The materials you need for your TIG (or any other kind) of welder can quickly become overwhelming. From the type of machine to even the welding gas. Before you race out and buy a little bit of every size of tungsten electrodes take a quick look at the 2% Lanthanated Tungsten uses first.
Why? Well, you might just find that this tungsten can almost be universal and cover just about any need.
Keep reading to take a deeper look.
What Are Lanthanated Tuingstens Used For?
Lanthanated tungsten can be used for all of the DC welding applications with excellent arc stability at low amperages while maintaining its sharp point well and minimal burn rate in high amperage situations.
2% lanthanated tungstens can also be used in the AC frequency to weld aluminum while providing a very nice arc and a low burn-off rate of the electrode. They are a mix of the best qualities between ceriated electrodes and thoriated tungsten for DC and zirconiated for AC.
2% Lanthanated Tungsten Uses
If you were to purchase a variety of tungsten options, you would find that you need a variety of types and sizes. This list could get pretty long and expensive. What we’ve found is that a 2% Lanthanated Tungsten will just about do it all, which means you only need one variety.
Using a 2% Lanthanated tungsten could potentially replace every other tungsten in your toolbox. You can improve your welding for both AC and DC. The point stays sharp, which can be incredibly helpful if you are welding stainless steel or mild steel.
Some electrodes have limitations between AC and DC or can only be used in certain ways. For example, thoriated tungsten cannot be used in AC welding but lanthanated tungsten can be used for AC and DC, with few limitations, if any.
Lanthanated tungsten allows you to start and maintain your arc at lower voltage levels. At the same time, you can upsurge the current by up to 50% for any electrode size that you might use.
The lanthanated electrode is made with oxide lanthanum, which provides the electrode with the proper balance between the evaporation of oxide as well as oxide migration and overall function.
This design gives the Lanthanated Tungsten optimal stability, life, arc, and versatility. You’re far less likely to have to deal with contamination in the weld from the electrode mixing metals. Lanthanated Tungsten also has zero radioactive hazard levels, which is a major plus.
To answer the question, what are the uses for lanthanated tungsten? The answer is everything! This has quickly become one of the most popular electrode choices, with 2% being the recommended weight for most uses.
Lanthanated Tungsten Color
Lanthanated tungsten can be color-coded blue or gold, depending on whether you use 1.5% or 2%. We recommend 2% as it is the best in blue.
When we recommend 2% because it is far more versatile than 1.5%. They are both great options but you should know and understand the limitations of 1.5%.
Lanthanated tungsten gold is 1.5% and you can tell a pretty substantial difference in the usage and capabilities. This particular electrode is not suitable for AC while 2% can be used for both AC and DC so keep that in mind.
Gold is a combination of tungsten and lanthanum with the lanthanum being anywhere between 1.3 and 1.7%. It’s typically referred to as 1.5% lanthanated for this reason. The arc is stable and easy to initiate.
If you’re going to use lanthanated tungsten, you might as well use 2% Lanthanated tungsten because it is far more versatile and reliable overall. Blue is made with tungsten and lanthanum with lanthanum being at 2%, giving it the name 2% lanthanated tungsten.
2% (blue) can be used with both AC and DC. It has a simple arc for startup and warming up and can be used with both AC and DC with no issues.
2% lanthanated tungsten can handle a high amount of amps and has been tested to beat even thoriated at the same level.
This is the electrode that does it all so you don’t need multiple Tungsten sizes and blends in your toolbox.
There is one downside and that is simply that it doesn’t always break cleanly. So if you have a short back cap and are wanting to snap a new electrode in half it won’t be like thoriated tungsten that you may be used to.
You may need to cut or score it with a grinder in order to break it well but that’s a pretty simple move and doesn’t negate the capabilities.
You can use blue lanthanated tungsten as an all-purpose option with a variety of metals, including nickel alloys, aluminum, cobalt, copper, carbon steels, and titanium.
Lanthanated Tungsten Vs. Thoriated
2% thoriated tungsten has long been seen as a popular option for high DC amperage. There are not a lot of options that are compatible with DC, particularly with high amps. We tested lanthanated against thoriated and found that lanthanated was ALWAYS just as good as thoriated and sometimes actually even better.
2% thoriated tungsten has always been a popular choice because it has the tenacity and versatility to be used with almost any metal. Thoriated electrodes can be used with aluminum and magnesium as well as steel and a host of other materials. But it it will perform better o tinner material.
On the other hand, lanthanated tungsten can also be used for all of these materials with similar or even improved results. The primary difference is that thoriated tungsten still puts off some radiation levels while lanthanated tungsten does not.
2% lanthanated tungsten measures up in all of the ways that 2% thoriated tungsten has always stood apart – conductivity, high amp usage, carrying a current, easy to start, versatile with materials, and more.
Overall, 2% lanthanated tungsten is similar in strength and characteristics to thoriated tungsten. It can hold its point, it’s stable, and it’s great for both high and low voltage arc starts and welding. It also can handle both AC and DC.
Lanthanated Tungsten Vs. Zirconated Tungsten
Zirconated tungsten typically is 99% tungsten and only have a very small percentage (usually less than 1%) of zirconium in them. They are color-coded brown or white and really don’t measure up to lanthanated tungsten at all. Zirconated tungsten may be more comparable to gold (1.5%) lanthanated tungsten.
Zirconated tungsten is certainly not a bad option, it has just more limitations in comparison to lanthanated. The zirconated tungsten has a stable and steady arc that has very little tungsten spitting to it. It is most compatible with AC welding.
With old technology, zirconated tungsten was always one of the best options for AC/DC sine wave machines but that’s no longer the case. With new technology and the new inverter setup in these machines, lanthanated tungsten really stands above zirconated tungsten.
Best Tungsten for Welding Aluminum
When it comes down to it, 2% Lanthanated tungsten is really the best tungsten to use for welding aluminum. Thoriated is also good but it has more limitations and produces radiation while lanthanated tungsten does not.
We recommend lanthanated tungsten as the best tungsten for welding aluminum and just about any other metal as well.
When To Use Lanthanated Tungsten
In conclusion, here are some straightforward guidelines for 2% lanthanated tungsten uses. It is the multi-purpose tungsten that can ultimately replace all other types and sizes of electrodes in your toolbox.
You can use 3/32 for regular materials but if you are using thin materials, we recommend sticking with 1/16 or something even thinner.
It’s time to stop having a mess of options that you can only use here and there and try out the versatility and functionality of lanthanated tungsten.