How to TIG Weld Stainless Steel

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TIG welding stainless steel is a very delicate process but can be done if the proper equipment and techniques are taken. This article will go over some of the basics to help you TIG weld stainless steel. If you're not sure how to do this, then you should read our blog post about How to TIG Weld Stainless Steel. It will give you everything that you need to know in order to get started.

What is TIG Welding Stainless Steel?

TIG welding is a type of shielded metal arc welding. It means that it’s often used for applications such as weldments in the automobile industry, or on stainless steel where high-current density and low heat input are required.

This specific type of weld uses inert gas to shield both the wire electrode (the filler metal) and the molten pool from atmospheric contamination.

If there's no need to be able to work with higher numbers of materials while still using techniques that require milder currents then flux-cored wires would be a good option; they're also easier because they don't have shielding gases so you can work with other materials that are in the air.

How to TIG Weld Stainless Steel?

One of the most popular welding processes on stainless steel is TIG. For this process, you can choose from a DC-only machine or an AC/DC machine in DC mode. If your current equipment cannot handle the high heat, then it’s time to invest in something that will do what you need.

Welders, get ready to learn a skill set that few people have. TIG welding stainless steel is an art form and it's time for you to master the process of doing so.

I'll show you a step-by-step process on How to TIG Weld Stainless Steel so you too will know all of the tips and tricks from this trade.


Clean and inspect the metal. Use a wire brush to remove any surface dirt or rust for a clean bead.


Grind the weld's joint edges before clamping them together. This removes any sharp edge for when you're ready to start welding, making sure that there are no metal fragments left on your workpiece after cleaning and grinding.


Clamp firmly but without over-tightening. Too much force can cause the weld to be weaker than the parent metal and can lead to your workpiece cracking or breaking while you move it in for welding. Loosen up on the clamping pressure if this occurs, as a too-tight grip will only make matters worse.


Fit rod into the collet. You want to have your filler wire cut as close to the size of the hole on an end of a collet, but not so small that it gets stuck in there when you try and pull it out for use.


Turn up amperage slowly until you see metal start running through the weld pool. Then turn down amperage until arc starts to form again. You want the right balance between too little filler wire and too much, so you don't risk either of those two things happening on your weld.


Back purge your job when welding is finished. This will help cool down your workpiece while keeping any oxidation at bay as well. Leave your shielding gas connected to a back purging system or aluminum foil as it helps cool down the weld further, and keep any discoloration at bay.


Let your project cool down before moving on to the next step - inspection. The best way is to let it cool in a quench tank of water for that extra boost of cooling heat sinks is also recommended, like this one. You don't want to leave your projects out in air-cooled form because they shrink excessively from the temperature difference between their hot state and room temperature (elevated heat causes them to grow). It's important you keep things cooled down as much as possible when dealing with stainless steel because if not, then you're prone to get some cracking.

Now that you know how to TIG weld stainless steel in seven easy steps, grab hold of that welder and get practicing.

Tips and tricks for your stainless steel TIG welding

TIG welding is a skill that seems easy but can be challenging to master. With the right rods, speed, and other tips you'll find your next TIG job turning out like it's supposed to-a a masterpiece.

Dive in with 09 essential tips for perfecting those welds we all need once our home projects are complete.

  1. You should be careful not to contaminate the material you are welding with ferrous materials. Keeping it clean is important in order for a TIG weld to form properly without creating an unwanted and unsightly mix of metal.
  2. Begin welding from the bottom of the joint, which ensures that any dirt and debris will be pushed out as you weld up to meet it.
  3. Use gas lenses or other methods of providing extra shielding as often as possible when performing this type of weld, especially if the stainless steel panel is large in size.
  4. TIG Pulse welding offers some benefits that may help reduce distortion, but only if your machine has pulse capabilities which many R-Tech TIG machines do have (ranging from 0.0–50 Hz).
  5. Replacing consumables such as electrodes and tungsten rods will also provide better results on stainless steel than using used ones.
  6. Use filler rods only in accordance with what type of metal are being used - don't try to TIG weld 304 grade stainless steel plate with 316 filler rod.
  7. Keep in mind not all joints need filler metal; if you're working on thin sheets (less than 0.25 inches) then your weld should not have any visible filler.
  8. If you are TIG welding a large stainless steel panel, take care to shield the weld as often as possible. This is necessary in order for it to form properly and not mix with other metals.
  9. Make sure that your torch has the appropriate duty cycle for the amperages being run at all times. Cutting corners can lead to improper results which will require additional work later on when correcting them may be difficult or even impossible.
  10. When performing any type of weld such as this one, make sure that you wait for the puddle to pool before introducing the filler rod so that heat input is controlled more effectively during the formation of molten metal coming into contact with each other once again.
  11. Pay attention to using consumables such as rods and electrodes that are appropriate for the stainless steel you will be working with. Doing so can help to provide better results than using used ones which may have contaminants or other issues from previous use on them.
  12. When performing a TIG weld, make sure your torch is set at the correct duty cycle in order to maintain control over heat input during the formation of molten metal coming into contact with each other once again. Cutting corners here can lead to improper welding and require additional work later on when correcting it might not be possible.

If you're trying out this type of welding due to home projects requiring perfecting welds, just keep these 09 tips handy and soon enough you'll find yourself able to produce masterpieces like the rest of us.


The TIG Welding Stainless Steel blog post series has been a great resource for aspiring welders. We hope you have enjoyed it and gained knowledge to help you with your next welding job, be it stainless steel or otherwise! As always, please feel free to contact us at any time if we can answer any questions about this process or anything else related to metal fabrication. Thank you again for following along as we've explored the world of TIG welding.


Do you TIG weld stainless on AC or DC?

DC TIG welding is the best option to use for Mild Steel/Stainless material and AC TIG welds work well on Aluminum. The DC current has three options of focus, one that's good with a metal connection, another for stainless steel connections like pipes or rods-or if you're working in a confined space where there isn't much room then go ahead and try out our third type which will be better suited for your needs.

What settings do I use to TIG weld stainless steel?

More experienced welder will likely want a TIG inverter capable of producing hundreds or thousands of pulses per second. Beginners should start by welding carbon steel with 100 PPS and work their way to 500 PPS when welding stainless steel.

How hard is it to TIG weld stainless steel?

Welding stainless steel is difficult because it retains heat and can lead to problems such as warping, embrittlement or rust. In fact, 5 amps will make the difference between a perfect weld and one that has been blued or burnt through.

Why welding of stainless steel is difficult?

Stainless steel is one of the most difficult metals to weld because it retains heat so well. This makes welding stainless a bit more challenging for novice welders: when faced with excessive heat, they can warp and even distort during the cooling process.

Can stainless steel be TIG welded?

Stainless steel is an excellent material for welding because it can be welded using three different processes, MIG, TIG, and Stick welding. Each process will produce a slightly different result on the metal but still, provide high-quality results.

Do you reverse polarity when TIG welding?

When welding carbon steel in field construction such as pipe installation, TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) often employs direct current electrode negative (DCEN), while stick and MIG processes use DCEP.

What should Argon be set at for TIG welding?

TIG welding is a type of welding that relies less on pressure and more on gas flow. To get an optimal weld, use between 15-25 CFH or 35 CFH for argon gas depending on what consumables you're using.

What current do you use to TIG weld stainless steel?

It's important to stick with the 'rule of amperages' when GTAW welding austenitic stainless steel. For every thousandth inch, use one amp and maintain steady travel speeds for better results.

Why are my stainless TIG welds dark?

Stainless steel has a tendency to bond really well with low heat as long as it is clean, but discoloration can occur due to the metal's oxidation. It may be because of argon shielding that leaves before the hot metal cools enough so there isn't any more oxidation.

What is the best welder for stainless steel

TIG Welding or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding is the most popular welding process for stainless steel because of its low heat input. Most traditional welding machines use this technique when working with thin material, so it's great for a variety of projects that require delicate handling.

Can I DC TIG weld stainless steel?

DC-only TIG welding machines are the best option for stainless steel. Some AC/DC models can be used with a DC mode, but they should have enough power to weld this type of metal.

What polarity is used for TIG welding stainless steel?

TIG welding steel, stainless steel, titanium, and Chromoly require DCEN. The opposite of Electrode Positive sticks welding which is a positive current or “Direct Current Electrode Negative” (DCEN), TIG welds with the use of negative currents due to its intricate nature for these materials.

Why is the welding of stainless steel difficult?

TIG welding method works best when the steel metal pieces to be joined are of the same thickness or the thickness vary slightly. When joining steel pieces of different thickness, TIG does not work well for the welder because it is not easy to properly regulate the high heat from the arc. Because of varying thickness, the thinner steel piece will melt entirely before the thick is melted enough. Some other metals such as aluminum mostly it is not possible to arc weld them.

Can Stainless be MIG welded?

Because stainless steel does not react best carbon dioxide or Oxygen, the high percentage of Argon in the gas mixture used in MIG welding is applied. The commonly used gas mixture is 2% Carbon Dioxide and 98% Argon. Some other combinations use a minimal amount of Oxygen added to Argon gas. Even though Oxygen causes defects on the welds, it helps when used in small percentages. When steel welding using MIG, the transfer type must be either spray transfer or globular. The arc achieves these types of transmission because of the high percentage of Argon gas used in the system. For thick steel, metal pieces spray transfer works best while for thinner steel pieces globular is recommended.

Can I use the mild steel wire to weld stainless steel?

Before welding steel, first, the thickness and the type of steel to be welded should be determined. The standard type of steel known to many people is mild steel which is utilized for almost all structural purposes and many other fields like in building chassis, automotive and many other areas. The mild steel wire can be used to weld stainless steel because the welds will be more durable, but the problem is that they rust quickly after welding. The best way to weld stainless steel is to use a reel of stainless wire and don’t forget to use Argon for shielding.

Can Aluminum be welded with MIG?

In the welding industry, Argon is the most preferred gas, generally because of its cost. However, when welding aluminum using MIG method, Argon must be 100% pure. When Argon is mixed with other gases when MIG aluminum welding, the gases will make the welds porous and the weld puddle is likely to have a fizzle on it. Argon is ideal for almost all kinds of aluminum thickness and does best in all positions. The type of transfer created is spray transfer. Sometimes Helium is added to the Argon gas in a blend structure. This is done to expand the curve temperature to permit better entrance. Argon without any gas works best. However, if you are welding thicker material and need a quicker creation rate, the Argon/Helium blend might be the best approach. Proficient welding includes the ability and experience. Genuinely broad information is required to turn into a specialist. Numerous long periods of introduction and aptitude are essential to ace the specialty of welding.

Last Updated on July 13, 2021 by weldinghubs

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