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thoriated tungsten electrodes

Original poster: "Mr Gregory Peters by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <s371034-at-student.uq.edu.au>

Hello all,

Regarding tungsten spark gap electrodes: Do thoriated electrodes work
noticeably better than regular tungsten? I'm just curious because my
11kV pig powered system chews up 4mm thoriated tungsten welding rod for
breakfast (no kidding). I don't need that radioactive dust floating
around. I think the reason my rods are eaten so quickly is because they
are quite long and can't conduct the heat away to the electrode supports
fast enough. I don't fancy rebuilding my RSG again however. I have been
reading some TIG welding brochures. Apparently, thoriated rods are best
for DC work and zirconiated rods are better for AC work. Wouldn't
zirconiated rods therefore be better for tesla coil work?


Greg Peters
Department of Earth Sciences,
University of Queensland, Australia
Phone: 0402 841 677