Types of Welding Processes
Welding is the process of joining two pieces of thermoplastics or metal together. The process involves the use of extreme heat and in other circumstances; it involves the addition of gases or metal in order for the two pieces to form a joint. The process of welding has tremendously evolved over the years and this is attributed to the advent of the new and ever-changing technology. It is very vital to understand the different types of welding processes in order to choose the best method which is suitable for the task at hand. There are four popular welding processes that are often used and these are stick welding, MIG welding, TIG welding and flux cored arc welding.
1) Stick Welding
Stick welding is also known as Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) and this is the most popular method used in the arc welding process. The most commonly used metals in stick welding are stainless steel and steel. This process uses flux –coated electrode to form a weld. This is made possible by current passing through the welding rods, and as the electrode begins to melt thus creating a cloud of gases which shields the molten metal from oxidation. The stick welding process is often considered simple since it does not need the use of specialized equipment’s. There are a number of advantages that are associated with stick welding such as the equipment used in stick welding are often considered easy to use and less expensive, the method can be used to weld a wide range of alloys and metals and the electrodes can easily be changed to fit different types of metals.
2) MIG Welding
MIG welding is also another popular welding process and is also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW). This type of process uses electrical power to melt the electrode, a shielding gas derived from an external source of supply to deposit molten material on the welding joint. MIG welding is often used in a number of different types of metals. The successful application of the welding process often depends on a number of factors such as composition, packaging and diameter of the electrode. The purity, flow rate and composition of the shielding gas. The types of equipment used in the welding process also determine the method of welding to be applied. There are a number of advantages that are also associated with the use of the MIG welding process. The welding process can be done on all commercial types of alloys and metals. The rate of metal deposition and welding speeds are higher as compared to stick welding. The welding process can also be done in different positions as long as there is proper selection of the parameters and equipment’s required.
3) TIG Welding
TIG welding is also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) which often involves the use of a non-consumable tungsten electrode to heat different types of materials in order to form a weld. Since there is no filler metal required in the welding process, the weld, therefore, is ideal in welding a single type of metal. This process often requires a lot of professional skills. The gases used in the TIG welding process often include argon and helium. There are different points of interest that are associated with TIG welding such as producing high purity and high-quality welds as compared to other welding processes. TIG welding is also deemed as a less expensive welding process, however, costs often vary depending on the material that is being welded.
4) Flux Cored Arc Welding
Flux cored arc welding is also another welding process which uses an electric arc to form a continuous filler metal electrode with a base material. The process often uses a tubular wire which is fed with flux which melts during the welding process in order to shield the area which is covered welded from being affected by gases available in the atmosphere. This welding process is used on thicker and heavier metals. Since the process produces high amounts of heat, it is important to work with metals which can stand high amounts of heat. Therefore it is considered as an ideal process for heavy machinery and repairs, heavy steel erection and construction. There are advantages associated with the process such as the process does not require a lot of equipment’s, thus making it easier to move around during the welding process. No shielding gas is required therefore this makes it an ideal process for outdoor welding as it is not affected by different weather elements such as wind.
In order to effectively execute the different welding processes, it is vital to know which type of metals you are dealing with in order to ensure that you carry out the welding task effectively and at the same time ensure that the joints made are strong enough to hold the two pieces of metal together.