What is Arc welding
Arc welding is a type of welding process that uses an electric arc to melt and fuse two or more pieces of metal together. The electric arc is created by touching a metal electrode to the metal being welded and then drawing it away slightly, creating a high-temperature plasma arc that melts the metal.
Types of Arc Welding
There are several types of arc welding, including:
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
- Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
SMAW is a welding process that uses a consumable electrode covered with a flux to protect the weld from atmospheric contamination. This process is also known as stick welding, because the electrode is shaped like a stick. SMAW is a versatile welding process that can be used on a variety of metals and in a variety of positions, making it one of the most popular types of arc welding.
Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
GMAW is a welding process that uses a metal wire electrode and a shielding gas to protect the weld from atmospheric contamination. The wire is fed through a gun, which also supplies the shielding gas. GMAW is commonly used in industrial applications because of its high welding speed and low cost.
Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
FCAW is a welding process that uses a tubular wire electrode filled with flux to protect the weld from atmospheric contamination. FCAW is similar to GMAW, but it can be used in outdoor and windy conditions because the flux creates a shielding gas that protects the weld from contamination.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
GTAW is a welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode and a shielding gas to protect the weld from atmospheric contamination. GTAW is a precise welding process that produces high-quality welds, making it a popular choice for aerospace and other high-tech industries.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Arc Welding
- Can be used to weld a wide variety of metals
- Can be used in a variety of positions
- Produces strong, durable welds
- Can be used in outdoor and windy conditions with certain processes
- Low cost and widely available equipment
- Requires electricity, which can be expensive or unavailable in some locations
- Produces a lot of heat and can cause distortion and warping in thin materials
- Can produce welds with porosity if not done properly
- Produces fumes and smoke that can be hazardous to the welder if proper ventilation is not used