What Are the Different Types of Welding Methods and What They Are Used For?
MIG Welding – Gas Metal Arc (GMAW)
Gas Metal Arc Welding is a traditional form of welding developed in the 1940s. Gas Metal Arc Welding uses a metal inert gas supply, machine-fed wire rod, contact tube, and gas nozzle to weld the wire rod feed to the base metal. Various industries use this process of welding, such as manufacturing.
Gas Metal Arc Welding works by feeding a consumable wire electrode through a gun. An electrical arc is produced between the wire and the base metal, which melts moth materials and creates a seal. Shielding gas is fed through the process to protect the seal from contamination
Stick – Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
Shielded Metal Arc Welding is also known as Manual Metal Arc Welding; this form of welding is one of the oldest, originating in the 1800s. One of the most recognisable welding types, shielded metal arc welding, is a stick welding process that uses a current and a consumable electrode to weld metal together.
The consumable electrode is protected by a cover if it melts; the cover prevents oxygen and atmospheric gases from entering the weld area and contaminating it. This form of welding is extremely versatile and simple; it is used in industries around the world for metal fabrication.
TIG Welding – Gas Tungsten Arc (GTAW)
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding became popular in the 1940s as an effective way to fuse aluminium and magnesium using an inert gas shield instead of slag for weld pool protection. Tungsten welding quickly became a popular replacement for manual and gas metal arc welding types.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding is often used in the aerospace industry because the process is perfect for welding light metals like aluminium, magnesium, and copper. Welding with Gas Tungsten gives the operator much more control over the welding process for seamless lines.
Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
Flux cored arc welding is a semi-automatic arc welding process; this means the welding process contains manual and automatic elements to assist with the control and accuracy of the welding. This welding type uses a continuous wire-fed electrode with a welding power supply.
Flux-cored arc welding is perfect for certain industries; it is used extensively in the construction industry, shipbuilding industry, and water-tank repairs. Flux-cored arc welding is extremely portable and it offers exceptional control outdoors, thanks to its semi-automatic functionality.
Plasma Arc Welding
Plasma arc welding is an arc welding technique similar to gas tungsten arc welding processes. Plasma arc welding uses an electrical arc formed between the electrode and base metal to melt the workpiece. The main difference between them is the position of the electrode in the torch.
Plasma arc welding is used in manufacturing and on factory floors to develop and repair tools for industries. While this is not its only function - plasma welding is also used for butt joints - plasma welding is best suited for smaller work, which is why it is popular for component parts.
Electron Beam and Laser Welding
Electron beam welding and laser beam welding are both forms of power welding techniques characterised by strength and accuracy; for this reason, electron beam and laser beam welding tend to be used in the aerospace industries, automotive industries, and medical industries.
There are different types of welding methods for different industries, but when it comes to smaller component parts, electron beam and laser welding techniques prove to be highly effective. Although similar, one uses electrons while the other uses light to seal up the metal.
Gas Welding / Oxy acetylene Welding
One of the most traditional forms of welding is gas welding or oxy acetylene welding, which uses a precise mixture of gases within the handheld blowpipe. The gas is fired at high temperatures to join and fuse metals. Gas welding is mainly used for welding thin pieces of metal and can be found most often in manufacturing industries or for creating small components in factories.
Atomic Hydrogen Welding
Atomic hydrogen welding is used in a number of industries; it is particularly effective for sealing sheet metals and for precision welding work; for these reasons, you can find atomic hydrogen welding in manufacturing, aerospace industries, and automotive industries. Atomic hydrogen welding uses tungsten electrodes and hydrogen gas to release heat amounts of focused heat.
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MIG Welding: MIG Welding is the most common type of welding. It is actually two types of welding, bare wire and flux core. MIG Welding is ideal for DIY enthusiasts and hobby welders.
Stick Welding: Stick welding is the most traditional form of welding; it uses an electrode welding rod instead of a wire feeder to secure the metal. Equipment is very easy to source.
TIG Welding: TIG welding is commonly used in industrial processes, this type of welding requires a feed rod and a TIG torch. This welding type is used for aluminium, steel, and alloys.
Plasma Arc Welding: Plasma arc welding is similar to TIG welding in terms of technique, but heat is generated with ionising gases. Plasma arc welding is used in the aerospace industry.
Electron Beam Welding: Electron beam welding is used to precision weld tiny devices like the kind used in the medical industry. This welding produces accurate welding and is cost-effective.
Gas Welding: Gas welding is another old-style welding trade; it uses oxygen and acetylene to weld car parts together but is rarely used nowadays. Still, it is a very portable form of welding.