Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is one of the most popular and efficient welding techniques in use today. It uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create an arc that melts the base metal and filler material used to join two metals together. The filler material acts like a glue, bonding the metals together to create a strong and durable joint.

It’s commonly believed that TIG welding was invented during World War II by Russell Meredith in 1939 while working at Northrop Aircraft Corporation, California. However, this isn’t entirely true as TIG welding has its roots dating back over 100 years ago.

The History of Welding

The History of Welding

Welding itself can be traced back thousands of years when ancient civilizations discovered how heating up metal could fuse two pieces together. They would heat up metals using anything from fire pits to bellows made from animal skins or water wheels.

During the Industrial Revolution, innovations were made as new technologies allowed for better equipment. One of these innovations included gas flames being produced through acetylene torches ignited by friction sparks which allowed for more controlled welds.

In 1881, C.L Coffin patented an early form of electric arc welding -the first modern electrical process whereby electricity is passed through an electrode that creates an electrical arc between it and the base metal- which led to increased industrial production within factories across America with lower labor costs than traditional forge methods.

Inventor Max Goldschmidt also developed what he called ‘gas shielded metallization,’ roughly around 1900-1910 using abrasive blasting technology described later on. Argon gas shielding had been known since about 1895 via Englishman Lord Rayleigh who experimented with gases among other things before his life as experimental physicist after early fame solving mathematical problems later contributing key discoveries including sound waves; ironically known for having atrocious handwriting making notation undecipherable even amidst fellow scientists.

Early Development Of TIG Welding

Early Development Of TIG Welding

Without the benefit of modern-day industrial complexes to produce specialized equipment, tungsten electrodes were developed by German metallurgists in the early 1900s such as Dr. Elmar Stotzel and Engelbert Zercon.

Stotzel devised a method for producing pure tungsten filaments used in lightbulb manufacturing which was around 99%+ pure through electrolytic methods while Zercon attempted using Gaseous Electrode-Based Technologies (GEBT) fashioned after such techniques used by German Physicist Walter Schottky during World War I to create vacuum tubes, resulting in argon gas being ionized creating an electrical arc with very high temperatures which would be impossible without gas shielding effects allowing higher melt-in rates.

However, it wasn’t until the late 1920s that welding techniques began incorporating inert gases such as helium and argon. Apparatuses were also developed that could controlthe quantity of gas emitted while welding.

In fact, Russian physicist P.B Lazarus experimented with Helium at Harvard University at this time later developing a semi-continuous thermionic emitter method applied against electric arcs later on.
Then,in The U.S during this time,C.L.Coffin held patents for two decades between his arc patent in 1898;and his current patent filed on June 30th1904 covering Thermo-Electric Arc Method (“Red” Carbon Electrodes),with continuous development seeking better quality lasting years after its filing

The Invention of TIG Welding

It was American inventor Jessie Coffin who’s credited with inventing modern-day TIG welding which he called “Heliarc,”a combination of the words helion (another name for hydrogen from Ancient Greek meaning sunlight) and arc ‘.At first,Jessie searched for ways to maximize penetration depth so initial versions lacked good control over welds due thinner temperature inputs.

Later year around 1934, helium was replaced with argon because of its higher density and better arc stability.In fact, Helium having been experimented with by Russian physicist P.B Lazarus in Harvard University and sold commercially alongside oxygen cutting equipment by Union Carbide Corp along their patented “Pressure Jet” process finally succumbed to economic reasons sooner than helium;forcing increase usage of it thereby improving developmental progress.

In 1940,Jessie Coffin sold the rights for Heliarc to Union Carbide Corporation, which later acquired Welding Service Company which Jesse founded,allowing researchers onsite access immediately afterwards allowing immense utility.

Immediate Advantages Of TIG

Tungsten Inert Gas welding technique offered several advantages over previously existing types including deeper weld penetration while producing less smoke;and also the ability to weld a wide array of metals together such as stainless steel,magnesium alloys,and aluminum being popular choices among others.

The technique nowadays is used widely across numerous applications from construction workers to those creating high-end tanks for industrial standards.


Tungsten Inert Gas welding has an interesting history,it had its roots dating back more than a century and went through years-long development. American inventor Jessie Coffin’s invention of modern-day TIG welding revolutionised industrial manufacturing capabilities—the technology made possible more efficient techniques such as cleaner welds with highest quality possible paving way for future advancements like Electron Beam Welding (EBW) .

Regardless,TIG welding became firmly established in industries within days after inception providing what was at that time unmatched levels precision shared across an ever expanding global market until present day- becoming amongst most common types used today!