How to Pick the Right TIG Welding Cup
Kevin answers a viewer's question about TIG cups (even if he can't resist talking about OTHER cups). The cup is a ceramic attachment that goes on the end of the TIG torch that directs the argon gas onto the weld. The cups come in many different sizes. They are numbered - the smaller the number, the smaller the opening. There also are different sizes for different types of torches, such as a water cooled torch or an air cooled torch. There is also something called a gas lens that has a wire mesh inside that helps smooth out the gas flow. The regular type of cup allows a little bit of turbulence, like the turbulence behind a car. With a gas lens, the gas is filtered and smoother, more even, straight and uniform as it comes out, providing better coverage over a bigger area. The gas lens can help when you're welding in a corner as well as helping when welding aluminum and stainless steel. Kevin explains that he doesn't use gas lenses much because they're so big. Fortunately, he found a gas lens for his water cooled torch that is a lot smaller. He shows his water cooled torch and his air, or gas, cooled torch, and shows how they differ and how they accept different gas lenses. Kevin then talks about how to select the right TIG welding cup. He points out that you can get closer with a smaller cup. The gas pressure and flow rate is still the same on the gas coming out of the TIG welder's' bottle, but just like a garden hose, when the opening is small, you can get more pressure. So you can get more welding gas pressure with a smaller cup, but also you get more turbulence. So you can turn your flow rate down, or you can use a gas lens to smooth out the turbulence with better coverage so you can save gas. He then discusses what the TIG cups are made of. The pink cups, which are the most common, are made out of alumina oxide. There are also brown ones made of lava and glass ones that are Pyrex. So how do you know when you need to use a different cup? He usually knows when he needs to get into a tight spot he might need a different TIG welding cup. But when you get porosity in your weld, you may be using too small of a cup and not getting enough gas coverage, so you may want to switch to a bigger cup. Kevin says it takes a lot of experience to figure out what to use when.
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