Industry Articles From Kaempf and Harris

What Are Different Ways Of Welding Metal?


When it comes to welding, it’s not always about helmets and sparks. Kaempf and Harris gives you a glossary for the different types of welding in fabrication shops:

Automatic welding: An electric-arc welding process with automatic control of the arc movement along the welding line, electrode feed, and arc-gap length

Carbon arc welding (CAW): A process which produces coalescence of metals by heating them with an arc between a nonconsumable carbon/graphite electrode and the workpiece

Cold welding: Also known as contact welding; a solid-state welding process in which joining two parts takes place without fusion or heating at the interface

Electrogas welding (EGW): A continuous vertical position arc welding process developed in which an arc is struck between a consumable electrode and the workpiece

Electroslag welding (ESW): A highly productive, single-pass process for thick materials in a vertical or close to vertical position

Exothermic welding: Also referred to as exothermic bonding, thermite welding (TW), and thermit welding; a process that employs an exothermic reaction of a thermite composition to a molten metal to permanently join the conductors

Flux-cored arc (FCAW) welding: A high-speed, portable wire-feed process that doesn’t require a shielding gas and uses flux-cored wire to shield the arc

Note: This sheet metal fabrication technique is effective when welding outdoors, in windy conditions, or on dirty materials.

Gas metal arc (GMAW) welding: Often referred to by its subtypes, wire-feed/metal inert gas (MIG) welding, which is great for cleanly welding thin metals, or metal active gas (MAG) welding; a process in which an electric arc forms and heats a workpiece metal to a consumable wire electrode by melting the two together

Oxy acetylene welding: Also called oxy-fuel welding, oxy welding, and gas welding; a process in which a tank of oxygen and acetylene are combined with an adjustable torch to result in a precise, controlled flame used to heat metal

Plasma arc welding (PAW): A process in which an electric arc is formed between a sintered tungsten electrode and the workpiece by positioning the electrode within the body of a torch, so the plasma arc can be separated from the shielding gas envelope and forced through a fine-bore copper, leading to an exit at high velocities and a temperature approaching 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit

Pressure welding: A process in which external pressure is applied to produce welded joints either at temperatures below the melting point (solid state welding) or at a temperature above the melting point (fusion state welding)

Resistance welding: A thermo-electric process when heat is generated at the interface of the parts to be joined by passing an electrical current through them or a precisely controlled time and under a controlled pressure

Short-circuit/-arc transfer welding: Also known as dip transfer welding; a variation that occurs when the wire arcs and contacts the metal creating short circuits

Stick/arc welding: A process that uses an electric current flowing from a gap between the metal and the welding stick, also known as an arc-welding electrode; effective for welding most alloys or joints and can be used both indoors and outdoors, or in drafty areas

Stud welding: A technique similar to flash welding when a threaded, unthreaded, or tapped fastener or specially formed nut is welded onto another metal part like a base metal or substrate

Submerged arc welding: A part of the shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) process; a technique in which a thick layer of molten flux becomes conductive and provides a current path between the electrode and workpiece after submersion under a blanket of granular fusible flux consisting of lime, silica, manganese oxide, calcium fluoride, and other compounds

Note: This thick layer of flux prevents spatter and sparks and suppresses intense ultraviolet radiation and fumes.

Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding: Also known as the Cadillac Process; the most common and highest quality welding process that uses two-handed arc welding with a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld

If you want more information, including tool used for welding metal and common welding codes, download Kaempf and Harris’ brand-new Welding Guide:

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Topics: Welding, Tools & Techniques, Sheet Metal Fabrication

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