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.
Lowestoft (/ˈloʊ(ɪ)stɒft, ˈloʊstəf/) is an English North Sea coast town and civil parish in the county of Suffolk. On the edge of The Broads, it is the most easterly UK settlement, 110 miles (177 km) north-east of London, 38 miles (61 km) north-east of Ipswich and 22 miles (35 km) south-east of Norwich. As the main town in the district of East Suffolk, it had an estimated 73,775 inhabitants in 2018. A port town, it developed out of the fishing industry and as a seaside resort with wide, sandy beaches. As its fisheries declined, oil and gas exploitation in the southern North Sea in the 1960s added to its development, alongside nearby Great Yarmouth. These roles have declined, but it is developing as a regional centre of the renewable energy industry.