A guide to Lincoln Tig Welder Selection and Applications
Lincoln manufactures an excellent line of TIG welders with a broad range of
options and accessories. TIG welding is an advanced skill and Lincoln ensures
you can get the welding machine you need for your application and budget.
Lincoln TIG welders - models and accessories analysis
Lincoln V160-T Portable Tig Package
The Invertec V160-T tig welder is a full function DC TIG inverter with
excellent arc control. Its built-in gas solenoid and choice of High Frequency or
Touch-Start TIG starting make it ideal for a wide variety of DC TIG
applications. The V160-T can also weld stick with a variety of popular Lincoln
stick electrodes. Its portable rugged design and 115/230V 50/60Hz operation make
it ideal for both in shop or field use.
Lincoln Electric Precision TIG 185
Consider the Precision TIG 185 for general fabrication, automotive,
motorsports, vocational schools or the serious hobbyist. Professional features
like patented Micro-Start™ Technology ensure a soft start throughout the
amperage range. Patented Auto-Balance takes the guesswork out of optimizing
cleaning action versus penetration. Standard Pulse control makes it easy to gain
even greater heat control on thin materials. Compare the built-in torch parts
storage compartment or torch cable/helmet hanger. And, get the optional cart and
add a sizable storage bin for your remote and cables, twin filler rod tube
stands and a low-lift gas bottle platform.
Precision Tig 275 Water-Cooled Ready-Pak Package
The Precision TIG 275 welder is the mainstay in the next generation of the
Square Wave family of machines. Patent-pending Micro-Start™ Technology provides
unrivaled and revolutionary arc performance ideal for critical AC or DC welding
in fabrication, aerospace, production, motorsports, and vocational applications.
Available in both machine-only models or in a convenient Ready-To-Weld Package,
the Precision TIG 275 combines both outstanding value-added features, with
precision arc performance to meet all of your welding needs.
All the features described in the Precision TIG 275 Air-Cooled package,
except with a water-cooled torch for heavier-duty applications. This package
includes virtually everything you need to start TIG welding.
Precision TIG 375 Air-Cooled AC/DC TIG Welding System
The Precision TIG welder 375 delivers the Power to Perform. Combines
value-added features and Micro-Start Technology, the Precision TIG has the
widest range of welding current in its class featuring up to 25 more amps of
power at 40% duty cycle and a superior low-end. This welding machine comes
standard with full-featured sequencing and pulsing controls and power factor
correction. The Precision TIG 375 is ready to meet all of your welding needs.
This Ready-Pak package arrives fully assembled, has one product number for
ordering and includes the Precision TIG 375 configured for water-cooled welding.
Lincoln Tig Welding information resources are often found at the company's
More on Lincoln TIG welders
We turn our attention to the design, construction and testing of Lincoln's
Precision™ TIG 275 and 375 welding units. Lincoln's exacting standards ensure a
machine that is rugged, built to last and loaded with high-quality components.
Add Lincoln's superior design process to the long list of items that we have
covered in previous articles - and the Precision TIG is a must for every shop.
These attributes include:
* Superior arc performance
* Better output with lower input current draws than the competitor
* Easy set-up
* Lower price than the Miller Electric® Syncrowave®
* Innovative features not found on any other TIG machine
Many attributes of the Precision TIGs are readily apparent just by looking at or
welding with the machines. Today, we examine some of the less 'obvious' items on
the unit - things that may not be seen at a glance, but make a difference in the
overall reliability and service life of the product. This attention to detail is
just another example of how Lincoln Electric carefully addressed each aspect for
these new TIG welders.
Not only did Lincoln pay attention to details; the company also paid attention
to the customer! Interviews with TIG operators, distributors and sales personnel
revealed that having a rugged machine that could stand the test of time was an
important factor in purchasing decisions.
By utilizing outstanding design and construction techniques in adherence to ISO
9001 certification procedures and conducting a variety of tests to ascertain the
quality of the design…Lincoln delivers a machine that fits in with the company's
mission statement of providing products that exceed customer expectations.
Reliable and Innovative Features
Built into the new Precision TIG 275 and 375 are features that consumers will
not find anywhere else:
Fan As Needed
When the user strikes an arc with these Lincoln TIG units, the fan automatically
turns on, runs during the entire welding period and then shuts off after a
specified time delay for appropriate cooling when welding is completed. The Fan
As Needed feature maintains a relatively uniform temperature on critical
internal components, minimizing thermal stress cycles that can reduce the
service life of those components.
In contrast, the Miller Syncrowave uses a Fan On Demand™ system that is tied to
a thermostat found in the transformer windings. When the temperature rises to a
preset rated temperature level of the machine, the fan turns on. The problem
with this technique is that the machine is constantly going through rapid
heating and cooling cycles during welding - even when not welding at the maximum
rated output level of the machine. This repeated thermal cycling stresses the
unit's internal components.
Air Flow Design
Lincoln's innovative design for its Precision TIG models uses only rear air flow
louvers that bring clean air in from the top of the unit and exhaust it out the
bottom. In this way, less dirt is drawn into the machine. To further minimize
dirt contamination and build-up, Lincoln uses an air pattern inside the machine
that creates a higher velocity horizontal flow over main power components that
require cooling, such as the transformer, choke and rectifier. The benefit to
users is that this airflow provides for better cooling and higher ratings than
the competitor's unit. Compare this clean environment to Miller's Syncrowave,
which intakes air through base louvers next to the shop floor, drawing in dirt
and debris in a manner similar to a vacuum cleaner.
Separate PC Compartment
Precision TIG 275 and 375 PC boards are housed in a separate compartment that
keeps contaminants out and provides shielding from disturbances of TIG high
frequency. The control leads entering the board are also shielded from
electrical noise. And if that's not enough, the board is selectively potted and
dipped in a environmental sealant to further protect it.
But don't think the separate compartment of the PC board makes it difficult to
access. By simply removing two screws on the front panel of the machine, the
operator can easily get into this area if required - there is no need to remove
the sheet metal case.
High Frequency Arc Starter Compartment
From talking with customers and maintenance personnel during the development of
this unit, it was noted that the number one maintenance item on a TIG machine is
cleaning and adjusting the spark gap. So, to make this task easier, Lincoln
developed a compartment to house the high frequency arc starter. Located at the
side, it is easy to access with a removable panel that eliminates the need to
remove the entire case side. Also, this isolated and shielded compartment
minimizes the high-frequency arc emissions from getting out of the spark gap
area and into other areas of the machine. Furthermore, the separate compartment
helps protect the High Frequency spark gap from dust and dirt. Miller's TIG
units have an access panel but do not have separate compartments for the arc
Another separate compartment that the Lincoln Precision TIG has built in for
convenience and reliability is a TIG torch connection box. This box, located at
the side of the machine, helps operators make connections easily in a standing
position, but also isolates water lines from the main transformer compartment
should a leak ever develop. Making the connections is a simple, intuitive
process. The operator connects the color-coded input water and gas fittings at
the back of the torch connection box. TIG torch connections are made at the
front, or output side, of the connection box with convenient wrench access.
Precision Torch connection The Precision TIG's optional cooler is housed in a
slide out drawer under the unit that makes it easy to service and maintain. It
also uses a Pro-Con® brand water pump with a heavy-duty motor. Pro-Con is widely
recognized as a leader of reliable pump components in the cooler industry.
Not only do the Precision TIG 275 and 375 machines offer innovative design
features not found on competitive units, but these TIG welders are also
constructed to exacting standards so that purchasers can expect long service
life out of the machine. Here are some of the construction highlights that set
Precision Torch connection Lincoln's design ensures the best possible electrical
connections. To do this, the company uses durable switches that make positive
electrical and mechanical contact. The operator switch leaves no question
whether the switch is in the correct position. This also reduces intermittent
electrical contact that can cause switches to fail.
Lincoln's stringent design standards specify that there are no connections made
to dissimilar metals such as bare aluminum to copper, without plating the
connection. In contrast, the Miller Syncrowave makes a connection of bare
aluminum from the high frequency transformer to bare copper at the output stud.
However, aluminum to dissimilar metal connections can promote the formation of
aluminum oxides, which act as an insulator and reduce electrical conductivity.
Miller also falls short by using input lead connections made of aluminum - for
customers who typically use copper wire to connect power to the machine, this
also could lead to the formation of aluminum oxide.
Mechanical Crimping and Soldering
Precision output studs Heavy current carrying connections and power lead lugs in
the Precision TIG units are mechanically crimped and soldered. Additionally,
care is taken to be sure lugs are not crimped over the top of the insulation;
all leads are stripped before they are crimped. These leads are also routed
neatly through the Precision TIG machines and fastened securely so that the
leads cannot loosen over time and come in contact with hot surfaces over time.
Lincoln provides secured sleeves for bundles of leads. The sleeves are
mechanically secured so they will not loosen over time. These measures also
ensure the leads are not subject to abrasion against sharp components or
insulation inside the machine. Miller's competitive machine has SCR gate leads
that are not secured and may come in contact with the main transformer coil. To
alleviate high frequency leakage, Lincoln provides insulating sleeves for the
high frequency circuit leads, which Miller does not.
The Precision TIG 275 and 375 units use a transformer construction that
maintains adequate electrical spacing and tracking distances between transformer
windings and lamination. To do this, molded insulated coil spacers are used.
By comparison, Miller Electric's comparable machines use wooden spacers
wedged in between transformer windings and lamination. Wooden spacers are
subject to swelling with moisture, and subsequent shrinking as they dry out.
Over time, this can cause the spacer to loosen, thereby introducing the
possibility of vibration, electrical shorting and more serious transformer
Precision TIG 275 and 375 units have mechanical locking tabs on the
electrical PC board connectors, which are specifically designed to eliminate
mechanical loosening that can, in turn, be a cause of subsequent electrical
failure. In addition, the pins are treated with corrosion-resistant grease. The
Miller unit uses no independent fastening and relies on the engagement friction
of the connectors.
Lincoln TIG welder testing
Not only do Lincoln's innovative design and construction practices make the
Precision TIG 275 and 375 stand apart from the competition, but rigorous testing
conducted before the machines are put into production ensure the utmost quality.
Some of these tests include:
The TIG units are dropped at different orientations to a flat concrete floor
from a 12 inch height.
The integrity of the lift bail designed for overhead crane lifting is checked by
dropping the machine 12 inches and then stopping it in mid-air. This test is
performed multiple times to look for signs of damage to the structural integrity
of the lift bail assembly.
As part of the regiment of stress tests, the Precision TIG unit is put on a
vibration table to test its ability to withstand vibration. This test is meant
to simulate the vibrations of common use over the intended life cycle of the
product as well as the vibration generated by transport over various road
conditions, as might be experienced during shipping.
The machine is put in a chamber to test if malfunctions occur when exposed to
extreme conditions, as might be experienced in the real world, including
abrasive and conductive dust, humidity, moisture and fluctuating temperatures.
At the job site or in the fabrication shop, the machine may be moved from
location to location as projects and plant layouts change. Considering this type
of use, Lincoln engineers determined to test the stability of the machine when
fully loaded with its typical accessories. For example, in this case, Lincoln
adds shielding gas bottles and, with a variety of repeated stress test
conditions, takes it up and down obstacles at different angles to verify
stability and integrity of the wheeled undercarriage.
Lincoln tests the integrity of the packaging to International Safe Transit
Association (ISTA) standards so consumers and distributors can be sure they will
receive an undamaged unit.
After the machines have survived the above battery of mechanical stress tests,
Precision TIG units undergo cycling tests at full capacity and maximum load for
an extended period of time to verify continued functionality.
This testing checks for proper functionality of the Precision TIG when exposed
to high voltage surge pulses on the input lines. Also, tests are run to check
immunity to various types of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and RF, as well
as how much EMI the machine itself emits.
Before selling to customers, Lincoln put several Precision TIG machines into
'real world' field testing for a six month period. To do this, key customers
weld with the new unit for an extended period of time and report their findings
back to the Lincoln design team. These "testers" look at such things as
performance, design and reliability.
A rugged, reliable design, serviceable features, outstanding construction and
stringent testing that goes beyond the norm - Add these to the long list of other
attributes such as superior arc performance, value added features, easy set-up,
more power and output range delivered at a low price and now you have the full
story of how the Precision TIG family gives you the Power to Perform!