange tubes when you don't have to feed a wire and don't need a foot control. These welds easily made were as good as the welds made with automated equipment and TIP TIG put in less weld heat.

From pipe to heat exchange tube welds, with minimal manual skills, the manual TIP TIG welds as below, should look like automated welds. 

TIP TIG larger tube Heat Exchange welds.

Note with these untouched all position, manual TIP TIG welds. Note the weld continuity, the smallest possible weld HAZ, the optimum weld tie-ins, and a weld appearance that look like automated welds.

Weld Automation and more on TIG Arc Length Sensitivity.


Automated TIP TIG Weld Benefits.
In contrast to pulsed MIG which is often used with automated welds, the TIP TIG automated welds will produce welds with much smaller weld  Heat Affected Zones. The TIP TIG welds will enable the smallest possible weld distortion and stresses. The TIP TIG welds will have no spatter, no weld fusion, no porosity or fume concerns. TIP TIG welds with low oxidation potential will also be easier to clean. And for the first time in 70 years this sentence can be written about an arc weld process. With attention to weld placement, TIP TIG welds should not require weld rework.

So with regular DCEN TIG, its the the common low weld deposition rates with slow weld speeds and the  restricted current content that’s based on those weld deposition rates, and also the TIG tungsten erosion that’s  influenced by the large weld wire placed in close proximity to the tungsten tip along with the TIG arc length sensitivity, are the reasons that the traditional DCEN TIG process has often been a poor choice for automated weld applications which require filler metal, applications that  don’t have automated arc length control equipment.

Why Arc Length Control equipment is not required with automated  TIP TIG welds: In contrast to TIG, the TIP TIG process provides higher deposition rates usually 100 to 400%  more weld that results in  higher weld speeds that are better suited to weld automation investment. The higher TIP TIG deposition rates enable increased weld current, and the  unique TIP TIG weld droplet transfer that enables more of the arc plasma to impact the surface weld energy are factors that assist in the electron flow which reduce arc length sensitivity concerns. With TIP TIG you  are getting  a multi-process  from the use of a manual process, or very effective automated process.

 

TIP TIG easily adapted to robots.

Click here for my robot and manual  MIG and TIP TIG weld process controls – best weld practice, self teaching / training programs

When I was the USA weld manager at ABB Robotics, one of the world’s largest Robot Mfg, companies, the engineers and I would not be comfortable with robot applications that required the traditional  DCEN TIG process. The prime reasons for the discomfit was  due to the TIG arc length sensitivity issues, the tungsten contamination, wear influence on the welds,  the arc stability influences by electron flow issues, and also the typical slow weld speeds. A few years after I left ABB, I returned to their Colorado location introduced the ABB USA welding group to the TIP TIG process.

TIP TIG brings a unique process to welding robots.

Around 2010, a few years after I left the ABB Robot company, I went back to the ABB head office in Fort Collins CO,  to provide their engineers and managers with a seminar on TIP TIG.  The seminar was about the new unique robot weld application opportunities enabled with the TIP TIG process. During the workshop, I went step by step over why the TIP TIG process was unique and the weld and application feature benefits. I also pointed out how TIP TIG eliminated the normal TIG robot weld concerns. I pointed out to the ABB group  that this new process was ideally suited to numerous, new  robot applications, and would especially be beneficial with any code quality welds and on all high strength steels, low alloy steels and alloy applications. Think about those new robot Defense, Aerospace, Power and Oil – Gas applications.

The ABB engineers were impressed, however  like many young weld engineers and managers from Ohio State and LeTourneau they also lacked arc weld process controls  and weld application expertise, and so they lacked the confidence that was necessary for them to buy into marrying TIP TIG to their robots. However all was not lost, as eight years later,  around  2017,  some brighter ABB engineer or sales manager woke up to weld reality,  and finally figured that TIP TIG would open up many more robot weld application opportunities, and  therefore should be their  arc weld process of choice when in contrast to DCEN TIG and Pulsed MIG, superior weld quality, superior weld & part mechanicals and the lowest possible part distortion  was required.

Sometimes managers will lament. “Another big job coming up and we can’t find the necessary SKILLED TIG WELDERS”

This company used to use mostly pulsed MIG and flux cored on it’s large ship Duplex vessels,typical  thickness range, 1/8 to 5/8. As the vessels were used to transport beverages, food industry specs were in place and weld  spatter and cleanliness was always an issue. Weld distortion and the weld fumes from stainless and duplex were also issues. This large company now does most of its welds with TIP TIG and never has weld quality, distortion, spatter or weld fume issues.


With no wire to feed to the welds and no foot control required for controlling the weld amps, the TIP TIG job on the left is simplified, and let’s face it, the welder is much safer in that they can can  hold on to the part while TIP TIG welding. The company wanted no spatter, no distortion, no fume concerns and no weld rework, that’s what they got.

TIP TIG dramatically reduces all position welder skills. A TIG welder needs a day to learn this process and about 10 hours with my TIP TIG self teaching / training course. Someone who has never TIG welded can in a week pass most all position code welder qualification tests. With TIP TIG another skill not required is the correct wire placement.  The TIP TIG weld wire is always delivered into the arc plasma periphery sweet spot. Also as with MIG, the continuous fed TIP TIG weld wire drives the welders speed.  With TIP TIG a foot control is not necessary, weld start and stop data is always optimum and delivered from the TIG power source with the torch trigger commands. 

In contrast to any all position DCEN TIG, Pulsed MIG or Flux Cored welds, a five minute demo would show the weld shop how easy it is to use the TIP TIG process. Below, first time, TIP TIG rotated pipe weld reveals to the weld shop, pipe weld quality never before attained. 


TIP TIG defects not allowed.

Can we produce welds that will meet the most stringent ASME NDT requirements and not require weld rework?  For seven decades this not something that weld shops  would want to hear when using traditional, manual arc weld processes.  However with TIP TIG, it could be proven in minutes. 

Think about the billions of dollars annually spent around the world on the costs associated with weld testing, weld rework and weld rejects.

If used correctly, TIP TIG is a weld process in which you should expect  ZERO weld defects, and with the highest weld quality with lowest weld heat you should also always first time expect to attain the best mechanical and corrosion properties with all steels, alloy steels and alloy applications. 

By the way, with my Self Teach or Training Materials, it would take you approx. 20 hours to become a weld process control – best weld practice expert in one of the following. Manual / Robot MIG, Flux Cored,   Advanced AC/DC TIG Aluminum, and also with the DCEN TIP TIG process. Click here to take a look at the programs.


Nice to be able to put two hands on the TIP TIG torch, and
not be bothered by a foot control, weld spatter or fumes.

While the low deposition,  regular DCEN TIG was often poorly suited for large size and thick applications, this has changed with TIP TIG.  Weld applications any thickness > 1/16, applications big or small, the all position TIP TIG welds can typically be done with a couple of weld settings and with no weld cleaning, no distortion, no weld rework be cost effective.  It’s also as above nice, to enable lower welding skills and  be able guide the light torch with two hands, and not worry about weld fumes

Remember benefits from reduced weld preheat – interpass or postheat. By the way as a reminder, remember when you dramatically  reduce weld heat input, it’s also likely  you can eliminate inter pass weld temp and reduce or eliminate preheat and post heat. Of course you could ignore these game changing weld benefits, as as most do in 2019, continue to arc weld the way it’s been done since TIG was first introduced in the 1940s.

TIP TIG is much more than a “ONE OFF weld process solution for a companies weld problem.  

Many of the few global TIP TIG sellers while exited by their TIP TIG sales growth will also be aware that in many instances, their TIG TIG units are purchased by weld shop as a one off weld process solution. For example, the weld weld shop may have a weld problem with a specific alloy like Titanium, Duplex or Hastelloy, or have a difficult, crack sensitive weld application that if weld repairs were required would result in costly rejects or weld rework. Of course, TIP TIG with it’s highest weld quality and lowest weld heat potential should provide the best possible weld solution. Meanwhile, in the same weld shop that purchased the TIP TIG unit, the primary weld processes used daily in the weld shop for the code quality welds continue to be traditional TIG, pulsed MIG or flux cored process.  What most global weld shops often don’t realize, especially with manual or automated, all position, code quality welds on steels, alloy steels & high strength steels on 16 Gage to any thickness, is that TIP TIG is superior to all arc weld processes and can  provide numerous, unique, game changing  weld quality and weld cost benefits. By the way consider the new business opportunities that come with TIP TIG as any alloy welded with this process is as easy to weld as carbon steels.

2019. So now TIP TIG has been available for more than a decade:

[] Consider TIP TIG  when quality welds are required that will not require weld rework.

[] Consider TIP TIG when the lowes weld distortion or stresses are a benefit.

[] Consider TIP TIG if you are now using two weld processes for the part welded.

[] Consider TIG TIG FOR when all position welds are required.

[] Consider TIP TIG if you want the cleanest welds with lowest weld fumes.

DCEN TIG: Welds and CostsTIG weld costs are rare discussion with a process that often produces welds at the speed of a turtle. It’s more likely the weld shop will be concerned about not having enough skilled TIG welders. So let’s take a look at TIP TIG weld costs. So below we have two weld shops bidding on a new five years code quality weld contract, they need compete with each other. 

Shop One:  USED  TRADITIONAL TIG: 

To get a welding project contract, shop one figures it needs to hire 10 DCEN TIG welders. The welders will mostly be welding on high strength steels and alloy steel, ASME code applications. Most of the parts TIG welded will be  3 to 25 mm thick. The project will last at least 5 years. The basic labor and power source budget for the shop one.  Weld labor first year. 10 welders x $65.000 = $650.000/yr. Plus 10 Inverter DCEN TIG power sources,  $7000 = $70,000. SHOP ONE first year labor costs plus weld equip.= $720,000. Remaining 4 years of TIG labor costs 4 x $650K =  $2.6 million, plus year one costs of $720,000 for a total  5 year weld labor / equip. costs $3,320.000.

Shop two: BID ON THE WELDS USING TIP TIG:

This shop also is looking to  bid on the above contact. These guys had progressive weld management  that selected the TIP TIG  process. With TIP TIG the weld shop can expect a minimum  300% increase in the TIG weld production obtained each hour. Shop TWO was going to bid on the job with three  welders for the TIP TIG units. As much less welder skills are required with TIP TIG, it typically takes a few days to learn. The TIP TIG equipment costs were approx. $26,000 each = x 3 = $78,000.

Shop two employs 3 TIP TIG welders at an annual labor costs per-year of  $195,000 + $78.000 equip. costs, = first year weld costs of $273,000. Shop two, 4 year labor costs x $195,000 = $780,000,  plus year one costs $273,000. Shop two five year labor / equip costs $1,053.000.
Note, zero weld rework can be anticipated with TIP TIG, and also an approx. 300%  reduction in the annual argon gas costs. I am aware of many defence, aerospace, power, oil and other high tech companies that employ in their global facilities hundreds of TIG welders each year, thanks to their poor management and engineering decision they don’t seem to mind throwing  millions of dollars away every year.

 

 

Rarely discussed in weld shops. DCEN TIG Deposition rates.

Let’s say that manual TIG welder is welding pipe and using a common 3/32 steel or stainless TIG wire for the pipe vertical up fill passes. The welder typically would feed around 8 to 10 inch of the 3/32 wire length each minute.  8 inch/min of 3/32  wire is approx.  1 lb/hr. However with a manual DCEN TIG deposition of 1 lb/hr and an average arc on time of 20 min/hr, those TIG  welders are typically depositing  on average approx. 0.03 – 0.4 lb/hr.

In contrast to a manual TIG welder, a TIP TIG welder putting in the vertical up  fill passes on any steel or alloy steel pipe would average with an 0.035 MIG reel, about 180 inch/min of wire or approx 2.5lb/hr. As TIP TIG is a Semi-automated or fully Automated TIG weld process, it would of course when used manually also increase the TIG arc on times dramatically.  

While the manual DCEN TIG pipe welder is depositing 0.4 lb/hr, in contrast, with the manual TIP TIG pipe welds, and the increased  arc on time of  say 40  min/hr, the TIP TIG welders would  typically deposit  on average  about 1.6  lb/hr, this simply means the TIP TIG welder is depositing 300% more TIG weld each hour than the regular TIG welder.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, to figure out that this simple weld cost comparison between a manual TIP TIG and manual TIG welder would have has major weld cost and labor requirement ramifications for any company that employs welders. 

Confusion between Automated Hot Wire TIG & TIP TIG.  In the last decade, while  providing weld solutions for numerous plants, I found out that when discussing the merits of the unique TIP TIG weld process, that there was much confusion between the strictly Automated Hot  & Cold Wire  GTAW DCEN TIG  processes, and the Manual – Automated TIP TIG process. 

There are many different trade names automated Cold Wire (CW) TIG processes available, from my perspective they are a waste of money as they usually provide limited weld application value.

The reason for the ditain with the TIG Cold Wire processes  is that the weld deposition rates attained  is typically no more than what  a manual TIG welder can attain on the same application. The CW processes are also arc length sensitive and arc outages during the weld are prevalent.


Typical Hot Wire TIG High Amp Clad Application.

 

In contrast to HW TIG, with TIP TIG you have a wider amp weld application range. TIP TIG also eliminates arc length sensitivity concerns and where as HW is only suited to automated welds, with TIP TIG the weld shop has both a manual and automated process.

 

That Hot Wire (HW) weld, is a DCEN TIG weld, plus a MIG wire feeder that provides a continuous fed wire through a TIG torch. The  wire is preheated  by a separate,  small HW power source that usually provides 80 to 120 amp. The HW wire preheat adds additional energy into the weld pool which slightly reduces arc length sensitivity concerns. Note the clad application on the left where due to wire feed and melt issues its beneficial to feed wire into the rear of the weld pool. A poorly understood feature of many automated, “all position” Hot Wire OD or ID pipe welds, is the limitations that are occuring.  

HW always works better with high amps as the plasma is usually larger and more intense and therefore less arc length sensitive. With low to medium HW weld amp applications there is increased  arc length sensitivity concerns with the  faster weld freeze applications and they may require costly Automated Arc Length Equipment. Also  on some applications the HW torch may require to attain it’s wire melt continuity, by feeding the weld wire into the rear of the arc, see video below.

In contrast to HW, with TIP TIG you have a process suited to both manual and automated, low to high current applications whereas Cold Wire is a waste of money  and Hot wire is not suited to most manual welds.  Take a moment to view the HW weld below.

Why TIP TIG could be ideal for Clad Welds. Many clad weld applications, will thanks to the weld dilution require two or three weld layers to get the desired chemistry which likely could be attained with one weld layer using TIP TIG.

How does TIP TIG enable optimum clad welds on many parts? TIP TIG enables very low weld heat and also without Arc Length Controls, enables fast weld speeds with rapid weld weave oscillation without concern for arc outages, The EN polarity, the fast weld speeds and rapid rate weld weaves can enable the lowest possible single pass weld dilution. 


In contrast to HOT WIRE video above,
again take a close look at TIP TIG.

EVALUATING HOT OR COLD WIRE WELDS, PLEASE EXAMINE THE WELD WIRE SIZE USED,  THE WIRE FEED RATE AND THEN WORK OUT THE WELD DEPOSITION:

With many thin wall applications < 1/4,  < 6mm, when using HW or Cold Wire on all position pipe welds, take a look at the wire feed rates being  achieved. Remember a manual TIG welder puts in a little more or less than one pound per/hr. That HW or Cold wire automated weld using an 0.023 steel wire maybe  running in at approx. 140 inch/min. That  sounds much more cost effective than the manual TIG welder feeding their 3/32 wire at 8 inch/min.  However that 140 inch of 0.023 wire also provides a pound/hr.  Or the HW weld maybe using an  0.030 steel wire  running at approx. 80  inch/min again a pound/hr. 

To help you work out wire size, feed rate to deposition,  70 inch/min of 0.035 (1mm) wire is approx. pound/hr. While 70 inches of 0.045 (1.2mm) wire, is approx. 2 pound an hour.

As you become more aware of  the manual DCEN TIG and the automated DCEN Hot Wire TIG process limitations as revealed in this blog,  you become more aware of why these processes simply cannot compete with  DCEN. TIP TIG.  

Today after more than 50 years in this business. and all I have to do is walk my dog,  think and write about welding, I figured that a weld process comparison blog such as this, and access to my unique Weld Process Control self teaching / training programs on TIP TIG – Advanced AC/DC  TIG – MIG / Flux Cored and Robot MIG welds, would be helpful for those few that are beginning to believe in the importance of weld process ownership and  weld process controls – best weld practices.

Em in 2018.

Feb 4. 19. Ready for change. Contact  Em at ecraig@weldreality.com.  If you want a TIP TIG, flux cored, MIG or Robot MIG process control workshop, seminar or  training at your organization, give me a call. 828 337 2695.  For Em’s TIP TIG, or MIG and Flux cored  Weld Process Controls & Best Weld Practice, Self Teaching / Training Programs.