Welding is an essential process in manufacturing.
Also, there are various types of welding processes that differ when it comes to their mechanisms, applications, advantages, and limitations.
Some of the most used welding processes include MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding, TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding, stick welding, and plasma arc welding.
Each process differs from the other.
Additionally, they may also need different materials and instruments to support the process.
To make the process better, below is a complete explanation of how any process in welding works, when to use it, and the pros and cons for each process.
Types of Welding Process
There are a total of three processes in welding.
Each of them has its own mechanism and technique to create the best workpiece.
Here is an explanation of each welding process and how it works.
MIG or Metal Inert Gas is a welding process that uses a shielding gas coupled with a spool of wire.
The combination then creates an electrical arc between the workpiece and the wire.
As the metal molts, the shielding gas will protect the molten metal from contamination.
Hence, a welder can join metal parts using molten metal.
- How It Works
MIG works by feeding the wire electrode with a continuous spool of the wire using the welding gun.
The welding gun also supplies a shielding gas surrounding the weld pool, protecting the molten metal from the surrounding air.
- When to Use
MIG welding is suitable for welding thin to thick materials, and it is usually suitable for the automotive industry, fabrication shops, and construction sites.
A welder needs to learn the manual first before doing the MIG procedure, especially if it is for intricate parts of the workpiece.
|MIG welding is fast, efficient, and produces clean welds with minimal cleanup.|
It is also easy to learn and can be used on a wide range of materials.
|MIG welding requires constant electricity, and the shielding gas can be expensive.|
If not done carefully, it may also cause welding porosity.
Learn more about welding porosity here.
TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) Welding
TIG welding is short for Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW).
It is a type of welding process that uses a tungsten electrode and a shielding gas.
In addition, it will create an electrical arc between the electrode and the workpiece.
As the result, the electrode does not melt, and it also protects the weld pool from contamination by the surrounding atmosphere.
- How it Works
A welding torch holds the tungsten electrode.
Later it creates an electrical arc between the workpiece and the weld pool.
In addition, it will also need a shielding gas. The shielding gas is usually from argon or helium.
The shielding gas will protect the weld pool from contamination, especially from the surroundings that may contain particles other than necessary.
- When to Use
TIG welding is ideal for precise and delicate welding in the aerospace and medical industries.
It also welds thin materials, such as sheet metal and pipes.
|TIG welding produces high-quality, precise welds with excellent visual appearance.|
It is also useful for a wide range of materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, and copper alloys.
|TIG welding is slower and more labor-intensive than other welding processes, requiring higher skill and expertise.|
The equipment and consumables for TIG welding can also be expensive.
Stick welding is the short term for Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW).
It is a type of welding process that uses a consumable electrode.
Moreover, it also has flux material coating to create an electrical arc between the electrode and the workpiece.
The flux material then melts and forms a gas that protects the molten metal from contamination by the surrounding air.
- How It Works
Using a consumable electrode, it will have flux material coating.
Next, the welding holder will hold the metal and create a room for the electrode and the weld pool.
After it works, an electrical arc will appear between the electrode and the workpiece.
After that, the flux material will melt, forming a gas that protects the weld pool.
- When to Use
Stick welding is versatile when it comes to its use.
Various industries can benefit from stick welding. It includes construction, maintenance, and repair.
|Stick welding is suitable for welding thick and heavy metal.|
It is also suitable for outdoor and remote areas because it requires minimal equipment and is not affected by windy conditions.
The process also allows for welding in confined spaces and hard-to-reach areas.
Another advantage is that it covers a wide range of metals, including steel, cast iron, and stainless steel.
It also produces strong and durable welds, making it ideal for heavy-duty applications.
Additionally, the equipment required for stick welding is relatively inexpensive, making it a popular choice for small businesses and hobbyists.
|There are also some disadvantages to stick welding.|
One of the most significant drawbacks is its low welding speed compared to other welding processes.
This can be a disadvantage when working on larger projects that require faster welding speeds.
Stick welding also produces a high level of fumes and requires good ventilation to ensure the safety of the welder.
How to Choose The Type of Welding Process?
After knowing the process of welding, it is crucial that a welder knows which process to choose.
An expert will know that a certain part of the metal piece requires different techniques of welding.
For example, it is more suitable for aerospace parts to use TIG welding than stick welding.
Stick welding may be versatile, but it may lack the detail that TIG welding has.
Therefore, I think it is important for a welder to know the pros and cons in the welding process so they can produce a high-quality and precise workpiece.
There are several welding processes, each with its own mechanism.
Moreover, a welder can select the appropriate method based on the type of material.
Hence, the workpiece will be more accurate and intact not only in design but also in its function.