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4 Different Types of Welding Processes

types of welding
Welders turn some of the strongest metals in the world into different shapes and what we see as products like parts of cars, ships, buildings, and more. Welding requires a certain type of skill set and technical know-how which is best learned with the help of industry professionals in welding schools for example. But before you go ahead and enroll yourself, catch up on the basics. Here’s an overview of the four most common types of welding processes.  types of welding

4 Most Common Types of Welding Processes

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW/MIG), MIG welding

Gas Metal Arch Welding, known as Metal Inert Gas or MIG welding, is the most common industrial welding process. This type of welding requires pulling a trigger that feeds consumable electrodes through a welding gun. Between the electrode and the base material, an electric arc is formed heating the material to its melting point making it possible to join metals together. It can be used for both thin and thick metals like copper, nickel, stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum.  MIG welding requires a direct-current power source, a stable and constant voltage, and an externally supplied shielding gas like argon, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and helium. This process is easy to learn which makes it perfect for DIY enthusiasts and beginners. It requires a lower degree of precision and doesn’t need too much cleanup. Plus, you get reduced welding fumes.  Some disadvantages include it’s sensitivity to rain, wind, and dust which means MIG welding must usually be done indoors, the inability to weld thicker metals, and restriction in doing overhead and vertical welding. This type of welding is usually used in the automotive industry, robotics, maritime industry, branding, and constructions.  types of welding  

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW/TIG), TIG welding

TIG welding is also known as Heliarc welding. This process uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode that heeds the metal base. An electric current that heats the material base is run through a tungsten electrode. This then creates an arc that melts the wire and creates a weld pool. For TIG welding, external gas supply is also needed like argon or a mix of helium and argon.  Unlike MIG welding, Gas Tungsten Arc welding is a slower and much more complicated, follows a complex process, a higher degree of precision, and a level of expertise due to the very small area between the arc and material that is being welded.  TIG welding is perfect for welding thin materials like stainless steel, alloy steel, nonferrous metals like copper alloys, magnesium, and aluminum. If done well, it produces high-quality weld that is strong.  This process is commonly used in the manufacturing of bicycle and aircraft parts, tubing, vehicles, and repair of tools made of the above-mentioned materials. 

Stick or Shielded Metal Arc welding (SMAW), Stick Welding

Stick welding is a popular welding process for home-shop welders. The name “stick welding” comes from the welding of rods or sticks that include filler flux and material. It’s an old welding technique that has a consumable electrode that is coated in flux used to lay the weld. This flux protects the molten metal and the filler joins materials together.  The advantage of using this welding process is that minimum equipment is needed, and unlike MIG and TIG welding, there is no need for shielded gas and it works well with thicker metals. It is also not as sensitive to external factors so it can be done outdoors.  While it has it’s advantages, it also has disadvantages. First, it isn’t the best quality of welding, it has shallow penetration, has cracks and porosity, and generally less durable than MIG and TIG welding.  types of welding

Flux Cored Arc Welding

Flux Cored arc welding has similarities with MIG welding such that it uses a wire feed process. While MIG welding uses shielded gas and can only be done indoors, this process uses a flux-cored wire that protects the arc from contamination which makes it possible to perform welding outdoors and is efficient to use on thicker metals.  Because offers portability and high welding speed, Flux Cored ARC welding is commonly used in construction and in the automobile industry since it provides strength that can withstand large forces and is effective on dirty and rusty materials too.  This type of welding process is easy to learn and also doesn’t cost too much. Because of the ease of its use, it is still widely used despite it being less aesthetic as compared to other processes and its limitations when it comes to applications of the technique. 

Other types of Welding Processes

Now that you have an overview of the four different types of welding processes, you can move on to getting more into the specifics and learning more from mentors in the community and professionals in welding schools. You will find that there are other types of welding processes like Plasma Arc welding, Electron Beam and Laser welding, Gas welding, and Atomic Hydrogen welding. Whatever type of welding process you will be doing in the future, you are sure to have at least an overview of the four most common welding processes.  While you’re at it, learn more about welding clothing and protective equipment and reasons why you should consider a career in welding. types of welding  
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