You can weld gold using specialized techniques like pulse arc welding, laser welding, or resistance welding. These processes provide localized heat, reducing the risk of melting and deformation. Gold welding is primarily used in the jewelry and electronics industries for delicate, precise, high-quality joints.
TIG welding gives you precise and resilient gold welds without costing a lot. Yet, TIG welding is technique-sensitive, despite the advantages.
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TIG Welding Gold
You can weld gold with welding techniques like TIG, MIG, and laser. TIG welding is the most suited for gold.
High Precision and Quality
TIG welding has maintained its reputation as one of the most precise techniques. The weld puddle control is easy to use, so you can get precise welding by controlling heat input.
Plus, you can weld tiny thin gold pieces with the help of micro-TIG welds.
Micro TIG welds work by reducing the current to 5-300 amps. This low current gives you more precise welds with minimal thermal damage.
Welders like to use micro TIG to weld tiny spots (about 0.25 mm) on thin gold.
Spatter—the molten metal that splashes during welding—doesn’t occur with TIG welds. This is because you don’t necessarily need fillers for TIG welding.
Further, you put the fillers inside the welding puddle when you want them, which helps prevent spattering.
Before you try TIG welding for gold, you must set up the equipment first.
Here’s what you’ll need:
TIG Welder Machine
Pulse functionality is the most important feature in TIG welders if you frequently weld thin gold material.
TIG welder machines that have pulse functionality work in a way similar to micro TIG. The pulse function lets you control the amp output, which is great for precise welding.
So, whether you want to weld thick or thin gold pieces, you can do both.
Another feature I recommend is getting an inverter TIG machine that automatically changes AC to DC.
Standard welders usually use high AC voltage (220 V), while most households use a voltage of 110 V. So, you’ll need to use a transformer with standard welders.
So, save yourself from many headaches by getting an inverter TIG machine. The machine will help you save on power consumption too.
- Powerful Capable of Welding up to 3/8 inch Stainless Steel
- Almost Non-Existent Spatter and Post-Weld Cleanup
- Dual Voltage Input - 110V/230V
- 13 ft Torch Cable
- AC/DC TIG Welder
- Can Weld Up to 1/2 Inch Steel
- 12 ft Torch
- Complicated User Interface
Shielding gas protects the molten metal from getting damaged by preventing exposure to atmospheric gases. I recommend using pure argon as a shielding gas.
Pure argon gives the most precise welds compared to pure helium or mixed argon/helium. This precision is exactly what you want when you weld gold.
To choose the right welding torch, ask yourself the amp type you’ll use for welding. If it’s a thick gold piece, the amp should be high, and vice versa.
Get a micro-torch for the thin, delicate gold pieces and another normal-sized torch for the thicker ones.
Picking the right electrode size mainly depends on the amp setting you’ll use.
I recommend getting a pure tungsten electrode with a diameter of 1.6 mm for low amp settings. Pick a standard-sized 2.4 mm electrode for thick gold metal welding as well.
Laser Welding Gold
Laser welders are another excellent option for welding gold. Their accuracy and precision are superior even to TIG welds.
There’s a catch, though: laser welds are very expensive.
How pricey, you’re wondering? I’m talking about $10,000 upfront. Add in the laser accessories and materials—about $3,600—and you’ll need to pay $13,600.
So, laser welders aren’t a popular choice for welding gold.
Step-by-Step Guide To TIG Weld Gold
You might find TIG welding for gold difficult at first, but it’s worth it once you get the hang of it.
Here are the general instructions you need to follow:
- Insert a Tungsten electrode into the collet, but make the electrode’s tip pointy beforehand.
- Set the settings according to the thickness of the gold. Remember, low amp settings for thin gold, and vice versa.
- Turn on the shielding gas.
- Clean the metal and prepare the welding table.
- Wear your PPE.
- Hold the electrode and weld the metal.
- Finally, if you’re using fillers, draw a bead.
Mistakes to Avoid When TIG Welding Gold
TIG welding is an excellent choice for its precision and cleanliness, but mastering this method involves a steep learning curve if you’re a beginner.
So, here are the common TIG welding mistakes to avoid:
Not Cleaning Gold Before Welding
TIG welders rarely spatter, as I mentioned earlier. Yet, if you don’t thoroughly clean the gold metal from dirt and other contaminants, you’ll get lots of spatter.
Lack of Shielding Gas
Before you get used to the TIG welder, you may forget to turn on the shielding gas or don’t add enough of it. These things will end up contaminating the gold. So, make sure to check the gas flow rate.
Generally, a flow rate of 20 cubic feet per hour works well with gold and other metals. If you set the gas flow higher than that, you’ll have an unstable arc and poor weld precision.
Weld craters are thin, almost-cracked sections when molten metal isn’t enough to fill a cavity.
You get weld craters when you suddenly reduce the current and cool down the weld too quickly. Slowly reduce the welding power to avoid this issue.
If you were wondering, “Can you weld gold?” The answer is yes! TIG welding gold will give you precise and spatter-free pieces.
All you need to get started is a TIG welder, a micro-torch, shielding gas, and electrodes. Just follow the safety precautions discussed above to ensure a safe and successful welding job.