Tig Welding 1/2 Inch Aluminum (Settings For Tig)

Aluminum plate has a lot of benefits that make it a popular metal in the world. Most important characteristics of an aluminum plate is its hardness to weight ratio, means the metal is hard at the same time very light which make it a unique metal.

Normally an aluminum which is less than a quarter (1/4)” is called sheet aluminum. Any thickness greater than 1 quarter is called plate aluminum. A half inch (1/2)” aluminum and a 3/8″ aluminum are plate aluminum.

Today we will talk about tig welding settings for that 1/2″ aluminum.

Lets start-

tig welding 0.5inch aluminum plate

Aluminum Type Used For Tig Welding

Generally 6061 aluminum plate is used for tig welding work. Because 6061 aluminum is most versatile type of aluminum. It can be used in a wide range of applications from trailers of vehicles to aerospace industries.

The metal’s main alloying agent is magnesium and silicon. Precipitation hardening technique is used to roll the metal that increase its toughness. Its tensile strength is 45000psi and elongation rate is 12%.

Its most important feature is its weldability which makes it a tig welding friendly metal. Tough it is weldable, sometimes it can lose its strength as a result of welding. Further heat treatment is required to re-strengthen then metal.

Tig Welder To Use

You may use AC tig aluminum welder of 400-450 amp power with 210v input. A 3/16″ tungsten, 5/8″ torch cup (water-cooled) and 3/16″ filler metal is required with the welder to tig weld 1/2″ aluminum plate perfectly. 2-3 passes of welding may be required with 8-10 ipm travel speed for tig welding 1/2 inch aluminum.

Settings For Tig Welder

We will mention tig welder settings to weld 1/2″ aluminum in Lap, Butt, Corner & Filler joint welding.

Butt Welding (Settings)

Tungsten DiameterAs 1/2″ is thicker material, you should use 1/8″ or 5/32″ tungsten to butt weld. 2% ceriated (orange) is better for welding thick metals.
Torch CupUse 5/8″ water-cooled torch cup
Filler Metal1/8″ filler metal would be best for 1/2″ aluminum welding
AmperageYou may 120-290amp but you will need to weld in 5 passes. If you use 400-450 amp welder, then 2 passes would be enough.
Gas & Flow rateYou may use argon gas @ 31 cft
Weld SpeedIt cannot be predicted because depending on your welders amperage you would need to apply multiple pass. For 290-290amp 1 root pass, 2nd pass for 150-170amp, 3rd for 140-160amp, 4th for 130-150amp and 5th for 120-140amps.

Lap Joint (Settings)

TungstenSame as butt joint requirement
Torch CupUse 5/8″ water cooled torch cup like butt joint
FillerSame as butt that is 1/8″(3.2mm)
AmperageUse 280-320amp Ac welder.
Gas & Flow RateArgon at 31cft
SpeedRequired more than 2 pass for 280-320 amp. If you can increase the amperage to 400amp then 2 pass would be enough

Corner Weld (Settings)

Tungsten2% ceriated (orange) tungsten of 1/8″(3.2mm) or 5-32″(4mm) would be good
Torch Cup5/8″ water cooled cup is enough
FillerSame as butt and lap joint
AmperageYou may use welder amperage ranging from 145 to 300 amp
Gas & Flow RateSame as butt and lap joint
Travel SpeedTravel speed varies depending on amperage. For using 145-300amp welder, you may need 6 passes to complete the joint. For 270-290amp first root pass and all remaining for 145-165amp.

Fillet Joint ( Settings)

TungstenSame to butt and lap joint
Torch Cup5/8″ water cooled torch cup is preferred
Filler1/8″ filler metal
AmperageAmperage should be 320-350amp. Not less than that. 400-450amp would be best. It would reduce the necessity of extra pass.
Travel Speed3 passes with 320-350amp welder

The above mentioned settings are approximated. It may differ based on welder machine and brands. Please check out the product manual before starting to weld.

Last Words

It maybe difficult to weld 1/2 inch aluminum because of its thickness. You may need to weld a single joint multiple times based on amperage and power.

What ever the application, the above mentioned settings will hopefully help you set your welder and other accessories & prepare you to weld 1/2″ thick aluminum effectively.


  • James Smith

    This is James Smith, a Hobbyist welder, welding since my 15th birthday. My father was a professional welding mechanic at a garage and used to take me to garage. My love for welding started then and I learnt basics from my father. At my 15th, my father gifted me a stick welder and my journey to become a welder began. Gradually I accustomed to welding and mastered at tig welding.

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