Travel Speed Tip for TIG Welding Stainless Steel
Travel Speed is often overlooked as a key factor in TIG welding stainless steel
Cup size, gas lenses, Chill blocks, and argon flow rates all have a great affect on the quality and appearance of stainless tig welds but one often overlooked factor is travel speed.
The reason is that stainless steel is not as thermally conductive as carbon steel.
What that means to a welder is that heat builds up more quickly if you stay in one spot too long or travel too slowly.
Sometimes, simply getting the puddle started quickly and getting going makes a big difference.
And while Stainless generally requires only around 2/3 the amperage as carbon steels, that does Not mean welding it slow and cold.
Use enough amperage to get the puddle started within 2 seconds and get moving.
If you are having trouble with dull grey stainless welds, follow these down and dirty tips:
- make sure the metal is clean and free from tape adhesive etc....by wiping with acetone before welding
- also wipe filler wire with acetone
- use a gas lens with a #10 or #12 cup ( a #12 clear cup was used in this video)
- Set argon flow rate to around 2-3 cfh per cup size ( 25cfh was used in video)
- get puddle established and moving within 2 seconds
- Try to use a travel speed that fast enough to out run the heat
And if you really want to up your game on stainless, do yourself a favor and order one of our TIG Arsenal kits.
Travel speed is hard to calculate with manual tig welding but if you will notice in the video, filler wire is added about once every second and each dab of filler wire happens about every 1/8" or so.
That calculates to approximately one inch every 8 seconds...
60 seconds divided by 8 = 7.5
so the travel speed used in the video was around 7.5 inches per minute.