Stainless steel is a steel alloy that contains chromium–which gives the metal that shine that it is prized for. Also, stainless steel does not rust or corrode as easily as carbon steel, another property which makes it a popular metal for many TIG welding applications from industrial equipment, food processing, aerospace, and automotive.
Stainless can be tricky to weld, but as with most TIG Welding applications, a lot of practice, attention to details and procedure, will have you welding like a pro in no time.
How to TIG weld stainless steel
First, you’ll want to watch your heat. Basic rule of thumb is that you’ll need 1 amp of welding current for every thousandth of an inch of material thickness. You’ll also want to keep your weld speed up, and maintain good gas coverage.
You’ll hear us repeat this often: use a gas lens! The gas lens collet body replaces the standard collet body in your TIG torch. It is comprised of a series of layered screens engineered to distribute the gas (generally argon) over the weld zone in a more coherent fashion for better coverage with less turbulence. It is one of the best ways to get the most out of your TIG welding torch, and why we install gas lenses on our PRO TIG torch packages.
Check out this video playlist: TIG Welding Stainless Steel
It covers more details on the properties of stainless steel, machine settings and safety gear, putting your TIG torch together, selecting the proper gas flow, and more tips for getting a quality TIG weld on your stainless projects.