5 Best Tungsten Electrodes for Aluminum
5 Best Tungsten Electrodes for Aluminum
5 (100%) 2 vote[s]
MTS Tungsten Electrode WL20
Performs Well In AC & DC Applications
For Aluminum, Nickel, Copper Alloys, Stainless Steel
ANSI And AWS Standards
MTS Tungsten Electrode WT20
For Welding Copper, Nickel And Titanium Alloys
Famous For Their Reliable Arc-Striking, Low Burn-Off Rate
ANSI And AWS Standards
Tungsten Electrode EWLa2
TIG Welding Tungsten Electrode 2% Lanthanated
They Perform Exceptionally Well In AC&DC Applications
AWS A5.12M/A5.12:2009
Tungsten Electrodes Pure Tungsten WP
For Welding Magnesium Alloys And Aluminum Alloys
Premium EWP 99.95% Pure Tungsten Rods For TIG Welding
Materials Safety Data Sheet
Genssi Tungsten Electrode WL20
TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes. 2.0% Lanthanated
For Welding Steel, Stainless Steel And 4130 Tubing
ANSI/AWS Spec A5.12 EWLa-2

Choose the Best Tungsten Electrode for Aluminum

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Tungsten Electrodes for Aluminum

11 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

90.91% of users selected MTS Tungsten Electrode WL20, 0% selected MTS Tungsten Electrode WT20, 0% selected Tungsten Electrode EWLa2, 9.09% selected Tungsten Electrodes Pure Tungsten WP and 0% selected GENSSI Tungsten Electrode WL20. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

Tungsten as a term comes from the Swedish word “tung sten”. It means “heavy stone”.  The element can be found in the minerals scheelite, huebnerite, wolframite, and ferberite. It is extracted from minerals by decreasing tungsten oxide with carbon or hydrogen.

Once obtained, tungsten is often blended into alloys. Diamonds are used to form the toughest alloys. Only diamonds are softer than other tungsten alloys.

Why should you choose tungsten? 

Tungsten is regarded as one of nature’s hardest elements. It is very thick and almost difficult to melt. Tungsten is a silver-white metal that. Being ground into a fine powder, this metal is combustible. Also, it may spontaneously ignite. There are 5 stable isotopes and 21 unstable isotopes of natural tungsten.

Tungsten is applied in a variety of applications due to its high strength and durability. It is extremely corrosion resistant and has the highest melting point and tensile strength of any element. However, it gains power when combined with other elements to form compounds. Tungsten is a very delicate metal. 

Its heat resistance is advantageous when used as a heating element in spacecraft applications, electrical furnaces, welding, and other high-temperature uses. For this purpose, it was often used in the manufacture of various forms of lighting.

Tungsten does not have the luster of gold. It has the density (within 0.36 percent) that ensures that if you sprinkle a tungsten brick with gold.

Properties of aluminum welding with tungsten electrodes 

Tungsten Inert Gas (the short is TIG) in the specific aluminum welding is the process of delivering current to the welding arc using a non-consumable tungsten electrode.

The fact that you would use both hands when welding is what most people find difficult with this method of welding. However, the endeavor is worthwhile because the end product is outstanding, excellent, and visually appealing welds.

TIG welding relies on precision and professionalism. You will improve the efficiency of your welding by using the best TIG welding tungsten electrode form.

Below, the experts recommend the best tungsten electrodes recommended for aluminum welding. Read the comparison table, buying guide and product reviews. 

Midwest Tungsten 2% Lanthanated Electrodes 10-Pack – the best for wide application!

Rust-Oleum 248637 Stops Rust Metallic Spray PaintMidwest lanthanated electrodes are common due to the ease with which an arc can be struck and the lower amperage needed. These electrodes achieve the best arc efficiency when adhering to ANSI and AWS requirements, with consistent arc-striking and a minimal burn-off rate.

Midwest 2 percent Lantanated Blue electrodes are ideal for welding titanium, magnesium, aluminum, nickel, copper, low-alloyed steel, and stainless steel in both AC and DC applications.

There is a size difference. If you choose to use thin aluminum, you would use the 18-inch size. If you need a thinner one, there are 0.040”, 1/16”, and 3/32” sizes usable.

Pros

Pros
  • Certified by the American Welding Society;
  • The high-frequency arc start;
  • Cost-effective;
  • Great performance for AC and DC applications;
  • Durable;
  • Low rate of burning off;
  • Versatile;

Cons

Cons
  • Different consistency in a batch;
  • May erode while welding aluminum;
  • Rods may splinter when you break off the bits;
  • May break when sharpening;

These electrodes are common with those who weld regularly or as a hobby due to their flexibility and durability. In reality, they can be used to weld not only aluminum but also mild steel and specific metal alloys.


Midwest Tungsten Electrodes 2% Thoriated – the best for the price!

Rust-Oleum 248637 Stops Rust Metallic Spray PaintThese MTS electrodes are extremely efficient. This electrode’s arc stability is excellent (when fully grounded), and there is no balling after many minutes of use. Since the manufacturer is concerned with consumer loyalty, they will notify you after you purchase the product to ensure that it works properly. Midwest Tungsten Service deals in tungsten electrodes and keeps their rates down.

It is safe to use for welding copper, nickel and titanium alloys, and stainless steel. Midwest 2 percent thoriated electrodes are well-known for the low burn-off rate, consistent arc-striking, and longevity while meeting ANSI and AWS requirements.

Pros

Pros
  • Stability for melted metals;
  • Budget-friendly;
  • Good customer service;
  • Free materials safety data sheets;

Cons

Cons
  • May split easily;
  • Damaged packages are possible;

The Midwest tungsten electrode assists in arc stabilization and directs heat to the puddle. This makes for consistent welding without inclusions when making custom parts. These are simple to mill and do not ball.


Yeswelder Tungsten Electrode 2% Lanthanated – the best for quick sparking!

Yeswelder TIG Welding Tungsten 2 percent lanthanated 10 premium grade electrodes to avoid oxidation, these are delivered in a vacuum-sealed container, much like the thoriated electrodes. The electrodes have all of the required certifications.

There are 5 sets of 1/16 inch electrodes and 5 pieces of 3/32 inch electrodes.

These electrodes spark up easily, provide strong arc durability, and maintain a pointed tip for a long period. They conveniently split apart and grind. That is what you ever require from an electrode. This is a high-quality electrode at a low cost.

Pros

Pros
  • Great vacuum-sealed package;
  • Breaks off quickly;
  • Great arc stability;
  • Can be preserved for a long time;
  • No oxidation;

Cons

Cons
  • The quality is average;

The electrodes are common due to the ease with which an arc can be struck and the lower amperage needed. They work admirably in both AC and DC applications.


Midwest Electrodes Pure Tungsten – the best for AC welding!

These Midwest TIG welding electrodes are green-colored pure tungsten electrodes recommended for aluminum welding. If you’re aiming for the best usage electrode, this is the one for you. This is ideal for strong arc stability in an AC sine wave. This pure electrode would mostly be useful for aluminum and magnesium alloys.

It is mostly used for AC welding. Since there aren’t enough arcs in DC. They are 7 inches long. The price is relatively lower than that of other alloys, but it is almost the same. It is not toxic, compared to thoriated tungsten. As a result, it is not as dangerous.

Pros

Pros
  • Made in the United States;
  • Budget-friendly;
  • Less radioactive than other types;
  • The burn-off is low;
  • Awesome arc stability in AC welding;

Cons

Cons
  • Limited compatibility with metals;
  • Doesn’t fit for all types of DC current;
  • Not enough arcs in DC;

These MTW tungsten electrodes are well-known for their excellent conductivity, longevity, and efficiency. They work well in alternating current applications and are ideal for welding magnesium and aluminum alloy.


GENSSI Tungsten Electrode Blue WL20 – the best for long service!

The Genssi TIG tungsten electrodes are high-quality tungsten electrodes. They are specifically built for TIG welding aluminum. They are durable electrodes with a good concentric ground finish.

Since these electrodes are extremely durable, they can have a steady arc all the way around, resulting in smooth, spatter-free welds. The Genssi electrodes are 2% lanthanated and are ideal for welding aluminum. Also, you may use it for welding stainless steel, carbon steel, and mild steel.

Above everything, this machine is cost-effective – you won’t have to split the bank.

Pros

Pros
  • Affordable;
  • Long service;
  • Good arc production;
  • Suitable for DC and AC;
  • Premium product;
  • Full duty cycle at lowered amperage;

Cons

Cons
  • Only one size;
  • Not very versatile;

If you’re hunting for the right tungsten for aluminum welding electrodes that can accommodate both AC and DC uses, the Genssi electrodes are the way to go.


The Buyer’s Guide

Uses

Welding, or arc welding, is one of the most popular applications for tungsten. When welding, consumers can use the tungsten that is ideally suited to their technique, as well as a material such as tungsten for aluminum or stainless steel. They can also be familiar with the application of tungsten on top of aluminum.

Aside from welding, this kind of electrode is commonly used in the lighting industry. They can also be seen on the TV tube. The capacity to tolerate very high temperatures is one of these electrodes’ distinguishing features. As a result, they are often seen in X-ray either.

Color-coding

Tungsten electrodes can be distinguished from one another by their distinct color, among other factors:

1) Blue

The 2 percent Lanthanated blue color denotes a general purpose electrode for AC and DC current power sources dependent on inverters or transformers. Low-alloyed steels, non-corroding steels, aluminum, magnesium, titanium, nickel and copper alloys are all suitable for these electrodes. Arc stability is excellent. They offer the medium to high amperage range along with decreased erosion rate.

2) Green

This color represents pure tungsten. Furthermore, these electrodes have the largest concentration of tungsten. They contain 99.5 percent tungsten, to be precise. That is why they are among the most popular electrodes for TIG welding. However, it is not recommended for DC welding. Pure tungsten electrodes perform extremely well for arc welding.

3) Orange

They are commonly referred to as ceriated tungsten electrodes because they have a considerably lower percentage of tungsten, 97.3 percent. Aside from this element, they contain 2.2 percent cerium. These electrodes are more useful for DC welding, as opposed to green electrodes.

4) Red

The color red is synonymous with thoriated electrodes. It is fair to assume that these are the most often employed electrodes. One explanation for this is the various beneficial characteristics they exhibit. To start, users may weld both DC and AC with them. Because of the low rate of burial, they would be less polluted when doing so. Having said that, they are user-friendly, easy to use, and long-lasting. These electrodes are constructed of 1.7 percent thorium (which gives them their name) and 97.3 percent tungsten.

5) Gold 

TIG welding aluminum with gold lanthanated electrodes is possible in both AC and DC environments. Depending on the mission, they may be balled or sharpened. 1.5 percent Lanthanated tungsten electrodes have consistent arc starts while still maintaining a smooth and steady arc throughout. Since they have no radioactive materials, many welding professionals choose them as a substitute for thoriated electrodes due to their longevity and flexibility.

6) Brown 

A natural mix of brown zirconiated electrodes of 99.10 percent tungsten and 0.15 to 0.40 percent zirconium. The key characteristics that everybody searches for are a stable arc and defense from tungsten spitting. It has a balled tip that can be used for AC welding. Contamination won’t probably occur in the presence of strong resistance activity. If there is no time constraint, you should even try it for DC welding.

7) Gray 

Rare Earth gray tungsten electrodes produce several oxide combinations in one location. The percentage of every oxide is mentioned in the package. As a consequence, depending on the ratio of the additive, you’ll get varying effects. Check for the additive forms and percentages to see how they will operate a reliable arc in both AC and DC welding. Rare Earth electrodes have a higher life cycle than thoriated tungsten electrodes. Otherwise, they’re useful for reducing tungsten spitting.

8) Purple

The Rare Earth Mix purple electrodes are a suitable replacement for the 2% thoriated (red) electrodes. This can work during the most demanding welding application because they are quick and accurate arc-striking, durable, and highly robust. Aluminum, magnesium, titanium, nickel and copper alloys, non-corrosive steels and low-alloyed steels are all excellent candidates.

9) White

The 0.8 percent white zirconiated electrodes are well-known for their exceptionally robust arc, strong resistance to contamination and tungsten splitting. Ideally suited for arc welding. For magnesium and aluminum alloys, they may accommodate higher amp speeds.

The color coding is determined by the chemical structure of these electrodes, and every has its own set of applications, laws, and benefits. The electrodes mentioned above can be applied for TIG welding aluminum.

AC and DC compatibility:

  • 2% thoriated red electrodes for DC only;
  • 2% ceriated orange tungsten electrodes for AC only;
  • 2% lanthanated blue tungsten electrodes for both DC and AC;
  • 1.5% lanthanated gold – both for DC and AC;
  • Pure green tungsten for DC only;

Never apply pure tungsten electrodes on alternating current because pure tungsten will ball up, particularly if an inverter is used. Every welder has a favorite kind of tungsten; some choose thoriated tungsten, whereas others choose pure tungsten. Whichever choice you choose, it will all function flawlessly as long as you have the proper settings and program.

Size

When buying tungsten electrodes, most welders make a mistake with this element. The form and size of the electrodes present on the market vary. Whether this is to account for the consternation felt by many welders.

Nonetheless, the general recommendation is to consider using very tiny electrodes. This is because they always result in a sloppy welding technique.

When using somewhat elevated temperatures, the minimum suggested size is about 1/8 inch. If you’re into AC welding, the size will go up to 3/32 inches, making it one of the biggest categories of electrodes in terms of tungsten content for aluminum.

Lanthanated vs thoriated tungsten electrodes for aluminum

You don’t have to worry twice about it; lanthanated electrode is much superior for a plethora of reasons. But don’t get us wrong: we’re not saying the thoriated tungsten electrode is totally useless; it has benefits over the lanthanated electrode as well.

Lanthanated electrodes can accommodate more amperage than any other electrode available on the market. As a result, they are the most used tungsten electrode for heavy-duty uses.

Lanthanated electrodes often display no differences in terms of welding machine type; they are consistent with TIG welding machines. Lanthanated electrodes need the least voltage to be broken down, making arc formation very simple.

Finally, lanthanated electrodes are not toxic, unlike thoriated tungsten and other alloys.

Most metal collectors would inform you that the Blue 2 percent Lanthanated Tungsten Electrode is the best tungsten.

It’s also worth noting that ceriated electrodes aren’t ideal for TIG welding at high amps. Because heat will induce differences in the electrode structure. At lower temperatures, this method of welding electrode is widely used for pipe fabrication, welding thin metals, and small, specific sections.

FAQ

What is the best tungsten type for aluminum welding?

Aluminum is used in three thicknesses: medium, dense, and mid-thick. Aluminum may be weld fluently by a skilled hand using the proper welder unit. To work with aluminum compounds, you’ll require pure tungsten electrodes. So, for aluminum and magnesium, use green electrodes. Green electrodes are ineffective for DC welding. They are unable to generate deep arcs like ceriated or thoriated electrodes.

Can tungsten trigger allergy? 

It is determined by the state of your skin’s wellbeing. There is no issue and no reason to be concerned if you have good skin. However, if the skin is too sensitive, it can cause irritation.

Can you apply the purple tungsten electrodes for aluminum welding? 

Yes, you can. Even if this color isn’t one of the top three most common, that doesn’t imply it’s ineffective. On the opposite, these electrodes are picked for a wide range of metals, from aluminum and steel. You may also use it for welding carbon, titanium, copper, and everything in between.

Useful Video: How to choose the correct Tungsten for TIG Welding

Final thoughts 

TIG welding aluminum with tungsten has shown to be positive. It is appropriate for both domestic and industrial use. Although each tungsten electrode has advantages and disadvantages, the 2% lanthanated tungsten electrode is one of the better tungsten for aluminum welding. Although most welders choose this electrode because it is durable and offers a great stable arc for a nice and clean weld, some choose it for other purposes.


Hello! I'm a James Miller, and I'm an expert in materials science. I learned different metal properties in the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and I know everything about all kinds of metal. That's why I want to share my experience with you.

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