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HFT welcomes safer tungsten electrodes

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World Pipelines,

Tungsten is a rare metallic element that is used for manufacturing gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) electrodes. These electrodes are available in a range of sizes and lengths and are made up of either pure tungsten or an alloy of tungsten and other rare earth elements and oxides.

HFT welcomes safer tungsten electrodes

Choosing an electrode depends on the base material type and thickness, along with whether you weld with alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).

Each electrode is colour coded at the tip to eliminate confusion over its type. Unlike the red-tipped thoriated tungsten electrode, which contain 2% thoria, Huntingdon Fusion Techniques’ (HFT®) blue-tipped MultiStrike® Tungsten electrodes contain a mix of non-radioactive rare earth elements. This is meant to eliminate the risk to health that thoriated tungsten electrodes pose.

MultiStrike electrodes can be used for welding aluminium with the AC process, as well as steels and alloys with the DC process. This allows the welder to have just one type of tungsten electrode to weld all materials and reduce the amount of stocks and purchasing requisitions.

Other tungsten electrodes work at higher temperatures so their oxide additions (mostly radioactive) burn out or evaporate much faster than non-radioactive ingredients in MultiStrike, so much so that they give at least 10 times more arc striking capacity of other tungsten electrodes when tested under the same conditions.

With most tungsten electrodes still containing radioactive and carcinogenic 2% thorium oxide, MultiStrike provides the TIG and Plasma welder with a safe alternative.

Each packet comes with a traceability number to ensure that companies with quality control procedures have traceability over another aspect of their joining processes.

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