Welding is the process of permanently joining metals or thermoplastics together, although metals are more common. Welding can be used to build new things or repair and maintain structures.
Heat and a filler material are used when welding metals together. Many different energy sources can be used to weld, such as an electric arc, a gas flame, a laser, an electric beam, friction or ultrasound.
Different Types Of Welding Processes
1. Metal inert gas (MIG) welding
2. Gas metal arc welding (GMAW)
3. Metal active gas (MAG) welding
This welding process is where an electric arc forms between a MIG wire electrode and the pieces of metal, heating the metals to the point where it melts and joins together. To shield the process from contaminants in the air, a shielding gas feeds through the welding gun, along with the wire electrode. The MIG/GMAW welding process can be automatic or semi-automatic.
- This welding process is the easiest to learn
- High welding speeds are possible
- It allows better control on thinner materials
- Cleaner welds are possible
- The same equipment can be used for Flux-Cored Welding
- Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW or FCA)
This welding process is like MIG welding as it is a wire-feed process, but the difference is that FCAW does not require shielding gas since the flux-cored wire is used to shield the arc from contamination. This simplifies the welding process, especially when welding outdoors. The process also has high welding speeds and is easy to learn. Just like MIG welding, FCAW can weld thinner metals. This welding process can be automatic or semi-automatic.
- Works well on dirty and rusty materials
- Suitable for outdoor welding
- High deposition rate (the speed at which the filler metal is applied)
- Easy to learn
- Better control on thinner materials
Does not require a shielding gas
How To Choose A Welding Machine That Best Suits Your Needs
- Identify your requirements
What types of welding projects do you work on most frequently? The type and thickness of the materials you commonly work with will have an impact on your decision.
- Define your budget
Knowing how much money you have available to spend will have a major impact on your decision. You’ll need to consider the cost of accessories and supplies when defining your budget. Safety gear is also vital. You can expect to buy a helmet and gloves in addition to your welding machine. While you’ll want to get good value for money, it’s advisable to invest in a quality machine rather than choosing the cheapest option.