There are loads of different types of welding out there, but not many comprehensive lists! So we at J. Colburn thought we’d do you a favour and pick the 7 most commonly used welding techniques, and when you would use them. A lot of time and practice goes into learning a new welding technique, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it at first.
MIG Welding Technique
MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding is usually the first type of welding that a trainee or apprentice welder will use. This is because it is possibly the easiest. The MIG welding technique is an arc welding process in which a solid wire electrode is fed through a welding gun and into the weld pool, joining two materials together. There are two types of MIG welding: bare wire and flux core. Bare wire MIG welding can be used to join thin pieces of metal together. Flux core MIG welding can be used outdoors because it does not require a flow meter or gas supply. With bare wire MIG welding, a shielding gas is also sent through the welding gun and protects the weld pool from contamination.
Stick welding is what people traditionally think of as Arc welding, and is the more old fashioned method. The welder uses electricity to melt a metal filler electrode (or stick). This type of welding technique is a tad harder to master than MIG welding as it melts both the metal and electrode all at once to fuse two pieces of metal together and fill the joint with filler metal at the same time.
TIG Welding Technique
TIG welding (Tungsten Inert Gas), also known as GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding), is an arc welding technique that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. This technique is extremely versatile, but also one of the more difficult welding techniques to learn and master. TIG welding requires two hands. One hand holds the TIG torch whilst the other feeds the rod. This torch creates the heat and arc, which are used to weld most conventional metals, including aluminium, steel, nickel alloys, copper alloys, cobalt and titanium.
Plasma Arc Welding
PAW (Plasma Arc Welding) is an arc welding process similar to TIG welding. It is a precision technique and is commonly used in aerospace applications where metal thickness is 0.381mm! Some of the more common applications are with engine blades or an air seal. The process looks very similar to TIG, however, the electrode is recessed and the ionizing gases inside the are are used to create heat.
Electron Beam Welding Technique
Electron beam welding are very specialised techniques. They are extremely precise and require a lot of energy. Electron beam welding is a fusion welding process in which a beam of high-velocity electrons is applied to two materials to be joined. The materials to be welded melt and flow together as the kinetic energy of the electrons is transformed into heat upon impact. Electron beam welding is often performed under vacuum conditions to prevent dissipation of the actual beam itself.
Laser Beam Welding
Laser beam welding is very similar in process to electron beam welding, but does not require such controlled conditions. The technique joins pieces of metal or thermoplastics through the use of a laser. The beam provides a concentrated heat source, allowing for narrow, deep welds and high welding rates. The process is frequently used in high volume applications using automation, such as in car production facilities.
Gas Welding Technique
Gas welding is a rarely used technique these days, largely superseded by the superior and easier to use TIG welding. A welding torch is used to weld the metals. Gas welding kits require oxygen and acetylene, but are very portable. The welding happens when two pieces are heated to their required melting temperature (which is different for all types of metal, sometimes even grades) that produces a shared pool of molten metal. The molten pool is generally supplied with additional metal called filler. These days you will largely see gas welding used to weld bits of car exhaust back together, but that is really about it.
And that is our 7 types of welding techniques! We offer a large number of these welding techniques as services, so please feel free to get in touch for any of your metalworking needs.
There is currently a huge shortage of skilled welders across the globe, including here in the UK. There has never been a better time to get into the career, so for young people who are interested the job prospects are good. Check out the info-graphic in the link below for more info:
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more, until next time!