E3 Tungsten Electrodes - The Preferred Alternative: MATHESON Select E3 Tungsten Electrodes deliver superior arc starting, electrode lifetime, and overall cost-effectiveness. Users of 2% thoriated tungsten electrodes can switch to E3 Tungsten Electrodes with confidence.
Higher Performing Alternative to 2% Thoriated Tungsten Electrodes
MATHESON Select® E3 Tungsten Electrodes use 1.5% lanthanum oxide (plus other oxides) instead of 2.0% thorium oxide. Because the conductivity of E3 Tungsten Electrodes is similar to that of thoriated tungsten electrodes, the transition to E3 Tungsten Electrodes can normally be made will little or no modification of the welding process itself.
Many of the advantages for users of MATHESON Select® E3 Tungsten Electrodes are reviewed below. For additional information, contact your MATHESON representative or visit one of our stores. To find the location nearest you, use our Location Finder on this page.
Download the MATHESON Select® E3 Tungsten Electrode Datasheet. Also available en Español.
Stable Tip Geometry; Less Erosion
The images here clearly show less erosion on the E3 Tungsten Electrode. These electrodes were operated under the same conditions for five hours on a text fixture at 250 amps DC. E3 Tungsten Electrodes are provem to outlast 2% thoriated tungsten electrodes. In addition to longer overall life, during use, E3 Tungsten Electrodes require less frequent re-grinding.
Improved Arc Starting
The image above shows electrodes after 150 starts each. The E3 Tungsten Electrode shows far less degradation than the thoriated tungsten electrode.
Tests have shown that ignition delay with E3 Tungsten Electrodes actually improves over time, while 2% thoriated tungsten starts to deteriorate after only 25 starts.
View video of arc starting, comparing the rapid start of E3 to that of 2% thoriated tungsten.
E3 Tungsten Electrodes Run Cooler
At equivalent energy output, E3 Tungsten Electrodes run cooler than 2% thoriated tungsten (note the longer heat affected zone in the image of the 2% thoriated tungsten electrode), thereby extending overall tip lifetime.
E3 Tungsten Electrodes work well on AC or DC. They can be used DC electrode positive or negative with a pointed end, or balled for use with AC power sources.
Every electrode is tested for structural defects using an eddy current test method. This is your assurance that each and every electrode will perform well in the field.
Similar Conductivity Profiles
E3 Tungsten Electrodes provide conductivity similar to that of thoriated electrodes. Typically, this means that E3 Tungsten Electrodes are exchangeable with thoriated electrodes without requiring significant welding process changes.
Minimum Impact on Your Process Documentation and Code Compliance
For operations concerned with AWS and ASME code compliance, a tungsten electrode of any type — pure, thoriated, ceriated, lanthanated, and others — is typically considered a non–essential variable, meaning that tungsten electrodes of different types can be introduced into the process without triggering the need to requalify the process itself.
When a non–essential variable is changed, it should be documented by updating the Welding Procedure Specifications, but process requalification is not required for continued code compliance.
NOTE: It is the responsibility for every user of the various codes to review and confirm if changes in non–consumable tungsten electrodes, or changes of any other typically non–essential variable, could require requalification of the process.