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Long story short I have a tig that I've been practicing on for a little bit but cant seem to produce proper coloured welds, curious if anyone have any input.

I'm welding up a SS304 3" round tubing (16ga), using 2% lanthanted electrode with 65 Amps, using a #12 cup with my argon flow set at about 20+/-.  I dont have the tools to purge the inside of the tubing so I'm coating it in Solar Flux "b".

My issue is whenever I weld the stainless it 95% of the time turns a grey color, after I'm done welding I leave the tig torch hovering over the welded area so it stays cover in argon. Is this just to much heat? I've tried lowering the amps but I seem to get the same results. I've attached a picture of one of my welds where I joined 16ga SS tubing welded to SS exhaust flange.



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7 hours ago, Exposed said:

@Geno750 That looks really good, do you find its easier to get good colouring and a good bead on thicker peices? What are your settings and what type of electrode are you using?



I'm using a 3/32 tungsten. I haven't really welded anything really thick yet so I can't say. I'd imagine thicker stuff is easier with the right settings. I think I did that piece at 60 amps

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  • 1 month later...

Really late to the party, but I've been watching a lot more on the how to's. 


Apparently the grey can happen more readily if you have a non advantageous gas coverage. So welding the same thickness material people will find welding the inside of a pipe will weld with better color and less greying because the gas stays in the curvature, while welding on the outside the gas falls away more quickly.  More gas was a recommendation, but this is from a complete newbie so take it with about a bucket of salt.



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I too just now saw this post....


The most common problem for beginning TIG welders is overheating the part by moving too slowly and "heat sinking" it.  This is particularly an issue when welding thin stainless.  It takes very little time for this to happen, and you wind up with grey welds that have lost their stainless properties, I think primarily from the chromium cooking out.


It is sort of a balancing act between using enough heat to quickly get a weld puddle, then promptly getting moving so the part is not overheated.  I saw a video on "Welding Tips and Tricks" where he did some tests with TIG welding, and the amount of heat absorbed by the parts being welded had far more to do with the speed of travel than with the heat settings on the welder.


When I welded my first stainless exhaust....I simply did not have the experience/skill to move the puddle fast enough and was overheating all my welds.  I finally managed to come up with a workaround, just clamping thick copper pieces to the parts to serve as heat sinks.  That buys you a bit of time, but really it is an issue of just needing more practice.

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  • 3 months later...

Bit late to the party, but what size filler are you using? The only way to keep the heat low enough on thin stainless is to use thin filler, like 0.040" or less. If you can't find it, MIG wire works in a jam. I snip off a couple feet, put one end in the vice and chuck the other into a drill put some tension on it and spin it until it breaks. Than stick it back in the drill and turn it the opposite way until it breaks and then you should have nice straight length of filler for TIG. 

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