Sparks While TIGing?

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ctardi
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Sparks While TIGing?

Post by ctardi » Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:15 pm

I was noticing a few sparks while I was tig welding, does this mean the metals are too dirty?
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Harold_V
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Post by Harold_V » Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:35 am

I have very limited experience, and am far from considering myself a weldor, but I would think that, yes, the metals are too dirty, or you are using the wrong filler material. Coat hanger, for example, doesn't work for TIG, unlike torch welding. Please post what you do to correct the problem so we can benefit from your experience.

Harold

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Ries
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Post by Ries » Tue Nov 01, 2005 2:52 pm

Sparks when tig welding usually means something is wrong.
Sometimes stuff with zinc in it will spark- this wasnt galvanized by any chance, was it?
Tig welding galvanized, or some bronzes that have zinc in them, will result in sparks and sputters, porosity in the weld, and nasty white smoke that makes you sick.
Tig welding with gas welding filler rod will also sometimes make sparks.
Just plain dirt, oil, or mill scale shouldnt spark. Might make a messy weld, or smoke, but not spark.
Loose ground wire in the ground clamp can also cause this sometimes.

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Lee
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Post by Lee » Tue Nov 01, 2005 4:05 pm

Ries is right. Dirty or oily metal won't cause sparking, it will usually just smell really bad and/or may leave evidence of contamination in the form of a "discolored" residue along the weld line. Zinc is the main cause for sparking. I run across this in mild steel quite frequently, and isn't a big deal unless you are getting porosity in your welds. If you are, there are a couple things you can do. 1. Try turning the heat up a bit and laying the tig rod right on the path of the weld, then just "run over" it with your torch. Give a slight side to side weave to help burn it in(*). 2. Switch to a different type tig rod. If the weld doesn't have to have tons of strength, Silicon Bronze is excellent at combating this. I used to use it all the time for welding cold roll to galvanized. No popping, sparking, white fuzzy stuff, no nothin'. But as I said, it doesn't have the strength of mild steel. I still use it occasionally, and have it in my rod arsenal.



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Mike_W
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Post by Mike_W » Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:34 am

I have seen that before when using rusty filler metal.

ctardi
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Post by ctardi » Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:57 pm

I think it's because i have the filler wire that has a coating on it. It is TIG, but is weird...
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orphan68
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Post by orphan68 » Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:50 pm

The tig rod with the coating is contaminating the weld. Use some scotch bright to take off the coating and things will be better. You can use alcohol to clean the rods when you are ready to weld. THis will help keep it from contaminating. Check your gas line too. Sometines it will get pinched and restrict flow and you won't know it. But it really seems like the rod is the problem. Eventhough they are made for tig, the coating should be removed.

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