How Hot Is Tig Welding?

TIG welding is arc welding process that operates at high temperatures of 6,000 degrees over Fahrenheit Scale to melt and heat metals.

Tig welding, especially compared to MIG/MAG or stick, has a relatively low heat input. That’s part of why it’s so nice to work with! However, when you’re doing thin sheet metal work or detail work that requires the wire to go in and out of the puddle a lot, you’ll end up with noticeable heat buildup in your hand after a few minutes.

Temperature

The temperature rating for most glove materials used for tig welding is 2000 degrees Fahrenheit (1093 Celsius). As we know from our high school science classes, there are three ways to measure temperature: How Hot Is Tig WeldingFahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin. You’ve probably already noticed that 2000 degrees Fahrenheit is lower than 1093 Celsius. That’s because the temperature scales are offset from one another! It takes approximately twice as much heat to increase the temperature of a kilogram of water by 1 degree in the Celsius scale than it does in the Fahrenheit scale, so 2000 degrees Fahrenheit (1093 Celsius) works out to 3416 Kelvin.

It wasn’t until fairly recently that I learned about how these scales relate – thanks for asking! Here we go: 0 K = -273.15 C = -459.67 F

So if we want to figure out how much power our tig welding process generates at 3416 Kelvin, we can do some simple mathematics:v 3416 K = (3416 + 273.15) C = 3579.15 C.

How much Hot Is Tig Welding?

Power

Power (in watts) = Temperature change (in degrees Celsius x 100) / 45 seconds, or:

Power (Watts) = temperature change (Celsius x 100) / 45 seconds

This makes sense because an increase in temperature of 100C takes approximately 45 seconds to achieve under normal atmospheric pressures. This leads us to the next question: How much power will we need to accomplish this? Let’s take a look at some common tig welding metals and their melting temperatures: Steel – 1510 C Aluminum – 660 C Brass – 900 C Copper – 1085 C Nickel – 1455 C Tin – 232 C Zinc – 420 C Cobalt – 1410 C And some common tig welding current ratings:

Here we can see that a 24 amp tig torch would be enough to heat the steel rod quickly, but it’s not enough for the nickel. However, with 42 amps on a 24 volt system we could get both to molten in about 45 seconds each. So what about thicker rods? The ones that are less likely to melt in 45 seconds (if they even do)? For example let’s take a look at some common base metals and their melting temperatures: Granite – 632 C Limestone – 1305 C Marble – 773 C Quartzite – 977 C Basalt – 1652 C Now let’s look at some common base metal current settings and the time it takes to melt each: Granite – 24 amps x 24 volts = 576 watts in 45 seconds Limestone – 42 amps x 24 volts = 1056 watts in 45 seconds Marble – 62.5 amps x 24 volts = 1512.5 watts in 50 seconds Quartzite – 92 amps x 24 volts = 1922.4 watts in 55 seconds Basalt – 184 amps x 24 volts = 4356 watts in 90 seconds So even with the least powerful of common base metals, it only takes 100-140 amps or so to heat it up and melt it quickly, which is a lot less than what you would think (2000+ watt ceramic element anyone?).

When facing heat or flame, a lot of people would think that the welding current must be really high to produce enough heat. But in reality, tig welding generally uses relatively low currents. The main benefits are greater control over the amount of heat and faster starts and stops (less duty cycle).

So even with the least powerful of common base metals, it only takes 100-140 amps or so to heat it up and melt it quickly, which is a lot less than what you would think (2000+ watt ceramic element anyone?). When facing heat or flame, a lot of people would think that the welding current must be really high to produce enough heat. But in reality, tig welding generally uses relatively low. The main benefits are greater control over the amount of heat and faster starts and stops (less duty cycle).

So even with the least powerful of common base metals, it only takes 100-140 amps or so to heat it up and melt it quickly, which is a lot less than what you would think (2000+ watt ceramic element anyone?).

Tig Welding Different From Arc Welding

The tig welding process is very different from arc welding. For one thing, when you touch metal in an arc welder, you get a very violent explosion. In fact, this happens every time you try to start up any kind of welding equipment – stick, TIG, or MIG. The reason is that people generally don’t realize that metal conducts electricity as well as light. This means that if your electrode touches the metal you want to weld, and the wire is on at full power, there will be a massive short circuit that causes a spark. When it’s starting up, an arc welder pulls far too much current from your wall or generator to handle safely for more than an instant without blowing out your fuses before tripping your breakers (or worse).

For tig welding on the other hand, we don’t rely on an electric arc between our workpiece and our electrode to heat it up enough for fusion.

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