How To Set Up a Tig Welder For Aluminum – A Professional’s Guide

The use of aluminum in the manufacturing of our daily use products has become quite common. Many quality things are being built using aluminum. There are multiple advantages to making products using aluminum. The aluminum reduces the weight of the product and delivers the highest integrity in extreme temperatures. That’s why it is used in making boating components, truck and trailer manufacturing, and cryogenic piping.

With a lot of advantages of aluminum usage, there are also some challenges you have to face while dealing with aluminum. It is quite difficult to weld aluminum made material as you have to deal with an oxide layer. This problem has also been resolved to the great extent by Gas tungsten arc welding. TIG welding helps you get the highest weld integrity and aesthetic appearance.

GTAW is a slow welding process that is not usually deployed for high production manufacturing but in the case of aluminum where quality and appearance are concerned, it is the ideal welding process. However, to do a TIG welding for aluminum, first, you need to set up a TIG welder. In this article, first, we will tell you about general TIG welder set up and then we will talk about how to set up a TIG welder for aluminum in detail.

How To Set Up A TIG Welder – Generic Steps And Factors To Keep In Mind 

How TIG welder works.

For TIG welding, you need to have a filler metal and a welding torch. A generator creates an electric spark which acts as a pathway for striking the welding arc. After striking the arc, the welder creates a welding pool with the help of a welding torch while keeping the electrode and workpiece apart. Then, the welding torch is moved back and a filler rod is added to the pool to start the welding process.

How to set up a TIG welder.

For complete safety, installation and setup, you need to follow the owner’s manual. Typical welding set up and connections are given as:

  • Torch connection

First of all, connect a torch in front of your machine along with a gas hose and a regulator. You must use the adaptor while connecting it.

  • Remote control connection

Connect foot pedal or finger-tip control with the machine.

  • Working clamp connection

Connect one side of the working or ground clamp with the machine and another side with the piece of your work.

  • Polarity selection

You need to switch the amperage setting according to the kind of material you are going to weld. For instance, if you are welding aluminum, then you need to set it on AC mode. For welding steel and steel alloys, you need to set it on DCEN. For stick welding, switch it to DCEP.

  • Prepare tungsten

You need to prepare tungsten before applying to weld. For this purpose, grind it along the direction and make the point of 2-1/2 times diameter. Remember, always use a fine grinding wheel which you don’t have to use for any other job as tungsten might be contaminated and make lower quality welds.

  • Torch assembling

First, detach the tungsten from the torch by loosening the cap then remove the copper collet pieces and the nozzle. Put the collet, collet body, and nozzle back into the torch.

  • Installing tungsten

Install again the tungsten into the collet and tighten it’s from the back cap.

  • Connect power

When you are ready to weld, put the machine plug into the power outlet. Your power supply must be compatible with the rating of your machine.

How To Set Up A TIG Welder For Aluminum

For welding aluminum, you can choose from two options pure tungsten or thoriated tungsten. Thoriated tungsten contains thorium which is a radioactive material that can pose serious health and environmental risks. It also operates only well below its operating temperature. Thus, the pure tungsten option will be the best in this regard. Let’s have a look at the direct steps to set up a TIG welder for aluminum.

  • Switch on the machine with the help of a button on the rear panel.
  • Push all the buttons like polarity, process, output, gas/dig, pulser, and AC.
  • Select the options which have been indicated by the green light.
  • Set the AC mode on the polarity.
  • Set the process on the TIG HF impulse.
  • To enable foot pedal, choose RMT STD on output.
  • Select PPS mode on pulser and move the amperage knob to 4.
  • Select pre-flow on gas and set the amperage knob to 0.2 seconds.
  • Select post-flow on gas and let the amperage on auto.
  • In AC waveshape, select AC frequency.
  • Push the A button and let it work on maximum amperage.
  • With the help of a foot pedal, control the amperage in the range you have set.

All the steps for setting a TIG welder for aluminum have been explained. It is quite a simple process. You just need to follow the instructions in the manual and some simple steps mentioned above. You can weld a lot of other things in the same setting. In this regard, you just need to make a few changes in settings if you want to weld anything other than aluminum.

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