When you first begin learning to weld, the sheer amount of material accessible on the subject might be overwhelming.
It might be tough to get started welding if you are unfamiliar with the different types of welding available. Some are simpler to learn, while others are rather challenging.
While some welding techniques generate clean, visually appealing beads that require little to no cleanup, others generate the exact opposite.
What kind of metal do you intend to weld? It makes a significant difference.
We’ve assembled vital information about the different types of welding techniques to simplify the subject
1. TIG – Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
TIG welding is one type of welding known as Heliarc welding or gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW).
The electrode used in this type of welding is non-consumable and constructed of tungsten.
It’s one of the few types of welding that can be done with just the two metals being welded together and no filler metal. You can add a filler metal if you want, but you’ll have to feed it by hand.
TIG welding necessitates the use of a gas tank to maintain the steady flow of gas required to protect the weld. As a result, it’s usually best done indoors and away from the elements.
TIG welding is a precise type of welding that produces visually beautiful welds and requires minimal cleanup because no spatter is produced.
Due to these traits, it is a difficult type of welding that is best left behind for experienced welders.
2. Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
MIG welding is identical to this type of welding. In reality, MIG welders are frequently used as FCAW welders as well.
A wire that serves as the electrode and the filler metal is fed through your wand, just like in MIG welding. This is when things start to get interesting.
The wire in FCAW has a flux core that produces a gas barrier around the weld. This eliminates the requirement for a gas source from outside.
Since FCAW is a high-heat welding process, it is better suited for thicker, heavier metals. For this reason, it’s frequently utilized for heavy machinery repairs.
It’s a cost-effective method that produces little waste. It is also inexpensive because no external gas is required.
There will be a need for a bit of cleanup, and there will be a bit of slag left over to make a beautifully finished weld.
3. Stick – Shielded-Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
Welding began in the 1930s, but it is still updated and improved today.
It has remained a popular welding technique due to its simplicity and ease of learning, as well as its low cost of operation.
However, because it splatters quickly, it does not provide the cleanest welds. Typically, cleanup is required. Filler metal is sometimes provided by a replaceable electrode “stick.”
An arc forms between the end of the stick and the base metals, melting the electrode into the filler metal and forming the weld.
When heated, the stick is covered in flux, which produces a gas cloud that protects the metal from oxidation. The gas settles on the metal and produces slag when it cools.
This technique can be utilized outside, even in adverse weather such as rain and wind, because it does not require gas.
It also works on rusted, painted, and unclean surfaces, which makes it ideal for equipment repairs.
Different types of electrodes are available and easily swapped, making it simple to weld a variety of metals, though it isn’t ideal for thin metals.
Stick welding is a highly skilled operation that takes a long time to master.
4. MIG – Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
MIG welding is a simple process among the types of welding that even inexperienced welders can master.
MIG stands for metal inert gas welding, although it’s also known as gas metal arc welding (GMAW).
It’s a short procedure that entails feeding the filler metal via the wand while gas is ejected around it to protect it from the elements. This signifies it’s not suitable for usage outside.
It is, however, a versatile procedure that may be used to weld a variety of metals of various thicknesses.
The filler metal is a spool-fed consumable wire that also serves as an electrode.
When an arc is formed between the wire’s tip and the base metal, the wire melts, forming filler metal and the weld.
The wire is fed constantly through the wand, allowing you to adjust the speed to your liking.
MIG welding generates a smooth, tight weld that is visually pleasing when done correctly.
5. Laser Beam Welding
Metals and thermoplastics can both be used in this type of welding. The welds are created by using a laser as a heat source, as the name implies.
Carbon steels, stainless steel, HSLA steels, titanium, and aluminum can all be used.
Since it is simple to automate with robotics, it is commonly employed in production, such as in the automotive industry.
This form of welding has a limited heat-affected zone, which is a big benefit. Welding may be done on almost any metal, though high carbon steels may break due to the intense heat.
This type of welding is used in the automotive industry, and it’s simple to automate using robots and machinery. Filler rods can be added manually for semi-automatic setups.
Powdered metal can also be used as a filler.
6. Electron-Beam Welding
This is one of the types of welding in which a high-velocity beam of electrons uses kinetic energy to create heat and join two materials.
This is a very advanced type of welding that is done by machine, usually in a vacuum.
So, in general, EBW is better for little or medium-sized components (though this varies depending on the machine size) and high volume.
7. Plasma Arc Welding
Plasma arc welding is comparable to GTAW, except that it uses a smaller arc, which improves weld precision.
It also makes use of a separate torch, which allows it to reach significantly higher temperatures.
Plasma is created when gas is compressed inside the wand. After then, the plasma is ionized, which makes it electrically conductive.
This enables the formation of the arc, which produces extremely high temperatures capable of melting the base metals.
Another similarity to TIG welding is that plasma arc welding can be done without filler metal.
This welding method provides for deep weld penetration with narrow welds, resulting in aesthetically beautiful welds with great strength.
Furthermore, high welding rates are achievable.
8. Atomic Hydrogen Welding
Atomic hydrogen welding, also known as arc-atom welding, is a type of extremely high-heat welding.
This type of welding is used to protect two tungsten electrodes during this sort of welding.
It can achieve temperatures higher than those reached by an acetylene torch, and it can be used with or without filler metal.
This is an earlier type of welding that has recently been replaced by MIG welding.
This is a more advanced welding technique for joining the thin edges of two metal plates vertically.
The weld will be applied between the edges of the two plates rather than on the outside of the joint.
A copper electrode wire is supplied through a filler metal-filled consumable metal guide tube.
When electricity is applied, an arc is formed, and a weld is formed at the bottom of the seam and gradually moved up, forming the weld in place of the seam as it goes.
This is a fully automated process that is carried out by a machine.
10. Stick Welding
This type of welding is considered to be the most basic type of welding among the different types of welding. It’s cost-effective, simple to implement, and doesn’t cost much to get started.
This style is commonly found on farms, construction sites, and private garages. Stick welding is commonly used to join steel plates.
It’s considered incredibly mobile because all you need is energy and a supply of rods.
This type of welding is commonly used in structural applications, such as welding plates and beams together high up on a steel frame.
It’s also very common in the repair industry, particularly with heavy equipment.
A machine will pump electricity through the rod, melting both the metal and the rod at the same time.
A clamp will ground the workpiece, closing the circuit and allowing electricity to flow.
11. Oxyfuel Welding
This is a completely different form of welding than the other different types of welding we’ve discussed so far.
Rather than using electricity, oxyfuel welding uses a gas-fueled flame. This is very effective for sheet metal, and the fact that it doesn’t require electricity makes it very mobile.
Oxy-acetylene welding is the most well-known type of oxyfuel welding. This creates a very hot flame by combining oxygen and acetylene.
When more material is needed, a filler rod can be employed. It’s essentially a two-handed operation.
The welding torch’s heat is focused on the metal, creating a molten weld pool.
12. Submerged Arc Welding
This is a fairly regular occurrence. It’s a very frequent approach to weld pipes together end to end, and it’s sometimes referred to as SAW.
Using a tube, a coarse flux powder is applied to the area to be welded. There’s also a spool-fed wire inside the tube that serves as both an electrode and a filler material.
This is usually a fully automated, machine-controlled procedure. The operator sets up the machine, makes any necessary adjustments, and then presses the green button.
It’s like the love child of arc welding and MIG welding. Instead of gas, you utilize arc welding flux in powder form.