|TIG Gas Cup||Gas Cup|
Gas cups come in a variety of sizes, dependant on the amount of shielding gas required around the Tungsten electrode, (the size of electrode, the material and the current you’re using). The physical space to position the TIG torch (and the type of ceramic cup) can also be a factor.
The majority of the ceramic cups you see are ‘Pink’ made from Zirconia and alumina. You can get gas cups made from other materials that have slightly different properties:
The cheap and cheerful ‘pink’ gas cups are made for general, everyday use. If generating a large amount of heat (high amperage), then they can break after prolonged use.
For higher temperature TIG welding. Generally available from more specialist suppliers.
For prolonged high temperature work, crack resistant (but more expensive). Generally available from more specialist suppliers.
The gas cup is made of heat resistant glass (Pyrex or quartz). They can cost more and are not as durable as the other types of gas cups. Therefore they tend to be used when visibility is important, i.e. Welding in awkward spots.
Often, the glass cups are just a piece of straight glass tube (tend to come in one size) and are held in place using o’rings. However, we are now starting to see different sized glass gas cups that have a thread so they can be screwed on (just like the standard ceramic type gas cups).
As the name suggests, these cups are designed to ensure a good quality weld by improving the shielding gas coverage.
Stubby cups are used in conjunction with a stubby gas nozzle. They reduce the size of the TIG gun so you can access tight spaces. If used in conjunction with a shorter back cap, and shorter tungsten electrode, the TIG torch can fit into even tighter spaces.
Furick is a brand name for a gas cup (and its diffuser, collet body (or gas nozzle), collet and heatshield). See Furick Fupa, Jazzy, BBW and Mooseknuckle). The cup (along with the gas nozzle) focus the shielding gas, allowing the tungsten electrode to protrude further out from the cup, giving better visibility and more access in tight spaces. They can be purchased as individual parts, or as a kit.
Most gas cups screw onto the gas nozzle and fit flush against the heat insulator. Therefore the shape of the gas cup often has to be compatible with the shape of the heat insulator. The interface (fitment) between the gas cup and the insulator helps prevent shielding gas escaping in the wrong direction:
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