Welding Processes: A Comprehensive List
Most people know that welding is the process applying heat and pressure to bring together two materials (plus a filler material) to form a strong joint. What many people don’t know is just how many welding processes there are.
Here is a summary of common – and less common – welding processes used today.
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) – More commonly known as Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, the process uses a shielding gas along the wire electrode, which heats up two metals to be joined. This method requires a constant voltage and direct-current power source, and is the most common industrial welding process.
- Gas Tungsten Arc Gas Welding (GTAW/TIG) is a variation of arc-welding in which a tungsten electrode is used to produce the weld. This process is primarily used to weld together thick sections of stainless steel or non-ferrous metals.
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) is a manual process of stick welding where the stick uses an electric current to form an arc between it and the metals to be joined. This is often used in the construction of steel structures and in industrial fabrication to weld iron and steel.
- Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) is an alternative to SMAW, which is often used in construction projects due to its high welding speed and portability.
- Submerged Arc Welding is a type of arc welding that is safer, quicker, and more efficient than most arc welding processes; it emits fewer welding fumes and arc lights than other types of arc welding.
- Electroslag welding (ESW) is an efficient, single-pass welding process that is generally used on thick, nonferrous metals. ESW requires a high level of skill and it is popular in maritime applications as well as the aerospace industry.
- Atomic Hydrogen Welding (AHW) is an older arc welding process that is slowly being replaced by GMAW (see above).
- Carbon Arc Welding (CAW) is the first Arc welding process ever invented; it is hardly used today as it has been replaced by more efficient and less dangerous processes such as twin carbon arc welding.
- Electrogas Welding (EGW) is a process similar to ESW, except that the arc remains struck during the welding process. EGW is mainly used in the shipbuilding and storage tank industries.
- Gas welding is the process of combining fuel gasses and oxygen to increase the welding torch’s flame temperature to around 3,500°C. It is used today in pipe and tube welding and certain repair industries.
- Resistance welding involves applying force to adjacent surfaces and then applying an electric current near those surfaces to generate intense heat. Variations of this technique include spot welding, seam welding, butt welding, flash welding, projection welding, and upset welding.
- Energy Beam Welding (EBW) is done in a total vacuum and involves firing a beam of high-velocity electrons at the welding materials to generate heat. Mainly used for laser beam welding and electron beam welding.
- Solid-State Welding uses time, temperature, and pressure, individually or in tandem, to join the metals without significantly melting them. Variations of solid-state welding include ultrasonic welding, explosion welding, friction welding (including friction stir welding), magnetic pulse welding, co-extrusion welding, cold welding, diffusion bonding, exothermic welding, high-frequency welding, hot pressure welding, induction welding, and roll welding.
Whatever welding process you use, James Oxygen has the welding machines and welding supplies that will help you get the job done – plus the expertise to handle any welding equipment repair you need. Contact us today to learn more!