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Proper Grinding and Cutting Techniques

Proper Tungsten preparation is a key variable in the quality of your welding. Even the best welding equipment can not overcome the effects of a badly prepared and contaminated electrode. Properly ground electrodes reduce or eliminate arc wander, splitting, shedding, welding quality inconsistencies and scrap of expensive parts. The general statement from the American Welding Society in the A5.12 standard on this subject is:

The electrode should be properly cut and ground tapered by following the equipment supplier's suggested procedures. Breaking for severing an electrode is not recommended since it may cause a jagged end or a bent electrode, which usually results in a poorly shaped arc and excessive electrode heating.

In addition to these general guidelines, Pro-Fusion offers the following recommendations:

  • Always use a dedicated Tungsten grinder. Grinding electrodes on regular shop equipment or grinding other materials on tungsten grinders leads to contamination of the electrode and reduced welding performance. In addition, dedicated grinder allow for geometry measurement for testing and for maintaining consistency of preparation according to established procedures.
  • Grind longitudinally and concentrically so that the lines on the ground surface move in the same direction as the electrode and the electrode has no flat spots. Grinding crosswise causes arc wander and risk inclusions in some applications.
  • Since tungsten is a very hard material, grinding wheels should be made of diamond or borazon.
  • Electrodes should be cut using a cutting wheel where possible. Notching and breaking or using pliers to snap electrodes can cause splintering in the electrode that is difficult to see and can create a weld defect.
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