What is TIG welding?

TIG welding is an arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode. It’s also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding – “TIG” is an abbreviation for Tungsten Inert Gas.

Developed in the 1930s and becoming popular during World War 2 for welding aircraft parts – replacing earlier more time-consuming methods – TIG welding is suitable for ferrous and non-ferrous metals thanks to tungsten’s unique properties that allow welding with a hotter arc.

It has long been recognised as the premiere welding process for almost any metal and as long as the machine is properly set up, the joint is correctly prepared and the torch technique is effective, the process will produce the highest-quality results.

How does TIG welding work?

The TIG tungsten electrode works by simply melting metals together, with the electrode shielded by a gas nozzle. Argon is commonly used, although helium can be used too.

TIG creates precise welds when joining metals such as aluminium and stainless steel. It’s a two-handed process, with one hand holding the torch and the other feeding the filler metal – usually using a fingertip control or foot pedal to control the arc voltage.

It is very much a precision task and going too slow or fast or holding the arc too far away or too close, can create a poor-quality weld. Allowing the tungsten to touch the weld pool can cause contamination. If this happens, you should move your torch further away from the workpiece, lengthening the arc.

What do you use a TIG welder for?

TIG welding is typically used for fine limit work and where a neat cosmetic finish is required. As well as assuring structural integrity, TIG welding does not necessitate any cleaning or grinding/polishing after the welds are laid – unlike MIG or Arc welding processes.

Pipecraft employs the TIG welding technique for most of our hotel, hospital and disabled projects.

What metals can you TIG weld?

TIG welding is suitable for almost any metal including magnesium, aluminium, copper alloys, titanium and stainless steel. It’s the most versatile process for welding different metals to produce the highest-quality weld; with combinations including copper to stainless steel, nickel to steel and stainless steel to cast iron, to name but a few.

How metal fabrication processes are used to create playground equipment

Processes such as pipe and tube bending, tube rolling and manipulation and CNC turning and milling can be employed to create playground equipment that is durable, safe and long lasting. Here are a just a few examples of the many different types of playground apparatus that can be manufactured using metal fabrication methods.

Swings – pipe and tube bending

Whether you need a single-seat swing or a nest swing capable of holding more than one child, pipe and tube bending ensures the frames take on a smooth, uniform finish. Mandrel bending involves creating tight bends utilising mandrel bending and tube rolling machinery; which prevents the pipes distorting during the bending process.

Climbing frame – tube rolling and manipulation

Climbing frames of varying shapes and sizes can be manufactured through tube rolling and manipulation processes. Numerically controlled machinery is used to create tubes with a maximum diameter of 88.9mm – allowing plenty of scope for design.

Playground springers – tube rolling, mandrel bending, CNC turning

This particular ‘bike’ shaped springer is created through a combination of mandrel bending to form the tighter radii and tube rolling to achieve the larger radii that are required to build the main frame and the wheels, etc. – the bar ‘sphere’ sections are CNC turned. Laser cutting techniques are then employed for the various shapes that form the finishing touches – metal plate content. The tube segments are then cut back to the required lengths and where necessary, a special scalloping machine is used to radius the tube ends – these should fit together to ensure a gap-free welded joint. With a mixture of Tig and Mig welding disciplines, the structure will then begin to take its final form.

N.B. – the springs are a specialist sub-contract project.

With a meticulous approach and responsible work ethics; we make metal fabrication processes look like child’s play. Where skill meets imagination and engineering meets craftsmanship; Pipecraft Innovations uses the best materials and design technology to ensure that top quality products come as standard. We are the precision engineering experts!

Tube Bending Services by Pipecraft Innovations

Pipecraft is one of leading metal fabrication companies in the UK. For a sneak peek into what we can do, here are some of our finished projects:

Prototype for Hygiene Solutions

Hygiene Solutions provides infection control and decontamination systems to the National Health Service (NHS). Pipecraft was contracted to assist in the design process of the stacking system of Ultra-V™ – a decontamination system that releases ultraviolet light to eradicate pathogens in clinical areas.

Aside from tube bending, we also completed metal fabrication and steel polishing tasks for this company.

Platform Lift for Terry Lifts

Our tube bending services proved to be invaluable to Terry Lifts – a leading provider of lifts and elevators for domestic and commercial use. Pipecraft was contracted to assist in the construction process of the Melody 3 Vertical Platform Lift. The rails were designed to be not only aesthetically pleasing; they also provide great functionality that is convenient to use, especially for those with disabilities.

Aside from tube bending services, we also provided metal fabrication and CNC machining services (for hinge mechanisms) for Terry Lifts.

Automotive Parts for Ricardo

Pipecraft provided tube bending services for Ricardo – a leading engineering solutions provider in the automotive industry.

We provided mandrel bent pieces that are important in their parts production processes.

Aside from tube bending; CNC machining, Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding and polishing are also involved.

Trolley for Canberra

As one of the leading providers of cost-effective nuclear solutions – to assess the health of nuclear facilities for the safety of personnel – our tube bending services created the trolley for one of their products — iCAM (Continuous Air Monitor). The iCAM offers reliable monitoring of airborne particulate activities in the workplace.

Produced and designed by Pipecraft, the trolley is designed to help iCAM operators to transfer the necessary equipment.

Modular Frames for Marco Ltd.

Marco provides productivity systems for different industry sectors, including fresh produce. With this in mind, we produced their stainless steel frames – with rust-resistant benefits, stainless steel is the ideal material for such commodities; it is also easy to clean.

The manufacturing process of these frames included tube bending, welding, CNC machining (for components) and polishing.

Dumbbell Rack

We do not restrict our services to high volume orders; we also cater to individual projects, including this dumbbell rack. Exclusively designed for a luxury yacht owned by a prestigious client, this rack was designed to handle the combined weight of the dumbbells.

Aside from tube bending, the manufacturing process involved welding and joint and mirror finishing (for a sleeker finish).

Turnstiles for Gunnebo

The tube bending services we provided for Gunnebo contributed to their innovative glass turnstile construction.

By providing a beautifully finished effect, this ensured that the metal tubes fully complemented the elegance of the glass and the building environment.


Pipecraft was contracted to produce cotsides; to be fitted to the sides of hospital beds to prevent the patients from falling.

We designed them to be lighter so that they can be easily manipulated – but not too light that they will not be able to support the patients.

The manufacturing process included tube bending, fine polish finishing, CNC machining, TIG welding and tube manipulation.

There is much more to us than tube bending! Pipecraft is versatile and can manufacture a wide range of products according to different client demands.

How Hotels can benefit from Bespoke Towel Rails

As an invaluable amenity that is quite often overlooked, towel rails have the capacity to make any bathroom ooze aesthetic appeal. Widely used in residential properties, they are becoming ever more popular in hotels and indeed across the hospitality industry: and with good reason.

Although readily available off the shelf, the more discerning customer will surely opt for custom made fixtures that are specially made to order. Bespoke metalworking solutions could be the perfect resolve – items can be made to client specifications and to suit individual requirements. Some metal manufacturing companies offer tube and pipe bending services and other metal fabrication processes to develop specialised product runs.

You get to choose your own design

  • Freestanding towel rail – this is ideal for bathrooms with limited wall space
  • Single towel rail — with one bar, it can be attached to walls or doors
  • Ladder towel rail — although similar to the single towel rail, it has multiple bars; ideal for walls

Appropriate designs for certain areas

Towel rails are not just found in guest rooms or suites — they are also prevalent in common shower areas, pool areas, changing rooms, spa treatment rooms, etc. Metal fabrication companies provide a practical and cost effective solution — you get to choose the design that will best suit the area of installation.

Corporate branding

Custom made towel rails will have an immediate impact on the guests — your hotel is not generic. We are not just talking about towel rails here; this service can be applied to other metal furniture, fixtures and hotel amenities that can be tailor made to suit your existing décor and corporate branding.

Sophisticated design

In this day and age, hotels can’t afford to offer average, run of the mill accommodation; guests are searching for somewhere special. The hospitality industry can be anyone’s game but hotels that represent a glimpse or recreation of a certain lifestyle — high-end, homely, eco-friendly — are more likely to thrive and prosper.

Synonymous with luxury and pampering, bathrooms need some careful consideration. It’s all about cleverly utilising an invariably limited space; clever use of colour, attention to detail and quality fixtures and fittings.

Stainless steel towel rails

Towel rails serve a simplistic purpose – to hang wet towels. Both practical and visually appealing, mirror polished towel rails not only add the wow factor; they also rate pretty highly in the durability stakes. Crafted from marine grade stainless steel, this is commonly used in areas that are subjected to salt water or excess water. Resistant to rusting and made to last; meet the towel rail that just keeps on giving!

You are assured of quality products and services

Custom built projects give the customer the power of choice – design, material, quantity. Some specialised metal fabrication businesses even offer a consultation service, whereby they will give you the benefit of their extensive experience – they can help you to understand how your ideas might translate in reality.

You can purchase in bulk

One of the best things about bespoke services is that once you have finalised your design, you get to purchase in bulk. Perfect for hotels and the hospitality industry in general, uniformed presentation will create a feeling of exclusivity – reputation management.

You might be forgiven for thinking this all sounds a bit pricey! The truth is tube bending services give you the freedom to order higher quality products that are custom built to your specific requirements and in quantities to suit your needs – at a reasonable cost. A tangible solution where glamour and durability collide, custom built towel rails will surely stand the test of time – affording great savings in the long run.

If a jobs worth doing…!

Pipecraft Joins The British Contract Furnishing Association (BCFA)

The quality of our metal furniture manufacturing has been recognised by recently joining The British Contract Furnishing Association (BCFA).

The association is specifically for the contract furnishing industry, and its remit covers the full spectrum of interior products and services in the UK and globally. With over 230 companies now accredited members, they provide a forum and trade association for the leading manufacturers, suppliers and designers of furnishing services for commercial buildings throughout both the UK and world markets.

We are delighted to have been accepted into the association as members are recognised as creating effective spaces and settings for their clients and providing design integrity, function, quality and value. Membership is also acceptance of our ability to provide products and services that can meet these criteria which means clients can buy with confidence.

As a company can only become a member of the BCFA once it has satisfied the association’s standard of professionalism, and makes a commitment to provide the market with the highest standards of service, our acceptance into the association is a welcome recognition of the work our design and fabrication team do.

Colin Watson, Managing Director of the BCFA, takes you through the associations main activities and opportunities.