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Production Of WT20 Welding Electrodes From PLANSEE Stops

The independent German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) has compared the thorium-free WL15 welding electrode with the earlier WT20 standard and has confirmed: WL15 is the high-performance, environmentally-friendly alternative.

With their red marking, WT20 electrodes with thorium content were the long-established standard for TIG welding. However, legal requirements have made the production, packaging, shipment and disposal of thorium-containing materials increasingly expensive for manufacturers and users alike.

As of December 31, 2013 PLANSEE will only manufacture thorium-free welding electrodes. Alternatives to the WT20 have long shown just what they are capable of. PLANSEE recommends its customers to change to the gold-colored WL15 electrode which cuts costs while leaving nothing to be desired in terms of performance. And all that without thorium.

The independent German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin has also confirmed the quality of the golden WL15. Its ignition time is just as fast as that of the red WT20 electrode. When used with high-alloy steels, the WL15 ignites even faster.

The continuous ignition tests performed by the BAM also identified a clear difference in the external appearance of the TIG electrodes. Electrodes of the type WT20 show a greater tendency towards oxidation and more extensive signs of wear than the WL15 electrodes.

The full test report can be downloaded from PLANSEE at The environmentally friendly WL15 electrodes are already available for purchase in the PLANSEE online shop at

PLANSEE High Performance Materials
The Plansee Group is a leading company in the field of powder metallurgy and covers the entire production process from the ore right through to the customer-specific component.

The PLANSEE High Performance Materials division is an expert in the field of molybdenum, tungsten, tantalum, niobium and chromium components. Whether in electronic applications, medical technology or high-temperature furnaces: When conventional metals come up against their limits, PLANSEE's alloys and composites take over. Discover more about PLANSEE and find your local contact person:


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