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The common problems about Thoriated tungsten electrodes

Views:38     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2017-10-31      Origin:Site

  When customers talk about Thoriated tungsten electrodes, it always refers to many problem. The following is the common problems about Thoriated tungsten electrodes.

  What are Thoriated Tungsten Electrodes?

  Thoriated tungsten electrodes (WT10  tungsten electrode, WT20 tungsten electrode, WT30 tungsten electrode, WT40 tungsten electrode) are used in the welding industry. Thorium, in the form of thorium oxide, is added to tungsten welding electrodes which are used in Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) arc welding. The addition of thorium improves arc starting and stability, reduces weld contamination and gives longer electrode life. However, thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive element and as such poses a radiation hazard.

  What are the risks of thorium in TIG welding?

  Thorium is very mildly radioactive and therefore the radiation hazards associated with the distribution, use, storage and disposal of WTh tungsten electrodes are low. The radiation hazard from using Thoriated tungsten electrodes is limited to the welder and the hazard to other workers in welding companies and to members of the public are negligible.

  How to expose radiation for welders ?

  Welders may inadvertently be exposed to radiation during welding and grinding operations with Thoriated tungsten electrodes. Inhalation of dust particles during tungsten electrode grinding is the main concern. The radiation hazard from grinding can be greatly reduced by wearing a dust mask and any other personal protective equipment suitable for such operations, the use of an effective exhaust system and, whenever possible, the use of pre-ground WTh tungsten electrodes.

  How to dispose Thoriated tungsten electrodes?

  Disused Thoriated tungsten electrodes and dust, generated during welding and grinding operations, should not be accumulated but should be frequently dispersed in waste intended for landfill. This method of disposal of disused WTh tungsten electrodes need not be subject to regulatory control.

  Can other materials take place of thorium in Thoriated tungsten electrodes?

  The small radiation hazard from the use of WTh tungsten electrodes can be eliminated by replacing them with electrodes made from tungsten alloyed with oxides such as those of lanthanum, cerium or zirconium. These non-radioactive electrodes are now as effective as Thoriated tungsten electrodes in a wide range of welding applications and should be used wherever possible. If they must be used, following best practice will ensure that the radiation hazard is significantly reduced

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