Different Types of Welding Procedures

20 August 2017

Engineering textbooks describe the welding process as a means of joining two or more metal surfaces together. To facilitate the bonds, the contact points on those metal parts are melted, then they fuse together as a seamless welded joint. This metal bonding technology has been around for some time. In that time, approximately thirty welding types have come into existence. Fortunately, that thirty can be reduced to three essential welding techniques.

Gas Metal Arc Welding 

Sometimes labelled MIG welding or Metal Inert Gas welding, GMAW uses a power supply to generate a large electrical charge. The circuit exits the machine housing as a cable. At the end of that cable, a consumable solid wire electrode is threaded through the welding gun. When that handheld gun is triggered, an electrical arc forms between the electrode and the workpiece. Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) employs the arc as a heat source, one that uses an inert shield gas to protect the molten metal from airborne contamination.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding 

In this welding procedure, the consumable electrode is replaced by a non-consumable tungsten rod. Known also as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, the metal fusing process exhibits a few superior weld characteristics that help differentiate the two weld procedures. First of all, TIG gear is used on thinner gauge metals and it has a talent for working with different alloys. Next, since the electrode isn’t used as a filler, the operator needs to use a separate filler rod to accommodate the join. Like GMAW, TIG welding requires a shield gas.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding 

Classed as yet another arc welding tool, SMAW employs a metal stick as the arc electrode, as held in a small clamp. This specialized material includes a proprietary coating, which vaporizes as the arc is generated. Designed to function as a shield gas, one that protects the weld pool, the atomized coating also cools to form a protective “slag” layer. Also known as flux-cored arc welding, this welding technique is commonly used to bond carbon and alloy steels.

Beyond arc welding procedures, there are laser fusing tools and the equipment that supports this powerful light-assisted melt gear. Oxy-acetylene torches use gas, then focus the heated flame produced by the two gases so that the welding tool fuses or cuts lengths of hardened metal. As for the operators, they’re the automated robot arms on car assembly lines, the dedicated workers who carry compact arc welding equipment, and the engineers who roll large oxy-acetylene tanks towards challenging industrial projects.

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