Human has been welding pieces of metal together to create new products for centuries. Today, our race has achieved vast knowledge of the process and has expanded the techniques and applications equivalent to the modern era. For people who tend to enter the welding industry or need to buy welded products, knowing the definition of the process, types of it, and the purpose of each can be very helpful.

What is Welding and Why Manufacturers Use it?

Welding is one of the metal fabrication procedures in which high temperature is used to melt and fuse pieces together. However, in some cases, pressure can also be used additionally to provide a weld. It is eminent from lower metal fusing methods like soldering or brazing, which do not usually melt the base metal. There are other fabrication methods along with welding, which are commonly used, such as laser-cut, bending, shearing, and notching.

All types of Welding systems usually involves the use of a material called “a filler” or “a consumable”. This is used to provide a filler or pool of molten material that helps smooth the formation of a strong bond or link between the base metals. Most of these fabrication processes will require a shielding coat to protect both main components and filler from being oxidized during the procedure.

Metal Welding can be performed utilizing various forms of energy sources. These sources include a gas flame, laser, an electric arc, an electron beam, ultrasonic, and friction. Some of the welding methods can even fit underwater and space settings.

Types of Welding

More than thirty types of welding processes exist in the sheet metal industries. They range from simple oxy-fuel to modern and high-tech processes such as laser welding. However, they are some a few of these techniques, which are commonly used for the process. Each of them come with their special characteristics and advantages. Followings are the most popular welding techniques utilized in the industry.

MIG – Gas Metal Arc Welding Known as GMAW

This type of welding is done by continuously fed of the electrode through a welding gun. The expert or operator should pull the trigger to feed the consumable through the certain joining part. Between the base metal and the electrode, an electric arc forms which heat the metal until it reaches or exceeds its melting point property. This type requires an extremely supplied shielding gas. Some of the most common gases for the purpose are carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, and silicon bronze.

The most important advantage of using the MIG method is waste reduction. These types of welding systems results in the minimal cleanup, lower heat inputs, and fume reduction. Additionally, it is the easiest technique to learn and is suitable for beginners.

MIG system is commonly found in automotive industries due to its strong weld characteristics, which can withstand large forces. When it comes to MIG welding, the operator needs to be precise about the power setting adjustment to have an appropriate thickness result. The speed of the process also affects the penetration of the weld. By decreasing the speed, the penetration will be increased.

TIG – Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Known as GTAW

TIG is another type of welding process in which a tungsten electrode is utilized that is not for heeding the base metal but for creating molten puddle for the joint. In this method, external gases such as argon and argon/helium mixtures are required. The most common applications for TIG systems are piping, tubing, aerospace, and motorcycles.

The greatest advantage of this technique is allowing the operator to weld very thin materials while having-high quality cleaning and highly aesthetic joints. Thus, this type of welding system is the most popular type of all in the current industry. It is generally utilized for applications, which involve metals such as stainless steel, aluminum, and copper.

Stick – Shielded Metal Arc Welding Known as SMAW

In the SMAW method, also an electrode is used to carry electric current. The electrode that is utilized for this system consists of a core wire that is coded. The electric arc is created as soon as the tip of the electrode makes close contact with the base metal. As the procedure starts, the joint part exceeds 6500-Fahrenheit degrees. The molten material is protected from oxides and nitrates that exists in the atmosphere during the process. Thus, this type of welding is suitable for the pipeline, construction or cladding, heavy equipment repair, and steel erection.

This welding method allows the customer to gain results with low cost of equipment, which are also portable. There is no need for shielding gas in the STICK method. This means that experts can use this system in open-air even during rain or wind. Additionally, this technique can be utilized on dirty and rusty metals thus it is an appropriate alternative for projects where using TIG or MIG is not required.

Flux – Core Arc Welding Known as FCAW

This welding technique is very similar to the MIG method. However, instead of solid wire, it requires a tube-shaped wire, which is filled with flux. The most noticeable advantage of this method is the electrode efficiency, which means less waste creation. With the use of this system, there is no need for utilizing external shielding gases and it provides welding fumes reduction regardless of the metal that is used for the process.

FCAW method is very easy to learn and many professionals prefer to use this system due to its extremely inexpensive benefits. On the other hand, there are some limitations when it comes to having aesthetic results.