How Long Do TIG Welding Consumables Last?
Posted: June 4, 2019 By: MattM
If you’re just getting into TIG welding it can be a daunting (and expensive) skill to learn. For starters there are more parts, more coordination needed, “special” (100% Argon) Shielding Gas, more expensive consumables, etc. We decided to give a run down of how long your TIG parts and consumables will last.
- TIG Torch- The Torch itself should last many years if used correctly and no accidents occur. The most common causes we’ve found for Torch replacement is accidental pinched, ripped, or cut gas lines. We’ve also seen torch bodies broken from being run over in a shop by a vehicle. It’s best practice to always hang your torch over the side of the welding cart in between using it. TIG torches are specific to the machine you’re using.
- Collet and Collet Body- The collet and collet body are internal parts of the TIG torch and help hold the tungsten, transfer the electrical current to the Tungsten, and also disperse the shielding gas. These usually don’t go bad often if they’re standard parts (a gas lens collet body can have the screen damaged or clogged more quickly). Occasionally we’ve seen the collet crushed from over tightening the back cap or torch cup. Both of those parts need to be snug but do not need major force when tightening everything down. You can get replacement TIG collets and collet bodies in our TIG consumable kits.
- TIG Gas Cups- Standard Ceramic Gas Cups are quite durable and really won’t go bad if care for. We’ve found that the most common damage to the cups is dropping the torch or it swinging against a work bench and shattering the cup. If you’re cup cracks or falls apart after welding you may have insufficient shielding gas flow and the torch is overheating causing the cup to break. We suggest keeping a couple extra cups of each size on hand to be sure you’re not stuck with a broken cup.
- Filler Rod- TIG Welding Filler Rod is the most consumable part of the TIG welding process. Filler rod will be used up as quick as you need it when welding. There isn’t a set amount each job takes but you may go through several tubes of filler rod to a bottle of Argon.
- Argon- 100% Argon is the most common shielding gas when TIG welding and consumption will be based off of your gas flow. We suggest running your Argon flow around 10-15 CFM for most common welding jobs. Depending on your gas cup / lens or the welding job you may need to up the flow rate and will use more gas. To avoid any chance of gas loss we suggest always closing your gas bottle when the welder isn’t on. A leaky fitting or bottle can cause a slow leak that can waste expensive shielding gas.
Hopefully this tech article gave you some insight into the common TIG welding consumables and what to expect for consumption. To find all of our TIG welding supplies you can visit our site HERE.