Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), also known as tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, is an arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The weld area and electrode are protected from oxidation or other atmospheric contamination by an inert shielding gas (argon or helium). A filler metal is normally used, though some welds, known as autogenous welds, or fusion welds do not require it. When helium is used, this is known as heliarc welding. A constant-current welding power supply produces electrical energy, which is conducted across the arc through a column of highly ionized gas and metal vapors known as a plasma. GTAW is most commonly used to weld thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys. The process grants the operator greater control over the weld than competing processes such as shielded metal arc welding and gas metal arc welding, allowing for stronger, higher quality welds. However, GTAW is comparatively more complex and difficult to master, and furthermore, it is significantly slower than most other welding techniques. A related process, plasma arc welding, uses a slightly different welding torch to create a more focused welding arc and as a result is often automated.
East Anglia in the East of England comprises the four counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex and is close to London. It is well-connected with Europe and the rest of the world through London Stansted Airport, the International Gateway to the East of England. There is also Norwich International Airport and London Southend Airport. The region has an excellent rail service with Greater Anglia, including the Stansted Express.
A recent report shows that East Anglia is home to three out of five of the fastest-growing city economies in the UK. Cambridge topped the list, with Ipswich second and Norwich fifth nationally according to The UK Powerhouse study.
The report reveals that Ipswich had the second-highest rate recorded of GVA growth rate (a measure of the value of goods and services produced) in the UK in the first three months of the year (2.5%), while Norwich enjoyed a growth rate of 2.4%.
Looking forward, the report also predicts the three locations will maintain their top 10 positions by the final quarter of 2028.