In our previous blog post, we highlighted the various welding and certification classes we offer. These classes, which can either train students to a specific welding standard or on the basics of welding, are a good introduction to the welding industry. Since not everyone can make our classes, we have decided to bring some welding instruction here. Let’s look at the most common types of welding and cutting:
MIG Welding: Also known as GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding), this is the most popular form of welding. What does this process involve? A shielding gas, MIG gun, welder or wire feed machine, and MIG wire. MIG welding is used in many applications, including automotive, aerospace, sheet metal, machine and tool and die shops, and manufacturing. Similar to MIG welding is FCAW welding (which stands for Flux Core Arc Welding), which does not require a shielding gas.
Stick Welding: The oldest electric welding technology, also known as SMAW or Shielding Metal Arc Welding, uses a “stick” electrode, with an electrode holder and an arc welding machine. This welding process is used primarily in the construction, steel, and manufacturing industries.
TIG Welding: Known as GTAW or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding. The process requires a tungsten electrode and “TIG” torch, and uses “TIG” rods or 36” length pieces of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or titanium, as well as Argon shielding gas. TIG welding is used in auto body work for vehicles and motor sports, and in aerospace applications. Little known fact: this welding is the most difficult to master because in a way, it is art-like.
Oxy-Fuel Welding: This welding requires a cutting/welding torch with acetylene and oxygen and can be used to weld metal with the “welding tip” or cut thick metal with a cutting tip. Oxy-fuel cutting is primarily used in the steel manufacturing, automotive, and scrap metal industries.
Plasma Cutting: Uses compressed air or nitrogen and a plasma cutting torch to cut metal with a more precise cut then produced in Oxy-Fuel Cutting. This welding process is used in almost all facets of the metal working industry.