Thoriated (Red) Tungsten Electrode
AWS A5.12 : EWTh-2
General Properties and Application Areas
Preferred for their longevity and ease of use, 2% thoriated tungsten electrodes are the most commonly used electrodes today. They contain a minimum of 97.30% tungsten and 1.70% to 2.20% thorium, and they have an AWS classification of EWTh-2.
These electrodes offer good arc starts and provide a higher current-carrying capacity than many other types. 2% thoriated tungsten also operates far below its melting temperature, which results in a considerably lower rate of consumption, minimizes arc wandering and lessens instances of weld contamination. These electrodes can be used for AC welding, and they are exceptional for DC electrode negative (straight polarity) on carbon and stainless steel, nickel and titanium applications.
During manufacturing, thorium is evenly dispersed throughout the electrode. This evenness allows the electrode to maintain a sharpened edge the ideal electrode shape for welding thin steel. Sharpening the electrode’s point, however, should be done with great care. Thoriated tungsten contains low levels of radioactivity. Therefore, operators must always follow manufacture’s warnings, instructions, and the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for its use.
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