Arc welding

What is arc welding?

By using an arc welder, the electric arc formed between the electrode attached to the power supply and the workpiece melts the metals at the welding point to form a strong joint. Depending on the kind of metal and the required quality of the weld, choose a manual arc welding process, semi-automatic, or fully automated.

There are many types of arc welding equipment available. Welding machines are adjustable to direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) and torches allow consumable or non-consumable electrodes. In some cases, the welder arc is protected by a shielding gas to eliminate impurities.

Arc welding

These are some of the arc welder types available:

MIG welding (Metal Inert Gas), also known as GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding): the arc is shielded by a column of gas. Argon, helium or a mixture is commonly used. This is an economic type of welding for long-stretched welds that requires reasonable welding skills for good results.

TIG welding {link to page What is TIG welding?} (Tungsten Inert Gas), also known as GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding): when the TIG machine is powered up, a tungsten electrode creates the required heat to make high-quality welds. Also in this process, the arc is shielded by a column of gas. The welder holds a filler metal rod in the welding puddle to fill the welding crater. This method welds a wide variety of metals.

SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc): with the power supply turned on, a coated electrode tip creates an arc when held close to the workpiece. The generated heat melts the metal of the workpiece, the tip of the electrode and the coating, forming an alloy to build the weld. With this type of welding, some cleaning up (grinding or smoothing) is required.

Arc welding

SAW (Submerged Arc Welding): a granular flux layer protects the welding area. This layer melts during the welding process forming a current between the electrode and the workpiece. Submerged arc welding is commonly applied in the industry in an automated or mechanic way.

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