I am sure you are eager to learn all about the different welding types, but for those of you who don’t already know what welding is, here is a quick overview, (Feel free to skip to the different welding types if you already know this)
Welding refers to joining pieces of metal together using extreme heat that gets generated in different ways. The heat melts the base material, which, when cooled, creates a joint between the two metals. Usually, another element used in the joint is the filler. The filler gets subjected to high heat that makes it into a molten state that cools off to form the bond between the metals.
The extreme heat in welding gets produced in many different ways, including chemically, which is using a gas flame, laser, electric arc, ultrasound, friction, and more.
Under the welding umbrella, there are different welding types that have various ways in which they produce extreme heat and are all used for multiple purposes and results. Let’s look deeper into the welding types and their uses.
The 6 Main Welding Types
There are six different welding types that are most commonly used, and some much more than others, you will learn all about that below. But to start these are the 6 different types we will be talking about today.
- Mig Welding
- Tig Welding
- Stick Welding
- Plasma Arc Welding
- Gas Welding
- Electron Beam and Laser Welding
What is Mig Welding?
Mig in full is metal inert gases and is part of the Arc Welding process that includes the use of a solid wire electrode that feeds through a gun into a weld pool that melts it and creates a joint between the two metals. It also contains a protective gas that travels through the welding gun to protect the welding from air-borne contaminations, which gives a cleaner outcome. Many consider this process of welding as an easy process to learn, and anyone, including DIY enthusiasts, can learn and use it.
A great tip to remember when using Mig welding is to clean any metal surface that you plan on working on as the Mig does not work well on rust, oily, or dusty surfaces.
What is Mig Welding Used For?
Mig welding is essential for small scale work, like home repairs, manual welding in small scale workshops. Many welders, who fabricate small scale structures such as metal beds or doing car repairs for clients, will use Mig welding for these processes. Mig welding is better used in an enclosed space or the environs of a workshop and not in an open field with the wind blowing.
What is Stick Welding?
Stick welding also gets defined as (SMAW) for shielded metal arc welding that uses electricity and an electrode to join metals. The electrode comes in the form of a stick, covered with layers of compounds and metal powders that burn off during welding creating protection from contaminants and moisture.
The stick/electrode burns off the compound and powders it is covered in and becomes the filer for the joint. Stick welding is versatile and thus makes it a preferred method of welding.
What is Stick Welding Used For?
Since it is versatile and universal, stick welding is used in large scale welding use such us in the manufacture, construction, aerospace, shipbuilding, steel fabrication, mining, and many more large scale works.
What Is TIG Welding?
TIG welding is an abbreviation for ‘tungsten inert gas welding.’ It uses electricity and an electrode that is non-consumable to create an arc between the metal surface and the electrode. During welding, a thin wire is fed into the electrode, which melts and becomes filler that creates a joint between the two metals.
What is TIG used for?
TIG has excellent clean results that attract artists for welding on sculptures.
It works on more metals than any other type of welding. Hence, its applications are vast in different industries including, car body repair workshops and construction in the aerospace industry.
What is Plasma Arc Welding?
Plasma arc welding uses plasma, is a gas that heats at extreme temperatures to become electrically conductive. Plasma directs the electric arc to the metal surface, which causes it to melt due to the high heat making the metals to fuse. The copper nozzle has a small opening and contains a tungsten electrode, where an arc gets created between the electrode and nozzle.
This heat gets directed on the surface for welding. The plasma and a shielding gas are then forced through a constricted narrow space, which makes the torch concentrate intense heat on a small surface. The shielding gases typically used include argon, argon/hydrogen, or argon/helium.
What is Plasma Arc Welding used for?
Plasma arc welding is useful in tools and die-mold repairs. It welds and
repairs pipes and tubes due to its ability to concentrate the heat that welds into a small area and also has a deep penetration. This type of welding is also useful in the aerospace and marine industries.
What are Electron Beam and Laser Welding?
Laser beam welding includes the use of a high energy laser beam that contains enough energy to melt both parts of metals to be joined. Most laser beams are linked to computer-aided manufacturing designs. The laser gets directed by the computer along the joint and uses a shielding gas to ensure clean joints.
Electron beam welding consists of high speed and focused electrons that hit the surface that needs welding. These high speeds turn into kinetic energy, which later turns into high heat upon impact on the surface to be welded. The extremely high energy electrons allow for deep penetrations. The electron beam welding needs to be conducted in a vacuum to control the area in which the high-speed electrons cover.
What are Electron Beam and Laser Welding Used For?
Due to their ability to have deep penetration and minimum heating of the material, the EB and laser beam are usually useful in power generation, nuclear, medical research, oil and gas, and aerospace among other industries.
What is Gas Welding?
This welding type has a simple definition. Gas welding includes hating of metals with a flame until the melt and can merge. A welder will need equipment that produces intensely high heat to achieve this. Some of the required gases used to create this type of heat need to be highly flammable and include oxygen, which gets mixed with gasoline, hydrogen, acetylene, butane, and more.
What is Gas Welding Used For?
Most commonly used in repairs, repairing automotive and aircraft parts. Gas welding is also widely used on fabrications that use thin metal sheets; it can also be used in melting high carbon steel.
All these welding types are effective when used for the right purpose. One thing these types have in common, however, is that safety measures and precautions must be maintained. For the welding techniques that needs one to be hands-on, safety gear must be worn, that’s is eye protection, leather boots in case of electrocution, gloves due to high heat and headgear to protect from sparks.
Welding Types Final Words
I hope you found this article about the different welding types helpful, and you now have a better understanding of the different types and welding and which one you may want to use.
If you think we missed something or would like us to add more to this article please let us know your thoughts in the comments! We would love to hear from you!
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