How to "Correctly" Grind, Cut & Prepare Tungsten Welding Electrodes (11 pages)


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“The Tungsten Electrode Experts”

2550 Azurite Circle Newbury Park, CA 91320 PH: 805.498.3837 FX: 805.498.9347 Web:



The tungsten electrode used in gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is a consumable. It serves merely as
the terminal for the electric arc which produces the heat needed to join the base metal being welded.
Filler metal may sometimes be added to the weld pool, depending on base metal thickness, joint design
and weld characteristics desired.

The shape of the tungsten electrode tip is an important process variable in GTA welding. Tungsten
electrode geometry has an affect on the arc shape (thereby affecting the weld bead size and shape), the
weld penetration, and point longevity of the electrode. The electrode’s geometry is thus a welding variable
that should be monitored during weld procedure development. In addition, proper electrode grinding
procedures and equipment should be used in order to ensure that electrodes are dimensionally correct.
Finally, different tungsten materials pose different characteristics in arc start ability, electrode life, and
contamination resistance. This makes the selection of the proper material for your application an
important variable in welding performance. The proper preparation of your electrodes in each of these
areas will provide the benefits of consistent welding with optimum performance.

This booklet is written to provide the Manufacturing Engineer a general reference for selecting the most
appropriate tungsten material and emphasizes the importance of a correctly prepared, ground and cut
tungsten electrode.

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