Get a deeper look into the types of welding.

Welding — it’s been around since ancient times, yet most of us may not understand the impacts of modern welding and how it makes our lives more accessible. Currently, more than 50 percent of the products made in the United States, are a product of welding.

At D & M Welding, welding is our life-blood and our business comprises three generations of welders. From production welding and custom fabrication, we’re here for all of your residential and commercial welding needs. Join us in today’s post as we examine the different types of welding and how they impact the way we live.

Welding 101

Welding, in essence, is an umbrella term which houses the many different types of welding. Below are some of the most common types of welding.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (Manual Metal Arc Welding)

Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) is a type of welding in which electricity is passed through a coated tip that touches the base metal. As the electrode tip is withdrawn, it is able to maintain an arc and the heat melts the coating which transforms into a shielding gas.

The remainder of the metal electrode is melted into the welding pool and becomes part of the welded material as it solidifies.  

This type of welding dates back to the 1890s and is one of the most commonly used welding methods.

Where is SMAW found?

SWAM makes everyday living a little easier as it supports the following industries:

  • Shipbuilding
  • Pipelines
  • Underwater welding
  • Construction
  • Farm machinery

Why use SWAM?

SWAM is advantageous to welders because it pairs well with outdoor environments, is easy and portable, and can be used for a myriad of metal thicknesses.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

GMAW is a type of welding where a metal wire is fed through a welding gun. The arc is protected from environmental contaminants through a shielding gas which is also deposited through the gun.

There are two classes of GMAW:

  • Metal inert gas (MIG) – Uses helium or argon gas for non-ferrous and aluminum metals
  • Metal active gas (MAG) – Uses a combination of carbon dioxide, argon, and oxygen to weld steel metal.

Where is GMAW found?

  • Automotive industry
  • Manufacturing
  • Shipbuilding
  • Pipe welding
  • Railroad industry
  • Construction
  • Underwater welding

Why use GMAW?

GMAW has many advantages as it can be semi or fully automated, multiple metal thicknesses can be used, it’s easy to clean, has the ability to weld in any position, provides a faster welding procedure, and there is less waste than other welding methods.

Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

FCAW imparts a continuous electrode feed to a welding joint through a machine and the electrodes are filled with flux. Flux is a compound that protects the weld from outside contaminants as it melts.

There are two types of FCAW including:

  • Self shielded
  • Gas shielded

Welders prefer this type of welding for thicker, denser areas because it employs a higher weld-metal deposition rate.

Where is FCAW found?

  • General repairs
  • Pipeline welding
  • Shipbuilding
  • Underwater welding
  • Manufacturing

Why use FCAW?

FCAW is oftentimes a simpler process than SWAM, it’s very versatile being both semi-automatic and automatic, and it is easy to transport as you’re not carrying around tanks of gas while you work.

Plasma Arc Welding (PAW)

In PAW, the weld is protected by a shielding gas and a non-consumable electrode made of tungsten. This type of welding also uses a plasma gas that is housed in the body of the torch as the plasma arc is contained with a copper nozzle.

Where is PAW found?

  • Aerospace
  • High-speed sheet welding
  • Microplasma welding
  • Keyhole welding
  • Medical industry
  • Automotive industry
  • Electronics
  • Coated steel welding

Why use PAW?

This type of welding allows for speedy welding and deep welding penetration, it’s a cost-effective method, dependable welding arc starts, optimal for small, precision welding, has many operating modes, and has little electrode contamination.

From shielded metal arc welding to plasma arc welding, the welding industry makes our lives that much more convenient as they serve to reinforce the dwellings we live and work in, the cars we drive, and the various electronics we use.

Partner with the premier welding company in Ohio!

D & M Welding is here to offer our welding services for decorative welding for your interior spaces or commercial fabrication on new or renovated construction sites.

To learn more about how we can assist you in your next project, connect with us today!