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Weld Zone 6

50 Ft (15 M) 50 Ft
(15 M)

5 2

If Required
by Codes
Ground All Building
Metal Objects 8
and All Wiring
in Welding Zone
Using #12 Awg 7


1. HF Source (Welding with Built-in HF 5. Water Pipes and Fixtures: 9. Windows and Doorways: Cover all
or Separate HF Unit): Ground metal Ground water pipes every 50 ft (15 m). windows and doorways with grounded
machine case, work output terminal, line copper screen of not more than 1/4-inch
disconnect device, input supply, and 6. External Power or Telephone Lines: (6.4-mm) mesh.
worktable. Locate HF source at least 50 ft (15 m)
away from power and phone lines. 10. Overhead Door Track: Ground the
2. Welding Zone and Center Point: track.
A circle 50 ft (15 m) from center point 7. Grounding Rod: Consult the National
between HF source and welding torch in all Electrical Code for specifications.
8. Metal Building Panel Bonding
3. Weld Output Cables: Keep cables short Methods: Bolt or weld building panels
and close together. together, install copper straps or braided
wire across seams, and ground frame.
4. Conduit Joint Bonding and
Grounding: Electrically join (bond) all con-
duit sections using copper straps or braided
wire. Ground conduit every 50 ft (15 m).

Fig. 18-26 An HF equipped power source, installed in compliance with the FCC.

systems, and certain medical devices. The federal govern up on the tungsten electrode, and the weld deposit is
ment, through the Federal Communications Commission cleaner.
(FCC) regulates any industrial or medical device that gen Better arc stability is obtained with a.c. sine
erates radio signals. Figure 1826 shows how a high fre waveand square wave machines at low current
quency equipped power source must be installed. settings.
A longer arc can be maintained for some applications,
Advantages of High Frequency (HF) such as surfacing and hard surfacing.
The arc may be started without touching the elec There is an increase in electrode life of almost
trode to the work. Thus, less contamination is picked 100percent.

Gas Tungsten Arc and Plasma Arc Welding Principles Chapter 18565
The use of wider current ranges for a specific diameter +
electrode is possible. Also, less current is required for Amps
a given weld.
It is easier to make all position welds. Time

Resolving Arc Starting Difficulties If

difficulties are encoun
tered especially when doing automatic welding, the fol Two Complete Cycles of A.C. with Electrode Positive
lowing points will prove helpful: Completely Rectified.

Use good quality tungsten. Fig. 18-27 Rectified or interrupted a.c. cycle.
Use good weld cables that are as short as possible.
Long cables should not be coiled up. Insulation must
current jumps the gap between the electrode and the
not be cracked or missing. HF is generated at several
workpiece. It helps break down the oxide film, thereby
thousand volts.
forming a path for the welding current to follow. Arc
Attach work cables as close to the work as possible;
stability can also be improved if the arc is not allowed
dont pass electric current through gears or bearings;
to dwell on the molten and highly cleaned weld pool. To
disconnect all printed circuit boards on any vehicle or
further improve arc stability, keep the arc moving and/
project being welded.
or add filler rod.
Remove any other cables attached to the welding
power source such as SMAW electrode leads.
Keep the torch power cable and connections from
touching any metal parts that may be connected to the
building ground.
Make sure all the connections are clean and tight.
Aluminum oxide is not a very good conductor.
Increase the HF intensity knob if available. +
Check the spark gap adjustment of the power source.
Use pure argon. Helium makes arc starting more
Concrete can bleed off the HF through the weld
cables. Insulate long runs of cable by placing them on
boards or other suitable forms of insulation.
Use the shortest torch possible. If a long distance from
the power source is required, use one of the add-on
HF units.
Use the smallest diameter tungsten for the amperage Fig. 18-28 Partial rectification as represented on an oscillo-
being used. scope. The positive half cycles have been clipped off. This clipping
is the result of partial rectification in the arc of a sine wave power
Arc Rectification with GTAW Moisture, oxides, and scale source. Source: Miller Electric Mfg. Co.
on the surface of the plate tend to prevent the flow
of current in the electrode positive direction. This is
called rectification. For example, if no current at all
flowed in the electrode positive direction, the current +
Primary Current (60 Hz)

wave would look like that shown in Fig.1827.

The arc would be unstable and sometimes even go out.
Figure 1828 shows partial rectification, which the welder
will notice as a change in the arc sound, weld pool agita
tion, and tungsten spitting due to overcurrent spikes. To
prevent this from happening, it is a common practice to
introduce into the welding current a high voltage, high High Frequency

frequency, low power, additional current. (Over 16,000 Hz)

Figure 1829 shows this high frequency current being Fig. 18-29 High frequency compared to low frequency a.c. sine
superimposed over the normal a.c. sine wave. This wave.

566Chapter 18Gas Tungsten Arc and Plasma Arc Welding Principles

Table 18-4 Current Selection for TIG Welding1

Alternating Current2 Direct Current

With High Frequency Electrode Electrode
Material Stabilization Negative Positive
Magnesium up to 18 in. thick 1 N.R. 2
Magnesium above 316 in. thick 1 N.R. N.R.
Magnesium castings 1 N.R. 2
Aluminum up to 32 in. thick
1 N.R. 2
Aluminum over 332 in. thick 1 N.R. N.R.
Aluminum castings 1 N.R. N.R.
Stainless steel 2 1 N.R.
Brass alloys 2 1 N.R.
Silicon copper N.R. 1 N.R.
Silver 2 1 N.R.
Hastelloy alloys 2 1 N.R.
Silver cladding 1 N.R. N.R.
Hard-facing 1 1 N.R.
Cast iron 2 1 N.R.
Low carbon steel, 0.0150.030 in. 2 1 N.R.
Low carbon steel, 0.0300.125 in. N.R. 3
1 N.R.
High carbon steel, 0.0150.030 in. 2 1 N.R.
High carbon steel, 0.030 in. and up 2 1 N.R.
Deoxidized copper 4
N.R. 1 N.R.

Key: 1. Excellent operation. 2. Good operation. N.R. Not recommended.


Where a.c. is recommended as a second choice, use about 25% higher current than is recommended for DCEN.

Do not use a.c. on tightly jigged part.


Use brazing flux or silicon bronze flux for 14-in. stock and thicker.

Current Selection for TIG Welding Table184 is a handy thin-gauge materials. Refer to Chapter 11, pages 279286,
guide as to the type of current that should be used for a for a detailed discussion of d.c. welding machines used for
given job. It also indicates the different kinds of metals both TIG and stick electrode welding.
that can be welded with the TIG process. The training
course, as outlined in Chapter19, Table19-15, page 614, Power Supplies for TIG Welding The common require
is limited to welding on mild steel, stainless steel, and ment of all a.c. TIG welding machines is that they produce
aluminum. After these have been mastered, other metals a constant current output and have arc starting and arc
may be welded easily. stabilization features. Standard a.c. welding transformers
cannot be used successfully for TIG welding without the
DC Power Sources for TIG WeldingFor d.c. welding addition of an HF unit. The open circuit voltage required
power, any standard engine-driven welding generator- to start current flowing is far above that supplied by the
alternator or transformer-rectifier with an adequate am ordinary a.c. transformer for noncontact starts.
perage capacity for the job may be used. It is important There are a.c. transformer power sources designed es
that the generator-alternator or transformer-rectifier pecially for the TIG welding process. They are equipped
have good current control at the lower end of its current with high frequency controls and gas and water solenoids
range. Arc stability is essential, particularly for welding and other current controls such as start and crater fill.

Gas Tungsten Arc and Plasma Arc Welding Principles Chapter 18567
Usually the power source has a switch with four arc
starting modes: (1) Off, (2) continuous, (3) start only,
and (4) lift arc. When used at the start only mode,
the high frequency is on when the foot control is de
pressed. It helps establish the arc and then shuts off
automatically. When continuous, the high frequency is
on as long as the foot pedal is depressed. In the lift arc
mode the power level is reduced while the tungsten is
shorted to the work. Most TIG power sources have a
control that varies the high frequency intensity. Expe
rienced TIG welders set this control for optimum arc
Many of these machines can be used for stick electrode,
TIG, TIG spot, and automatic welding. Figures 1830
through 1839 present various types of constant current
welding machines used for TIG welding. These ma
chines can be controlled by remote control, Figs. 1840
through 1843.
Fig. 18-30 A constant current a.c.-d.c. square wave power
Example of Machine Controls The following outline is source for TIG welding of various metals. It would be used in light
presented so that you can better understand the purpose industry or in vocational schools. Miller Electric Mfg. Co.
and function of each control on a typical combination gas
tungsten arc and shielded metal arc welding machine.
Proper setting of the controls is necessary to produce
sound welds of good appearance. Figure 1834, page 570, A. Capabilities
illustrates the listed controls. 1. Both TIG and stick electrode welding.
Transformer-Rectifier A.C.-D.C. Arc Welding Solid-State 2. Ability to join all ferrous and nonferrous alloys
Machine This example of an a.c.-d.c. transformer-rectifier that can be arc welded.
solid-state-controlled machine has square wave output from 5
to 310 amperes and the following functions.

Main PC Board

Cooling Fans

HF Circuit
Transformer- Note: HF coupling
Stabilizer coil is located
Assembly behind the front
panel of the power
source. See left
side view.
HF Intensity
Secondary Gas HF Coupling Rectifier Primary Terminal HF Transformer HF Capacitor
Connection Coil Assembly Assembly

Fig. 18-31 (A) Right side view of the interior construction. (B) Left side view of the interior construction. Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

568Chapter 18Gas Tungsten Arc and Plasma Arc Welding Principles

200 Volts 230 Volts 400 Volts 1. Jumper Link Label: Check label inside
your unitonly one label is on unit.

L L L L L L Only make connections for the voltages

shown on the label inside your unit.
Do not make connections for any other
220 Volts 480 Volts 575 Volts 2
2. Jumper Links: Make jumper links to
match input voltage.
3. Input and Grounding Connections

220 Volts 380 Volts 435 Volts 4. Line Disconnect Device

Reinstall side panel.

Special installation may be required
where gasoline or volatile liquids are
presentsee NEC article 911 or CEC
260 Volts 380 Volts 520 Volts section 20.


Connect GND/PE
Conductor First

Earth Ground

3.1 (U)

1.2 (V)

Fig. 18-32 Primary terminal hookup and linkage for a typical welding machine.

3. Current range of 5 to 310 amperes, a.c. and d.c., 8. Optional pulse control to reduce heat input and
weld material from gauge metal through heavy distortion.
plate thickness. 9. Optional sequencer for mechanized control of
4. Elimination of tungsten spitting and arc rectifi initial amperage and time and also final amper
cation (melting of electrode tip). age and final slope as well as spot time.
5. Balance control for adjustable penetration and 10. Digital ammeters and voltmeters for viewing of
cleaning action for better TIG arc performance actual and preset values for greater accuracy and
and dig control for stick welding penetration and repeatable welding procedures for alternating or
spatter control. direct current.
6. Last procedure recall, which automatically resets 11. Fan on demand reduces maintenance by
operations selected based on polarity switch. reducing the amount of airborne particles
7. Optional remote hand or foot amperage controls pulled into the machine; it also reduces power
for finer resolution and cratering out. consumption.

Gas Tungsten Arc and Plasma Arc Welding Principles Chapter 18569
Fig. 18-35 This machine is recommended for pipe w elding and
other precision-type welding. It can be used for manual or automatic
Fig. 18-33 This power supply is portable, with coolant system welding and for gas tungsten arc or shielded arc w elding. It has a
and foot remote control. Miller Electric Mfg. Co. single output from 3 to 400 a mperes. Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

Amps Panel Start Mode Off

Amps Remote Lift Arc
Output HF Start Only
Trigger Hold HF Continuous
Remote Voltmeter

Ammeter Background Amps

Pulser On/Off Pulses per Second
Peak Time %

Stick SMAW

Initial Time
TIG GTAW Final Slope
Selector Buttons Spot Time

Preflow Final Amps

Initial Amps

Amperage Input
Adjusting Knob Information

Power On/Off Output


A.C./D.C. Polarity Switch and Process Memory Control

Fig. 18-34 Close-up of the operating panel of the welder shown in Fig. 18-33. Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

570Chapter 18Gas Tungsten Arc and Plasma Arc Welding Principles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16 Fig. 18-36 Control panel for ma-
chine shown in Fig. 18-34. Note pre-
Stick Panel
On Off V c

40 60

80 2
4 6

8 20
40 60

flow, pulser, and sequencer controls
Lift Arc
Off 0
%A 100
HZ 10
%1 95
for automatic applications.

Start A t

Bkgnd Amps Pulse Freq. Peak Time
t Top row of lights in upper left corner
are on for SMAW. Bottom row are on
14 14 6 9 6 9
Tig Remote Remote Cont.
3 12 3 12
Process Current Output Start Mode

11 0
S 15
S 15 for GTAW. 1.Process control, 2.Cur-
rent control, 3.Output control, 4.Start
Start Time Crater

Spot Time Start Crater Time
Balanced 11 12 A A

mode button, 5.Voltmeter, 6.Amme-

Welding 4 6 4 6 18 27 Start/
240 Crater
3 160 40 60

12 8 2 8 9 36

S 10
S 50 A

Spot 4T

ter, 7.Amperage adjustment control,
8.Output selector switch, 9.Power
Max Max
Clearance Penetration A 400 %A 100
Balance/DIG Preflow Time Postflow Time Amperage Adjust Start Current Sequence Selection Final Current

10 Power ducuuddfsdf
switch push buttons
Off On
Warning: ducuuddfsdf
dfs ddsd fdsfdiddfs dfdfsfs dk
Use buttons to turn unit off and
on. 10.Postflow time control, 11.Pre-
lfd ffdffsd fcfdsffjfsjfjf jdjidsj
dfsfifjdjidsj jdjidsj
udfefd dvdfjd md jdj idsj
dfsfifjdjidsj jdjidsj jdjidsj jidsj

flow time control, 12.Balance/DIG

udfefd dvdfjd

Electrode + Electrode Pulse Controls: 13. Pulser on/off
Negative Positive
switch, 14. Background amperage
control, 15. Pulses frequency control,
16. Peak time control, 17. Sequence
controls (optional), 18. High fre-
Fitted Output
ducuu uu uu
dfs d
lfd ffdffsd
udfefd dvdfjd md jdj idsj
quency control. Source: Miller Electric
ducuu dfs dlfd ffdffsd dfsfifjdji udfefd dvdfjd
md jdj idsj dfsfifjdji udf fs dlfd ffd fs dlfd ffd
fs dlfd ffdducuu dfs dl ducuu dfs dl Mfg. Co.
Do Not Switch Under Load USA


Fig. 18-37 A 375-ampere a.c.-d.c., constant current transformer with solid-state controls and
square wave output. This machine can be used for a.c.-d.c. TIG and a.c.-d.c. stick electrode welding.
Note the accessories and the cart with built-in water cooler. Lincoln Electric

Gas Tungsten Arc and Plasma Arc Welding Principles Chapter 18571