TIG Welding is a manual welding process that requires the welder to use two hands to weld. What separates TIG welding from most other welding processes is the way the arc is created and how the filler metal is added! When TIG Welding one hand is used for holding the TIG torch that produces the arc and the other hand is to add the filler metal to the weld joint. Because two hands are required to weld; TIG welding is the most difficult of the processes to learn, but at the same time is the most versatile when it comes to different metals. This process is slow but when done right it produces the highest quality weld! TIG welding is mostly used for critical weld joints, welding metals other than common steel, and where precise, small welds are needed.

Knowing alternative names and abbreviations for TIG welding is important for anyone who is interested in getting a job as a TIG welder. Many companies may use alternative names when placing ads in the classifieds. Sometimes they may use alternative name on a written test to test your knowledge of the welding process. Besides that the alternative name means something to the process. As of today TIG welding is the slang term that is widely accepted and used. TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas Welding.

TIG welding’s proper name is Gas Tungsten Arc Welding or “GTAW”. This is the name the American Welding Society and other welding organizations refer to this process on their welding procedures. GTAW is also the abbreviation that welding engineers use to specify the welding process that is to be used on blue prints. On top of that; when working on high pressure piping you could get sent home for a few days for not using proper terminology!

When TIG welding was introduced around the 1940’s Helium gas was the primary shielding gas used in process. The term Heliarc welding was the common phrase used back in the day and now is a registered trademark “GENUINE HELIARC”, from what I know, it now owned by ESAB welding equipment! Why would this matter when you are job hunting or working in a shop? Most old timers and veteran welder’s refer to TIG welding as Heliarc welding. I learned this very early on when I started to weld. I did not know Heliarc was also TIG welding! I thought when I went to welding school TIG welding was a new process I was going to learn. Wrong! Just like my former boss called the refrigerator the “ice box”, they are both the same thing. When someone reefers to TIG welding as heliarc, it’s pretty safe to assume either they have a lot of experience, or apprenticed under a journeyman welder who has been around.