[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: thoriated tungsten electrodes

Original poster: "Dave Leddon by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <leddon-at-attbi-dot-com>

Interesting observation.  Thorium oxide is added to tungsten welding rods
to improve arc initiation and to increase the arc stability, both
undesirable conditions when trying to minimize the duration of the arc. So
maybe plain tungsten might be the better choice for a rotary gap.  As to
the hazards of thoriated tungsten rod, almost no release of radioactive
material occurs during arcing, but real hazards exist during grinding as
inhaled dust can cause long term damage.


At 11:33 AM 5/25/02 -0600, you wrote:
>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