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An investigation into the mechanisms of active fluxes for TIG (A-TIG) welding

 

TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 604/1997

D S Howse, W Lucas and J D Russell

Activated fluxes that increased weld pool penetration of TIG welding (A-TIG fluxes) were first used in the late 1950s by the E O Paton Institute of Electric Welding in the former Soviet Union. Use of these fluxes reduces the need for edge preparations, and increases productivity due to reduction in the number of weld passes required to make a joint.

Background

These activated fluxes have been introduced recently to the West, and have generated a great deal of interest in how they can produce increased penetration in TIG welds. A number of mechanisms has been proposed to account for the observation that the arc is visibly constricted by a surface coating of flux. The concentrated arc energy may increase weld penetration through an arc or weld pool mechanism.

As yet, A-TIG flux technology has only been exploited in the West for TIG welding C-Mn and stainless steel grades. Activated flux technology may have much wider applications than these. A full understanding of the mechanisms at work is needed to exploit the process for other welding processes and materials.

Objective

  • To determine the primary mechanisms producing altered welding characteristics using A-TIG fluxes.

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