Welding is a fabrication process that utilises heat and/or pressure to join two different materials (usually metals) together. Welding as a technique has been used for many centuries.
The four most common types of welding are Shielded Plasma Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding, Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TIGW), and Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW).
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
This is a manual welding technique used in various industries. It utilises heat from an electric arc that is maintained between an electrode and the surface of the base material. It generates a significant amount of heat which melts both the disposable electrode and the base material. When these cool, they solidify and create the weld joint.
SMAW is versatile, relatively simple and inexpensive.
Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding
MIG is also an arc welding process, but it also utilises a gas in order to create a shield that protects the materials from damage. This is extremely useful when working with delicate materials. This technique is also quite quick as the welder can weld continuously because of the extra shielding.
If you feel that your products would benefit from innovative surface treatments like thermal plasma spray, there are a number of specialist firms with excellent online resources such as can be seen here poeton.co.uk/advanced-treatments/apticote-800-thermal-plasma-spray/.
Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TIGW)
TIG welding is similar to MIG, but it uses a current form rather than a metal electrode. Tungsten is used because it can handle higher temperatures before melting. An additional filler is required in this method. This type of welding is often used in industries that deal with stainless steel.
Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
FCAW is a variation of MIG welding that utilises a continuously fed electrode wire with a flux core to create an electric arc. This flux core generates a shielding gas but also provides additional alloying elements and deoxidisers that enhance the strength of the weld. FCAW is a versatile and efficient process that is used across various industries including construction and shipbuilding.