tungsten quality??

mikeyfrombc

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so i,ve been working on my tig skills as much as i can after seeing some of the amazing work on here , while practicing i have been swapping back and forth between 2 tungstens i keep sharpened , both are Orange , one is a bit shiner in in sheen the other one is the original that came with the machine , it,s a little grayer in color and produces a brighter arc then the other one , is this because of two different grade qualities ?? or is it common to have different levels of arc brightness between tungsten ?? also what,s a good brand of tungsten to buy ??

thanx

mikey
 

loufish

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I'm a little behind, all mine are either red for 2% thoriated, or green for pure used on Aluminum...

Orange???

Now i get to learn somthing new....
 

BajaFand

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They started making orange because thoriated is radioactive and is supposedly harmful. The orange tungsten is supposed to be the safe alternative and I've heard they are going to start phasing out the throriated tungsten.
 

mikeyfrombc

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so you guys are using red ??nstead of orange for welding steel ?? interesting my machine came with orange so that,s what i bought , i,ll have to check into the red and give it a try
 

tmathews

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Orange tip tungsten is 2% Ceriated. It is most common used on inverter style welding machines. I.e. Miller Dynastys and Diversion 165.

Here is a general description:

2% Ceria is a cerium dioxide doped tungsten electrode containing 1.8% to 2% CeO2. Can be used instead of 2% thoria in many applications. They provide easy arc starting, good arc stability, long life and high current carrying capacity.

One of the better brands is Sylvania.
 

BajaFand

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Orange tip tungsten is 2% Ceriated. It is most common used on inverter style welding machines. I.e. Miller Dynastys and Diversion 165.

Here is a general description:

2% Ceria is a cerium dioxide doped tungsten electrode containing 1.8% to 2% CeO2. Can be used instead of 2% thoria in many applications. They provide easy arc starting, good arc stability, long life and high current carrying capacity.

One of the better brands is Sylvania.
Did not know any of that, thanks. I was told what I posted above by my welding supply guy.
 

tmathews

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Did not know any of that, thanks. I was told what I posted above by my welding supply guy.
I think what he told you is probably correct... The radioactivity will kill you..

The nice thing about 2% Ceriated is that you can use it for both aluminum and steel tig welding.

Where as changing out the tungsten.. I.e. green tip to red tip. For welding aluminum and steels / chromoly (sp?) or stainless steel.
 

Motiracer38

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Are there any drawbacks to ceriated. It would be nice to only keep track of one type, but I have been buying both for years now so why stop? If it lasted longer, wasn't as 'sticky', or was less sensitive to tip sharpness it would be worth the change and any added expense they might incur.
 

tmathews

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Are there any drawbacks to ceriated. It would be nice to only keep track of one type, but I have been buying both for years now so why stop? If it lasted longer, wasn't as 'sticky', or was less sensitive to tip sharpness it would be worth the change and any added expense they might incur.
Not really any drawbacks... or none that I have heard.. Most tig welders that are using a squarewave transformer type machine are still using the green tip for aluminum and the red tip for steel.

Technology has change over the years and more inteverter style machines seem to work better using the orange tip tungsten. I.e. 2% ceriated
 
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atomicjoe23

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There is also brown, 2% Lanthanated, which you can also use on both aluminum and steel. . .

. . .the amount of thorium in a tungsten electrode is ridiculously small. I used to be a radiological control technician in the nuclear industry. . .the drill guys would use a thoriated tungsten taped to the bottom of their shoe (or in their pocket, etc.) for drills. . .it was just enough to set off the scanners when you checked out of the facility but was such a small amount of radioactivity that it would take us 30-45 minutes of very careful scanning by hand to locate where the tungsten was. . .and that's after we already knew a rough area to check for it. . .it would have taken us hours to find a tungsten if we had to search an entire person for it!

The nuclear welders that go in and weld up the piping systems use thoriated tungsten tips as well. . .and in large enough quantities it would create a problem for us when trying to get them out of the facility. . .we finally just made them only take one electrode in and store the rest outside with us and we would swap them out there if they needed an extra.
 

Chase 2

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There is also brown, 2% Lanthanated, which you can also use on both aluminum and steel. . .

. . .the amount of thorium in a tungsten electrode is ridiculously small. I used to be a radiological control technician in the nuclear industry. . .the drill guys would use a thoriated tungsten taped to the bottom of their shoe (or in their pocket, etc.) for drills. . .it was just enough to set off the scanners when you checked out of the facility but was such a small amount of radioactivity that it would take us 30-45 minutes of very careful scanning by hand to locate where the tungsten was. . .and that's after we already knew a rough area to check for it. . .it would have taken us hours to find a tungsten if we had to search an entire person for it!

The nuclear welders that go in and weld up the piping systems use thoriated tungsten tips as well. . .and in large enough quantities it would create a problem for us when trying to get them out of the facility. . .we finally just made them only take one electrode in and store the rest outside with us and we would swap them out there if they needed an extra.
++1000000

I really like the brown with aluminum, very stable arc and no splitting of the tip with high power settings on the thick stuff.
 

atomicjoe23

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On an interesting note. . .a normal size salt shaker filled with ionized salt (table salt) has more radioactivity in it than a thoriated tungsten tip! and so does a banana. . .oh yeah and a spinach salad. . .go figure!
 

mikeyfrombc

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some good info in here thanx guys
 

Brian Mapes

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The problem with the radioactivity in Thoriated tungsten is not in the tungsten but when you grind the tungsten to a point all of that dust that gets thrown around you breath in. It is not a big deal when it is in the tungsten and not being ground. That is why they recomend using some type of dust collection system or a repirator.

But as far as the quality or tungstens most that you buy at your local welding supply is made in china and will probably be fine for most anybody. There is also Sylvania brand which is made in USA and is very good stuff but very pricey. Diamond Ground Products also makes some really good tungsten and you can go to their website and get some good info and request free samples. I have used their cryo tungsten and the cryo process makes it very hard. It takes a little longer to sharpen the tip but once you do it stays sharp for 2 to 3 times as long as a non cryo treated piece. That is as long as you dont dip your tungsten in the puddle.
 

atomicjoe23

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The problem with the radioactivity in Thoriated tungsten is not in the tungsten but when you grind the tungsten to a point all of that dust that gets thrown around you breath in. It is not a big deal when it is in the tungsten and not being ground. That is why they recomend using some type of dust collection system or a repirator.

Just to put things into perpspective the amount of radioactivity in the thoriated tungstens is so negligible that it's not even really worth taking into consideration. . .even if you breathed the dust from grinding thoriated tungstens in several times a day every single day for 50 years straight it wouldn't be enough to pick up on a chest scan. . .so noone needs to stop using thoriated tungstens if that's what they like. . .I haven't really been able to tell the difference between the thoriated stuff and the lanthanated stuff, but I don't have near the experience of a lot of the welders in this forum.

BM. . .thanks for the note on those cryo tungstens. . .I might have to give them a try. You're full of good info. . .liked your post of the titanium plates and in the brass welding thread as well!
 

Brian Mapes

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BM. . .thanks for the note on those cryo tungstens. . .I might have to give them a try. You're full of good info. . .liked your post of the titanium plates and in the brass welding thread as well!

Haha Thanks
 
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