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If you are an amateur TIG welder who has undertaken a project working with Alloy 20 pipes, you're probably already aware that Alloy 20 is corrosion-resistant, which makes it desirable for a number of purposes. However, if you've never worked with this alloy before, it's important that you keep the following in your mind so that your welding process is efficient and the resulting welds are strong.
Don't Use Argon Alone
As someone working with a TIG (tungsten inert--gas) welder, you may use argon as the inert gas which shields the weld environment from oxygen, which can affect the strength of the resulting weld. However, when working with a thicker metal such as Alloy 20, it is a better idea to work with a gas that allows for greater thermal conductivity, such as helium. This makes for quicker welding. You may opt to use a combination of argon and helium for cost and availability purposes, as helium can be harder to find in some areas and sometimes more costly.
Use a Large Gas Lens
One of the mistakes that many amateur welders make is that they tend to use small gas lens to have a smaller, more concentrated gas flow. This can be a mistake; instead, use a larger gas lens that allows you to control more of the environment and keep more oxygen out of your weld. As a result, you'll notice a cleaner, stronger weld with fewer air bubbles.
Avoid Turning the Current Up Too High
Because Alloy 20 is thick and can sometimes be a challenge to cut through, even if you're using a helium and argon mixture, you might feel compelled to increase the tungsten current and apply higher temperatures in order to cut pipes more quickly. This can be a problem because Alloy 20 is an alloy; this means that it is not purely one metal. Alloy 20 is mostly made from nickel, but contains copper, chromium, iron and molybdenum. When some of these components turn to liquid as a result of too much heat, they may evaporate slightly. When that happens, the alloy is no longer as strong as it once was; its chemical makeup has been altered. That can affect the effectiveness and life of the pipe over time.
To ensure that the alloy maintains its strength, keep the tungsten current as low as possible when cutting the pipe.
These are just some of the tips that might help you with welding Alloy 20 pipes. If you want to know more about Alloy 20, its properties and how best to effectively weld this material, consult local professional welders, such as at Midbrook Factory-For-Hire, who may show you some techniques and critique your work. They can also help you to complete your project, if necessary.