Many people think of welding as a tough job that requires people to be strong. However, welding is a wide variety of processes that can be used to construct physical objects or even repair them. While there are many skills associated with the profession, there are just as many opportunities for new welders to learn them all. The technique typically being taught first at most companies is stick welding.
Different Types of Welding
1. MIG – GAS METAL ARC WELDING (GMAW)
The steel-wire electrode is fed continuously to the weld pool with an electrode wire feeder, which also carries the shielding gas. The desired amount of gas is usually regulated by a flowmeter. Common steels’ typical wire feed speed is 8 inches per minute (20 cm/min). It is used to weld steel plates, tubular pipes thicker than 1″, and sheet metal. The use of MIG is prevalent among hobbyists for its ability to weld thin pieces of metal.
2. TIG – TUNGSTEN ARC WELDING (TAW)
In TIG, a non-consumable tungsten electrode is used to make the weld. The arc is struck by the movement of a filler wire electrode which also carries the shielding gas. The filler wire can be drawn from either a spool or from an automatic feeder. Since no current travels through the workpiece in TIG welding, there is no heat input from the work material. This allows thermal shock resistance and makes it possible to weld dissimilar metals. Compared with MIG welding, TIG welding does not require a shielding gas and can weld thicker materials.
3. FCAW – FILLER CORE ARC WELDING
FCAW welding, also known as FCA welding, FCAW welding, or simply arc welding, is a semi-automatic or automatic arc welding method that uses a consumable wire electrode covered by a tight flux skin that melts to form the weld joint. Unlike the MIG and TIG processes, no shielding gas is used. Instead, a filler rod is used to shield the weld from oxygen while providing molten metal to make up for any incomplete shield and base material fusion.
4. FLUX-CORED – FLUX-CORED ARC WELDING (FCAW)
Flux-cored arc welding uses a thin metal electrode coated with a thin layer of inert gas shielding material containing flux. The electrode wire feeder carries both the inert gas and the wire at high speeds from which high-velocity inert gas is produced as flux vaporizes. The purpose of the change is to clean your weld pool from slag and oxides as the thin metal electrode melts into your weld joint by heating up. The fluxing keeps the molten metal from sticking to the metal electrode and allows a better heat transfer. This method is used for welding metals thicker than 1″ and welding thin sheet metal.
Flux-cored arc welding can produce a weld seam anywhere between 0.030″ and 0.100″ thick, which is the limit for steel, copper and aluminum. When welding metals thinner than 0.031 3″, this weld must be constructed in segments joined with butt joints or lap joints, depending on the thickness of your material.
5. STICK – SHIELDED METAL ARC WELDING (SMAW)
This is the most popular type of arc welding used to weld thin sheet metal or soldering thin wires. The electrode wire is fed into the weld joint by a wire feeder, and the welder manipulates the electrode with their hands while shielding it with a flux-coated workpiece. Although this technique can produce a weld seam up to 0.031″, its limited application and difficulty in achieving consistent results often force welding job shops and hobbyists to use semi-automatic welding machines that use flux-cored wire.
6. STEEL ARC WELDING (SAW)
The most common type of arc welding applied to metal, this technique uses flux-cored wire and a power supply with an AC supply voltage between 100 and 220 V. The essential equipment consists of a metal-to-metal arc welding machine, a filler wire feeder or a filler gun, an AC power supply and a lead-in cable. An aluminum clip is used as the backing for the deposition of the filler metal during ARC welding. There is no filler metal in SAW to use as a heat transfer medium, so the electrode must provide enough heat to melt the base metal and transfer it to the workpiece.
Which Type of Welding Is the Hardest to Learn?
The hardest welding to learn is MIG (gas metal arc welding). MIG is one of the most common types of welding used today because it’s fast, consistent, and easy to set up. It can penetrate thin metals with little difficulty, which makes it useful for auto bodywork. It’s also easier to learn than a stick or TIG welding.
In stick or TIG welding, you have to create your source of electric current with a stick electrode, which means you have to be careful not to generate too much heat as you’re trying to weld together two pieces of metal. Because stick and TIG require more skill and practice than MIG, they are less often used in shops today. There are safety concerns with these techniques because the operator has to choose exactly what they want to weld.
It’s easier to set up MIG welding machines than stick or TIG welding machines. MIG welding machines are also less expensive. They are relatively easy to operate, but they require more skill and patience than a stick or TIG welding because they allow you to vary the speed of your arc by changing your hand position, which affects how close your weld is to the metal surface.
Which Welding Is Strongest?
The most vital type of arc welding is the MIG process because the electrode has a very high melting point and is a rigid material. An electronic circuit connects a solid wire with molten metal. As the high-temperature molten metal melts the solid wire, it heats up and draws more current from your power source. You can use a MIG welder to weld together anything from 1″ to 60″ in thickness.
You can use an arc welding gun as long as you’re working outside, but you should use a stick electrode connected to a power supply inside. If you’re using a stick electrode out, you don’t need a power supply. Stick welding has many applications in the automobile, appliance and farm machinery industries.
The numbers can range from 1″ to 5″ depending on the thickness of the material you’re welding. The TIG process uses a solid wire as an electrode and a gas whose ability to hold an electric charge is significantly reduced as it passes through molten metal. Without the high-temperature arc, TIG is much weaker than MIG welding. A TIG welder works best for metals from 0.012″ to 0.
All of the types of welding just discussed are very versatile and powerful tools. All the techniques have their purpose and function, so you can choose one that will suit your needs. To make sure you’re getting the best price for your purchase, check out some of our reviews at Arcwelding.info. We review all kinds of products like welding helmets, MIG welders, stick welders, flux-core welders, and more!