Extensive Usage of Welding to Better it Adoption Across Various Applications

Published On : 05 Jun 2018

Welding refers to a sculptural or fabrication process that joins materials which is generally metals or thermoplastics, by causing fusion. It is distinct from lower temperature metal-joining techniques such as soldering and brazing, which do not melt the base metal. In addition to melting of the base metal, a filler material is generally added to the joint in a bid to form a pool of molten material (the weld pool) that cools down to form a joint that, based on weld configuration (butt, fillet, full penetration, etc.), can be stronger as compared to the base material i.e. parent metal. Pressure might also be used in together with heat, or by itself, in a bid to produce a weld. Welding also needs a form of shield so as to protect the melted metals or filler metals from being oxidized or contaminated.

Though less common, there are also solid state welding processes like friction welding in which the base metal does not melt.

A few of the best known welding methods comprise:

  • Oxy-fuel welding – it is also known as oxy welding or oxyacetylene welding, makes use of fuel gases and oxygen to cut and weld metals.
  • Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) – It is also known as "electric welding" or "stick welding", makes use of an electrode that is coated in flux so as to protect the weld puddle. The electrode holder holds the electrode as it gradually melts away. The weld puddle is protected from atmospheric contamination by slag.
  • Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) – also otherwise known as TIG (tungsten, inert gas), uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode so as to produce the weld. The weld area is protected from the atmospheric contamination by an inert shielding gas like helium or argon.
  • Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) – commonly termed as MIG (metal, inert gas), utilizes a wire feeding gun that flows an argon-based shielding gas and is a mix of argon and carbon dioxide (CO2) over the weld puddle and it feeds wire at an adjustable speed  so as to protect it from atmospheric contamination.

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  • Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) – almost similar to MIG welding except it makes use of a special tubular wire which is filled with flux; it can be used with or without shielding gas, depending on the filler.
  • Submerged arc welding (SAW) – makes use of an automatically fed consumable electrode and a blanket of granular fusible flux. The arc zone and the molten weld are protected from atmospheric contamination by being "submerged" under the flux blanket.
  • Electroslag welding (ESW) – it is a highly productive, single pass welding process for thicker materials that measures between 1 inch (25 mm) and 12 inches (300 mm) in a vertical or close to vertical position.
  • Electric resistance welding (ERW) –It refers to a welding process that makes production of coalescence of laying surfaces where heat to form the weld is generated through electrical resistance of the material. In general, it is an efficient method but it is limited to relatively thin material.

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