There are a few things that are more empowering than the ability to transform metals into different shapes and products. And the best way of doing this is by welding. A skill that requires lots of practice, welding gives you power over even the strongest of metals.
Probably the most common type of welding out there, MIG welding involves the use of an electrode that is fed through a welding gun. The weld is produced by an arc struck as like the best stick welder between the metal and a continuously supplied electrode that provides filler metal.
- Is an easy welding process to learn
- Produces cleaner welds that require minimal cleanup
- Produces minimal welding fumes and has a low heap output, hence safer
- Lower degree of precision required
- Can be used to weld a wide variety of metals
- Is sensitive to external factors such as rain, and wind thus is best carried out indoors
- Unlike other types of welding joints, the electrode used do not combat rust, oil or dirt and thus cleaning of the metals is a must before welding.
- Can be used to weld dirty or rusty metals
- Is compatible with out of position welding
- Allows deep penetration for welding thicker metals
- Tends to have faster weld speeds compared to MIG
Flux-cored arc welding is another type of arc welding. This welding technique is very much similar to MIG welding. However, whereas in MIG, we use a solid wire in flux-cored welding, we use a tube-shaped wire filled with flux.
The shielding gas used in MIG welding is also used in this type of welding. Also, the flux material forms a slag over the weld. This means the weld is well protected for external contaminants.
It is for this reason that flux-cored welding can be carried out in the outdoors. This type of welding is used for welding thicker materials. Some of the metals that it works best with include carbon steel, stainless steel, and alloy steel.
Unfortunately, this welding technique is not suited to welding non-ferrous metals such as aluminum. This is one of the main disadvantages of this type of welding.
- Flux-cored electrodes are cheaper compared to the electrodes of MIG welding
- Can be accomplished without the need for a shielding gas
- Can be done outside
- This type of welding has more tolerance for dirt
- There is less weld spatter with this type of welding
- Offers greater penetration especially with carbon dioxide shielding gas
- Is not ideal for welding non-ferrous metals such as aluminum
- This type of welding is not recommended for thin metals
- Harder to learn compared to other Types of Welding
- Is used for high-standard and professional welding tasks
- Minimal clean up after welding is required
- Uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode
Another popular type of welding is Gas Tungsten Arc welding. Among the different types of welding process, this is considered the most challenging. Also known as TIG welding, this welding type involves the use of a tungsten electrode.
The welding heat is generated by an arc between the tungsten electrode and the metal being welded. Similar to other types of arc welding a cloud of inert gas shields the weld from atmospheric contaminants.
This type of welding can be used to weld thin and thick metals. For thick metals, a filler metal wire may be required. However, for thinner metals, the filler metal will not be required. This welding type produces welds of a very high finish.
Some of the metals that are welded using this technique include aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and stainless steel.
- Produces stronger and more ductile welds compared to other types of the welding process
- There is no slag and thus no need for post-weld cleanup
- Is used to weld a wide variety of joint types
- There is little sparks, fumes or smoke, thus making for a neater weld
- Can be used to weld a wide variety of metals
- The most basic type of welding
- Uses electric current
- Low cost of equipment necessary
- Requires more time to master compared to other techniques
This type of welding is often referred to as stick or manual arc welding. Connected either to an AC or DC power source, this type of welding involves the use of an electrode. An arc is formed between the electrode of the metal.
This arc melts both the metal and electrode and forms a weld pool. The electrode usually has a flux that is burnet to produce a layer of shielding gas. This shielding gas protects the weld from other gasses in the atmosphere.
As the weld pool cools off, it solidifies to cover a joint. Slag is also produced which needs to be chipped off. This type of welding is mainly used in industries for welding heavy-duty steel and iron. However, it can also be used to weld aluminum.
- Low cost of necessary equipment thus the process is cost-effective
- The equipment used is portable
- Can be used outside in different conditions
- Can be used on rusty or dirty metal
- This type of welding works well on steel, iron and even aluminum
- A lot of waste is produced from this welding technique
- It requires time and practice to master
Other types of the welding process
Exactly how many types of welding process are there? The above mentioned are the most common. However, there are other welding processes. Most of which are less common and others are restricted to specific industries.
Electron Beam Welding: This is a welding method that involves firing rays of high-velocity electrons at the material to be welded. Energy from the electrons is transformed into sheets for purposes of melting the weld material.
This type of welding is vacuum-based and is commonly used in the aerospace industry. It is also used to weld transmission assemblies.
Plasma Arc welding: In this type of welding an electric current is passed through a small nozzle that goes through protective gases for accuracy. This type of welding is suited to welding small areas. It is also used in the aerospace industry.
Atomic Hydrogen welding: This is a welding process used for welding tungsten. The latter metal is notorious for being heat resistant. This process involves the placement of two tungsten metals in a hydrogen environment for purposes of breaking the hydrogen in the molecules.
The extreme heat of up to 3000 degrees Celsius is required for this. It is for this reason that this type of welding is rare nowadays.
The different types of welding processes are suited to welding different metals. Also, they are suited to different tasks. While some are easier to master than others, it is important to note that welding is a skill that requires practice.