Tungsten rod application is in a wide variety of very-high-heat products and processes, including thermal conductors; stirring bars for smelting; heavy hammers; fasteners; and especially welding electrodes.
Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding
There are scores of welding methods for different metals and purposes, each with different specifications for equipment, pressure, and heat.
Tungsten Inert Gas, (TIG) welding, also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), first became popular in the 1940s because of its ability to join magnesium and aluminum. It was largely responsible for aluminum’s rise in structural applications where high-quality welding was essential.
It’s also different than types of welding that use a carbonate-silica flux to shield the welding area from oxygen and other atmospheric gases. Flux drops into the welding area, forming a byproduct “slag” that hardens and usually requires grinding, hammering, or chipping away after cooling.
In TIG welding, the electrodes and weld pool are instead protected from oxygen contamination by a shield of inert gas, such as argon or helium (when helium is used, the process is known as Heliarc welding.) The result is slag-free welds that have the same corrosion properties as the parent metal but don’t require grinding, hammering, or chipping away hardened slag left after gas or manual metal arc welding.
Another significant advantage of tungsten electrodes is their ability to withstand incredibly high temperatures without melting away. A tungsten electrode with 2% thorium, for example, reaches a temperature near (but not over) the melting point of tungsten, 3,410 °C. Only a negligible amount of tungsten is consumed during each welding session.
Stirring Bars For Rear-earth Smelting
Tungsten stirring bars used in the production of rare earth metals by molten salt electrolysis must be able to withstand extremely high temperatures and to resist chemical erosion. Tungsten rod application for this purpose is impressive due to its high melting point and very stable chemical properties in working temperatures below 1400 °C. Compared with graphite, for example, tungsten rod has a lower consumption rate and higher erosion resistance to the electrolyte.
Tungsten contact is a popular component cut from forged tungsten rods. It is a common tungsten rod application in high voltage and frequency switching operations such as circuit breakers, high voltage switches, and arcing contacts. Tungsten contact has a low surface evaporation rate, excellent arc resistance, and efficient electrical and thermal conductivity. The typical size of tungsten contacts is 2-6 mm in diameter with a maximum of 0.6 mm in thickness.
CHEMETAL USA is a leading tungsten supplier and manufacturer worldwide. Please check our tungsten rod to learn more about tungsten rod products.