Avoid tungsten confusion – Joe’s guide to the latest tungsten electrode color code changes

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There are quite a few changes happening in the tungsten electrode market this year.  One of the notable changes comes from Weldcraft, one of the most trusted brands in TIG / GTAW.  They have just rolled out a more robust, and completely re-styled line of tungsten electrodes.

While there is no change in quality or composition of their premium brand tungsten electrodes, they have made some significant changes to the product offering, with the additions of Zirconiated tungsten and 2% Lanthanated tungsten.  Also, a couple changes to the color code designations now align Weldcraft’s line of electrodes seamlessly with the AWS and ISO standards.

These color changes are a welcome standardization in a market that has, over the years been a bit uneven.  Previously AWS and ISO tungsten electrode color codes were different on certain materials, like Ceriated, Rare Earth, and Zirconiated.  This has lead to some confusion in the marketplace, with different manufacturers having to choose which designation to follow.  But in recent years, the AWS has reclassified the color codes to match the ISO.  Weldcraft’s adoption of these new designations will further unify the tungsten electrode designations.  The new designations are as follows:

AWS Class            Color            Alloying Element

EWP                       Green               None

EWCe-2                  Gray               2% Cerium

EWLa-1.5              Gold                1.5% Lanthanum

EWLa-2                  Blue                2% Lanthanum

EWTh-2                  Red                 2% Thorium

EWZr-1                  Brown             Zirconium

EWG                      Sky Blue           Unspecified Rare Earth Alloys

With Sylvania’s tungsten electrode brand disappearing, Weldcraft’s product line expansions are a welcome addition to the premium electrode market.

Note: While the Sky Blue designation for Rare Earth tungsten electrodes has not been adopted by the AWS, it is consistent with several European and American manufacturers’ color code—including ArcTime Hybrid Performance tungsten electrodes.

RELATED: For more information on selecting the right tungsten electrodes for the TIG welding job, click here.


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