Welding professions and enthusiasts can shape or transform any shape involved in metals by just using a couple of tools in a short time. It is exciting to be able to achieve the design intended and be rewarded for it. However, the process that involves more sparkling is something you need to have a more understanding of. There are different types of welding process involved one that will favor some metals and others that will help you as the operator achieve the kind of weld that you want. These are the basics you ought to understand before you sink into welding. Below I have listed you the different types of welding accepted in the market. There could be more types of welding, but I have described the ones that are frequently used.
1. Gas Metal Welding
Its also known as MIG welding. The process involves the melting of metal by the use of a consumable electrode and the metal producing an electric arc. An electrode is a wire which is solid before it fed in the welding pool. Its fed continuously through the welding arc generating a filler metal to the weld. The solid wire comes in various types and is selected according to the weld strength required, which is determined by the primary metal strength. During the welding, gases such as helium or argon (inert gases) are streamed to protect the electrode, the base metal, the weld pool, and the arc from interacting with the air in the surrounding. To produce the desired weld parameters such as wire feed speed, arc current and voltage, temperatures during preheating, the density of the current, and the rate of electrode travel should be considered.
Before the welding starts, preheating the base metal is done. Preheating involves heating the region to be welded before the welding takes place. The practice is to reduce shrinkage stress and increase cracking resistance in the welded area.
2. Tungsten Arc Welding
The process of welding here involves an electrode that is not consumable and is responsible for producing a weld. Filler metal is sourced from an external source, which is usually a bare metal rod. For autogenous welds, a filler rod is not required. Inert gas is used to shield the weld pool from possible contamination by the atmosphere.
Tungsten inert welding is the most appropriate stainless-steel thin sections and other light metal such as copper alloy, magnesium, and aluminum. The method of welding let the operator have much control. The weld produced is said to be of high integrity and stronger. Its disadvantage is that its more complex and slower.
3. Shielded Metal Arc Welding
Also called stick electrode welding. Until the beginning of 1980, metal arc welding was the predominant form of fusion welding. The electrode used here consists of a coated wire, the coating comprises of a mixture of substances such as iron powder, chemical, and minerals. The core diameter of the electrode comes in different sizes intended for a particular current. Both the iron powder and the electrode powder, in this case, produces the weld. The weld will form after striking an arc between the workpiece and the electrode, and the heat generated will melt the coating to form a protective slag, which should be removed after welding. The method is straight forward and is suitable for cases such as structure erection and other outdoor activities as it not affected by the windy environment.
Changing the electrode after it consumed and chipping off the slag after welding makes shielded metal welding time-consuming.
4. Flux-Cored Arc Welding
It uses a continuous wire process that is useful and good. The method is more economical compared to the shield metal arc welding. Its natural heavy-duty cycle makes it possible to achieve an effective deposition rate. The welding technique qualifies to be used on welding both the vertical downhill and vertical uphill welding. The coalescence of metal here is achieved by heating the metals using an arc that supplies a consumable electrode continuously between the metals. A flux that is found in the electrode contains deoxidizers that provide shielding, or it may be obtained from externally supplied inertia gas.
5. Plasma Arc Welding
By heating the metals with a constricted or a plasma arc, this technique achieves the coalescence of the metals. The plasma arc is established between the base metal and an electrode, which is not consumable. Plasma arc welding arc produces the heating like any other type of welding, but it diffuses differently as its constriction is achieved forcefully through a smaller orifice. An axillary shielding gas source may be used to supplement the plasma gas. The axillary source application will offer a better welding quality and speed.
6. Energy Beam Welding
It uses the help of an energy beam, which may either be a laser or an electron beam. Energy beam welding is a new process of welding, which has been highly appreciated because its highly efficient, and less time is used during the welding process. The laser beam of light is highly focused on the metal for welding to take place. In the case of an electron welding, the metals involved put in a vacuum and then subjected to a forced electron beam to weld the metals.
The laser beam and the electron beam are of exceptionally high density, which makes it possible for them to penetrate deeply in the metal. The processes involved are fast and can also be automated, making it likely to increase the production rate.
7. Atomic Hydrogen Welding
The welding is conducted in a shielded hydrogen atmosphere. Two tungsten electrodes and hydrogen gas breaks are used in the process to generate tremendous heat that breaks the hydrogen molecules involved, which will later recombine to release immense energy. The energy produced is then used for the welding process.
The presence of hydrogen prevents any contamination of the weld formed. It the welding process that is involved in welding tungsten metal. Tungsten metals are the most difficult metal to weld.
Each of the welding techniques comes with its advantages and disadvantages that will seem different to different operators. It now on you to choose one that will favor both you and your productivity. Also, proper practice is needed.