Understanding The Differences In Welding Machines And Processes

Construction & Contractors Blog

Welding is a broad term that describes melting two materials and joining the materials then allowing them to cool and become one piece of material. If this is done right, the weld can be very strong and nearly impossible to separate. While metal is the primary material welding is used for, there are some plastics that can be welded together as well. These are typically only used in specialty situations but can be very useful and stronger than bonding with glues or epoxies.

Electric Arc Welding

Electric arc welding uses a process of heat or electricity to melt the metals together and a filler rod to add a specific allow to the weld to help increase the strength of the finished weld. The machine has a negative or ground wire that is attached to the work and the positive cable, which the operator used to hold the filler rod and direct the spark. Most of these machines require a 220-volt outlet to plug them into a wall and while inexpensive to run, they do not work well in areas that need delicate welds on them.

MIG Welding

MIG or Metal Inert Gas welding offers some things that the arch welder does not. To begin with, a MIG welder can be used on aluminum, brass, and other specialty materials. Instead of a filler rod, it uses a spooled wire that runs through the center of the positive wire to the welding gun.  When the trigger is held, the wire is fed out through the tip and the arc is struck from the wire to the base metal. An inert gas, typically argon, is fed out of the tip to create a pure welding environment for the arc to burn in.  

TIG Welding

TIG or tungsten inert gas is similar to MIG welding but is better suited to weld reactive metals such as magnesium or aluminum. The tip of the positive cable is a nonconsumable tungsten and the filler material is feed in my hand. The gas used in TIG welding is argon or a mix of argon and helium. Some welder prefer TIG welding as they feel it is cleaner and stronger and while it can be used on the specialty metals, they can also be used on steel and other non-reactive metals.

Gas Welding.

Not used as often, Gas Welding uses a torch with acetylene and oxygen to heat the material. A puddle is formed by melting the two metals together by mixing the molten puddles and then allowing it to cool. The puddle and the weld become a strong joint that is nearly impossible to break apart if done right.

Contact a company, like Wayne Oxygen & Welding Supply Co Inc, for more help.


1 December 2017

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