Welding or basic welding process is a way of welding two or more metal components together by melting and fusing them. There are numerous welding methods, many of which you may not be familiar with.
Lasers, microwaves, and electromagnets are used in some high-tech approaches. Low-tech methods include melting two parts together with a torch or forge, then hammering them together.
Here’s a rundown of the four most prevalent welding techniques.
Four Types Of Welding Processes
There are numerous different welding methods; however, the following four are the most common:
- MIG Welding (GMAW)
- TIG Welding (GTAW)
- Stick Welding (SMAW)
- Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
Some of the reasons for their dominance include:
- Demands from industry
- Affordability for do-it-yourselfers
- The importance of great quality in TIG welding cannot be overstated.
- It is simple to learn (except TIG)
They’re all arc welding procedures, which means that when the electrode makes contact with the workpiece, the grounding clamp, and the electrode, an electrical circuit is formed. An arc is created by lifting.
This lightning arc heats the metal to thousands of degrees, melting it and allowing the fragments to flow together. Filler metal is used in the electrode, which melts and fills the gap, forming a single piece of metal.
Chemical reactions occur when thousands of degrees of surface heat interact with air and compounds such as oil or rust. Brittleness, corrosion, porosity, and potential failure are all caused by oxygen and nitrogen.
By filling the arc zone with inert gases that don’t react with other chemicals, each technique protects the molten weld puddle from air and surface pollutants. The finished welds are significantly stronger, more consistent, and cleaner without encountering the air during the fusion process.
1. Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG Welding)
The shielding gas used in MIG welding originates from a pressurized inert gas container. The arc is created by a wire that melts and fills the gap.
How It Works
MIG welding is the common name for GMAW welding. The electrode in this technique is an electrically charged wire continuously fed into the weld from a motorized spool while also flooding the shielding gas over the weld.
The MIG torch’s welding lead connects the power, has a sleeve inside to slide the electrode wire, and includes a gas hose. Carbon dioxide is commonly used as a MIG shielding gas.
When Is It Used?
MIG welding is the best procedure to use if speed is a concern, you’re a newbie, or you need to keep the heat low. The shielding gas adds a degree of complication to the process, but it also helps manage heat and ensures a clean weld.
- It is simple to learn
- Welds that are free of contaminants
- Effective heat control
- Continuous wire feed entails a simple learning curve.
- It is suitable for production welding.
- The shielding gas can be blown away by the wind.
- It is necessary to remove all paint and corrosion.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG Welding)
Mastering TIG is a difficult task. It requires more skill, talent, time, and expertise than other methods, but the results are better, more attractive, and stronger welds.
How It Works
TIG is distinguished from other procedures primarily by its electrode. The torch’s electrode is a short tungsten rod that has been honed to a point.
The electrode, on the other hand, is not consumed. Instead, the operator inserts a long rod of filler metal into the weld puddle with one hand while working the torch with the other. The weld puddle consumes this metal rod. The electrode merely strikes and maintains the arc to melt the metal as a flame torch.
The operator’s ability to wield the torch correctly, manage the heat level, and feed the filler rod at the appropriate pace is critical to achieving favourable results. The TIG torch connection, similar to a MIG setup but without the wire feeding mechanism, carries pressurized inert gas to saturate the arc zone. Argon is the most used shielding gas for TIG welding.
When Is It Used?
TIG welding is utilized in applications that require strong, crisp welds. Some TIG-welded structures are difficult to maintain because they are covered once erected. Examples include aircraft structures, electric devices, high-end electronics cabinetry, and race car roll cages.
Another application for TIG is when the weld is always visible and requires a particular amount of aesthetic appeal or high-tech validation. Some examples are exposed hot rod frames, unique bodywork, and designer lawn furniture.
- Aluminium and magnesium alloys are welded via AC TIG welding.
- More versatile operation
- Highest precision, best quality
- Ability to fuse extremely thin materials
- There is no slag.
- To master it, you’ll need more skill and experience.
- TIG machines are more expensive than MIG machines.
3. Shielded Metal Arc Welding (Stick Welding)
Stick welding was the first and most basic notion. It has been practised since the late 1800s. It is called to be the oldest, most basic, and most reliable technology.
How It Works
A stick welder features a power supply and large cable leads, one of which has an electrode holder and a heavy clamp for the workpiece. The electrode is a metal rod that looks like a thick length of wire. They are made of various metals and alloys.
The welding rod’s diameter varies. It is chosen based on the thickness of the metal. Welding rods are coated with a thick layer of flux, which burns in the arc and produces gas to shield the welding puddle.
The flux generates a thin, brittle crust called slag as the metal cools, which must be chipped off and swept away.
When Is It Used?
It’s welded with a stick if it can be welded at all. Stick arc is favoured when it’s difficult to reach the weld, or there’s corrosion, oil, or other impurities at the weld joint. On-farm equipment works well on steel, cast iron, aluminium, stainless steel, and hard surface.
- It is simple to learn.
- Almost any metal can be welded.
- Not prone to contamination
- Working with thin metal can be difficult.
- It takes a long time to complete.
- It produces a lot of heat.
4. Flux Cored Arc Welding
Flux core welding, commonly known as gasless MIG welding, is a versatile procedure noted for its low cost, ease of learning, and high-quality outcomes. It’s also utilized in manufacturing, but with larger machinery and different shielding.
How Does It Work?
The FCAW process uses a hollow wire loaded with flux, similar to the stick process using an electrode coated with flux.
FCAW, like MIG, feeds a spool of wire into the welding lead. You can weld faster than with a stick welder because you just change the electrode when the wire spool runs out.
FCAW-S and FCAW-G
There are two different types of FCAW. Two types of flux core welding are often used.
The “S” stands for “self-shielded,” and it’s the most popular flux core technique because it’s cheap, easy, and efficient.
The “G” indicates that an external shielding gas is utilized in addition to the usual flux core wire in dual-shielded wire welding. Compared to FCAW-S and MIG processes, this method produces a smoother, more controlled arc.
When Is It Used?
Flux core welding is most widely used by amateurs, small enterprises, and fabrication shops because it offers superior penetration, heat control, and convenience of use at a lower cost than MIG welding.
- The process is probably the simplest to grasp.
- Thick steel is easily handled.
- In windy conditions, it’s possible to use it.
- It works on dirt, paint, and rusted metal.
- It’s time to get rid of the slag.
- There’s a lot of spatter.
While there are many different ways to weld, these four procedures are the most common. Don’t be scared to ask any welders you know questions. You’ll be better prepared to make key judgments after understanding what each phase entails.