How Many Types of Welding Should I Learn?
If you’re considering starting a career in the – welding field, you might be wondering why there are so many types of welding, and how many you should learn. Different types of welding are used depending on the following factors:
- Tools available
- Type of metal you’re welding
- Timeline and setting of the project
- Quality needed
- Budget available
To serve a wide range of clients, individuals in the – welding field learn different types of welding. And while there may be more than 30 types of welding, the following are “the more common.”
One of the oldest types of welding, oxyacetylene welding is usually used for maintenance and repair. By combining oxygen and acetylene gas in high pressure, a welder uses a gas-fueled, high-temperature flame. Temperature and pressure can be easily controlled, and this type of welding can be conducted nearly anywhere, including outside. The flame can melt a variety of materials around it, providing a simple process for welding multiple metal types together.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding
A popular form of welding, shielded metal arc welding starts with an electric current that passes through an electrode conductor and stick, and forms an electric arc between the stick and the metal you’re welding. The metals melt and cool together, and the electrode forms a slag, or byproduct, that protects the weld from the atmosphere. Shielded metal arc welds can be done in one or more passes, and in more than one direction.
Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG and MAG Welding)
Metal inert gas (MIG) welding and metal active gas (MAG) welding use a welding gun to create an electric arc between a wire electrode and the metal you’re welding. As in shielded metal arc welding, a shield forms around the process, this time a gas shield, protecting the weld from contamination. Gas metal arc welding is known for its speed and effectiveness on steel and industrial welds. These welds must be conducted inside because of the use of gas.
Flux Cored Arc Welding
A purifying agent, flux is used to create a protectant shield around an arc weld. Flux cored arc welding is powered by a current, and sometimes combined with a gas shield. Like in shielded metal arc welds, flux cored arc welds form a slag, but they do not require the stick conductor. It’s popular in construction because of its portability.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG Welding)
Also known as tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, gas tungsten arc welding uses a tungsten electrode conductor powered by electricity. As with gas metal arc welding, a shielding gas protects the weld, which often involves adding a filler metal rather than simply welding existing metals together. Gas tungsten arc welding allows individuals in the welding field to weld stainless steel, aluminum, magnesium, and copper in a precise manner. It’s a slower process because of its difficulty and precision, but it holds strongly.
Plasma Arc Cutting
By moving the electrode inside the welding torch used for gas tungsten arc welding, you can use the plasma arc welding technique. The plasma gas reaches higher speeds and creates higher temperatures, allowing metal to be cut cleanly and affordably. This method of metal cutting can be used for a wide variety of jobs, from industrial to small and personal.
These six types of welding are important for individuals wanting to learn the welding trade. By learning these methods in a hands-on atmosphere, you can gain an applicable entry-level base of welding knowledge.