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Welding is a method of permanently joining two similar metals together through high temperatures. It’s used in almost every industry from farming to space. As of right now, there are over 50 different welding processes. However, four welding processes are most popular. Glance over these before you start training!
Four Popular Welding Processes
Stick/shielded metal arc welding
This is the process that uses welding sticks or rods. It’s also known as manual arc welding or shielding metal arc welding. Stick welding is the most common form of welding due to the low cost and ease of the operation. Stick welding is commonly used to join iron and steel, but it can also be used to join a plethora of other metals such as aluminum and nickel.
The stick welding method is utilized for the construction of pipelines and automobiles. It is also used in the construction of steel frames for buildings. Stick welding is also the most common form of welding used on a personal level. The only real negative to stick welding is the weld splatter.
TIG/gas tungsten arc welding
TIG welding is most commonly used for aerospace welding, piping systems, and motorcycles. This process allows for the welding of a wider range of materials. Unlike stick welding, there is no weld splatter, which makes the appearance neater.
There are no fillers needed to weld metals together when using the TIG welding process. There are only a couple of disadvantages to TIG welding: the high cost of materials and need for a more skilled welder.
MIG/gas metal arc welding
MIG welding creates a uniform weld bead. MIG welding is considered the “semi-automatic” process, because it allows for a longer weld without starting and stopping.
Unlike the TIG welding process, the welder doesn’t need to be as skilled—the equipment is relatively easy to use and allows for welding in all positions. It’s easy to learn, there are fewer fumes, and it makes virtually no mess. However, the equipment can prove to be pricey, and it cannot weld thick metals.
MIG welding is used for manufacturing and auto body repairs.
Flux-cored arc welding
Flux-cored arc welding is commonly used for thicker materials. It is the process used when repairing heavy machinery and steel-framed construction. Flux-cored arc welding is similar to MIG welding except it utilizes a tubular wire instead of a solid one.
The benefits of flux-cored arc welding are that it takes a lower heat input and there’s much less waste and not as many fumes. It’s also very easy to clean up. On the downside, the equipment can be costly, and it does create slag, or extra metal.
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