Gas-Shielded Tungsten-Arc Welding
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Gas-shielded tungsten-arc welding (called ‘T.I.G.’, ‘tungsteninert-gas’, or ‘Άrgon-arc’) is a fusion process that uses a virtually non-consumable electrode in a completely inert gas shield. The metal tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals, at 3410 °C. (Although it is often called nonconsumable, this is not strictly true since it does gradually erode away in the arc.) The only alternative material is carbon which, although it does not melt, is dissipated comparatively rapidly in an arc, even if an inert-gas shield is used. In addition, carbon electrodes of small diameter are extremely fragile.
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