Cover Image for Different Types of Welding.

Welding is a fabrication process that joins two or more materials, typically metals or thermoplastics, by heating them to their melting point and then fusing them together. There are many different types of welding, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common types of welding, including their applications, techniques, and equipment requirements.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

Also known as manual metal arc welding (MMAW), shielded metal arc welding is one of the most basic and widely used welding techniques. It involves striking an arc between a consumable electrode and the workpiece, which melts the electrode and the base metal to form a weld. The electrode is coated in a flux that releases gases to shield the arc and the weld from the atmosphere. The process is relatively simple and can be performed with minimal equipment, making it ideal for fieldwork and repair jobs. However, it is also relatively slow and can produce a lot of spatter, making it less suitable for precision work.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

Gas tungsten arc welding, also known as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, is a precision welding technique that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create the arc. The workpiece is heated by the arc, which melts the metal and creates the weld. An inert gas, such as argon or helium, is used to shield the arc and the weld from the atmosphere. GTAW is a very precise and clean welding method, making it ideal for thin materials, tight spaces, and critical applications. However, it also requires a high level of skill and a significant amount of equipment, making it more costly and time-consuming than some other techniques.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

Gas metal arc welding, also known as Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, is a semi-automatic or automatic welding process that uses a consumable wire electrode to create the arc and shielding gas to protect the weld. The wire electrode is fed into the weld pool by a spool gun, which melts the electrode and the base metal to create the weld. GMAW is a fast and efficient welding method that is well-suited for a wide range of materials and thicknesses. It also produces minimal spatter and does not require as much skill as some other techniques. However, it can be more expensive and complex than some other welding methods.

Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

Similar to GMAW but using tubular wire which contains flux and it self shields, eliminating the need for a shielding gas separate from the wire. This process is more appropriate for welding outdoors or where access to shielding gas may be limited.

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW)

SAW welding uses a consumable electrode that is coated in flux, which is continuously fed into the weld pool. The arc is submerged under the flux, creating a slag that protects the weld from the atmosphere. SAW is an efficient and high-quality welding method that is well-suited for thick materials and high-production environments. However, it can be a relatively dirty and dangerous process, and it requires a significant amount of equipment, including a welding power source, a wire feeder, and a slag removal system.