Types of Welding and Machines to Melt and Join Materials
Welding is a fabrication process that melts and fuses two or more materials by using high temperatures. It is usually done on metals, wood, and thermoplastics. Many types of welding processes exclusively use several aids like heat and pressure to produce a weldment. Welding is distinct from lower temperatures techniques of joining metal like soldering and brazing, which doesn’t melt the base metal.
A concentrated energy source melts the parts of the material in the weld area. Then the molten area solidifies, thereby joining the pieces together. In most cases, welding involves a filler material, also known as a consumable, added to the molten pool to help strengthen the weld and form a strong link between the base metals.
These processes require you as the user to be patient, keen, and have proper knowledge on the use of limitless techniques to make perfect welds, thereby enabling you to do a lot of unique and creative welding work. Whether you are an expert or a beginner looking for the best welding machine and its basics, you have come to the right place. In this article, we are going to explore the different types of welding machines and welding joints. So, let’s do this!
Different Types of Welding Machines
There are different types of welding machines all around the market. Welding machines generate heat to melt materials in a molten pool to join them. However, one welding machine is not suitable to perform all welding functions. You will find larger welding machines in the industries like a factory, whereas smaller ones are perfect for domestic purposes. The following are different types of welding machines;
1. Tig Welding machine
Unlike other welding machines, Tig welding machines are more specialized to provide a clean weld without a spark, splatters, or fumes. These machines are used for welding thin materials and stainless steel like aluminum, copper, steel, and nickel alloys. Tig welding machines are not suitable for fieldwork but an excellent choice for the repair of damaged parts. It is also known as heliarc and gas tungsten arc welding GTAW. Tig welding uses tungsten electrodes for welding; however, you need external gas for stronger welds. Argon and a mixture of argon and helium are the shielding gases used in this type of welding.
This type of welding is one of the most challenging but long-lasting processes. With long extended experience as a welder, you will become an expert and a master at handling this process. Unlike other welds, Tig welding is much stronger and robotic. You need to have the right expertise to perform these welding types because the arc and the welded material are very narrow; hence, only experts can use this type of precise welding.
The bright side about this machine is that you can perform all welding purposes without using a filler. This type of welding will join two types of metals. Though if you want to add a filler metal, do this only at your hand feeding. It would help if you had a gas tank to obtain a specific amount of gas for excellent welding.
2. Stick – Shielded-Metal Arc Welding
Stick welding is the oldest technique which started in 1930. It was continuously improving and updating with the new advanced technology. This welding is remarkable, and welders indicate that it’s a simple application that is cost-effective and easy to learn its basics. Stick welding does not produce smooth and finer welds, so it tends to splatter very quickly; therefore, you need to clean up afterward. A stick filler electrode serves as consumable metal in stick welding.When welding, an arc is produced, which melts the electrode and consumable metal. Since the stick is already coated with flux, it protects the metal from oxidation. After the welds cool down, the gas turns into slag after its settles on the metal.
Stick welding is cost-effective because you will not be required to use external gas. Also, you can use it for outdoor welding. Stick welding works well on painted, dirty, and rusty surfaces, making it great for repairing equipment. You can use stick welding to repair different types of gadgets. Even in adverse weather conditions, you can use this welding process outdoors because it doesn’t require gas. This welding has different kinds of electrodes available for easy swapping, making it easy to weld metals of different kinds; however, it’s not perfect for thin metals. These welding types of welding have a long learning curve and highly skilled processes.
3. MIG – Gas Metal Arc Welding
MIG welding is the simplest type of welding and enables every new beginner to learn the basics and welding techniques easily. The M abbreviation is an inert gas, and it’s also known as gas metal arc welding (GMAW). First, a filler metal is fed inside the wand. MIG welding processes use inert gas to protect welds from external elements and air. The shielding gases used in this method are carbon dioxide, oxygen, argon, and helium. This welding type is unsuitable for outdoor use; however, you can accurately weld metals of different thicknesses. Automotive industries use MIG welding machines.
When you have a MIG welding machine, you can weld the following materials, stainless steel, carbon steel, nickel, copper, oxygen, and aluminum. You need to ensure that you clean up the welding surfaces for better control and speed before welding with these welding types. You only need to control your speed and control the amount of shield gas to obtain perfect welding. The only drawback about this type of welding is shielding gas which is quite expensive in welding. Shielding gas does not weld thicker metals, vertical or overhead welding.
4. Flux-Cored Arc Welding
The flux-cored arc welding is similar to MIG welding in that a MIG welder can perform the jobs of FCSW because the processes are the same. Like the MIG welding, you also have to use a wire as an electrode to feed filler metal. The only difference between the FCAW and MIG welding is that FCAW does not use an external shielding gas because the wire has a core of flux that works as shielding gas. The flux protects the wire from external materials and air.
These welding types are cheaper, and learning their basics becomes easier for beginners. With FCAW, you will gain more experience in welding, and also you can perform outdoor welding with these machines. These welding types are used in fabrications of heavy metals with high heat. The best thing about this product is that you use fewer expenses since it does not require shielding gases and produces fewer wastes.
5. Plasma Arc Welding
Similar to tungsten arc welding GTAW, the plasma arc welding technique was introduced in 1954. However, the main difference between these two types of welding is the usage of the arc. A smaller arc is used in plasma arc welding than the GTAW to make the welds stronger and finer. Though, you will have to use different torches and high heat to make perfect welds. The plasma arc welding process is as follows; the gas is pressurized to create plasma inside a wand, then the plasma is ionized for its electrical conductivity
The ionization process forms a high-temperature arc that can melt metallic materials. Similar to tog welding, plasma arc welding uses filler metals when creating all its arcs. Plasma arc welding is usually used in aircraft manufacturing industries but is rarely used for domestic or DIY welding activities. Further, as an enthusiast, it’s not useful for welders. With these welding types, you will produce appealing welds which are strong because of the deep weld penetration of narrow welds. With its techniques, you can achieve maximum high speed.
6. Electron-Beam Welding
One of the most complex types of welding is electron-beam welding and produces kinetic energy to weld two 5432uytrewqa1qetals. The intensity of the heat produced welds the metals firmly together. You can perform your welding jobs anywhere you like though the machines carry the vacuums. The automatic inline part production and aircraft manufacturing industries use electron-beam welding. Many big manufacturing industries use these welding types to make different products like transmission assemblies, bimetal saw blades, and aerospace components.
The best thing about these welding types is that they weld thin and thick materials together. All these techniques enable you to join disclaimer metals that differ in thermal conductivity and melting points. Electron-beam welding is used for re-evaluated housing and to seal electrical components because of vacuum-based processes.
How Does Welding Machines Work
1. When joining metals?
Unlike brazing and soldering that does not melt the base material, welding, on the other hand, uses high temperatures to melt the base material, usually with a filler. It forms a molten pool of material by heating at high temperatures, which later cools down to form a stronger joint. Moreover, pressure aids the welding process when either exclusively or combined with heat. Further, welding types use shielding gases to protect melted and filler metals from contaminations and oxidation.
2. When Joining Plastics?
Thermoplastics welding also uses heat to join materials together, except in cases of solvent welding. There are three stages of joining plastics. The stages are, firstly prepare surfaces are before heating, apply pressure, and lastly, allow the materials to cool to create fusion. There are external and internal heating methods for joining plastic, depending on the process you choose to use.
3. When Joining Wood?
Friction generates heat to join material or parts in wood welding. You then apply pressure on the materials you want to join before friction movements create heat to bond the parts. This process is quick and joins woods without adhesives or nails in a split second.
Energy sources of Welding Machines
The energy source you prefer determines the different processes with various available different techniques. In the past, the only welding method was forge welding, but currently, other processes have emerged like arc welding and are continuously developed. The methods that welders use in the modern-day world are gas flame, electric beam and arc, lasers, friction, and ultrasound to join materials together. For safety purposes, ensure you have all the care needs as these processes can burn, shock you, give you a damaged vision, expose you to radiation and release poisonous gases.
Features of Completed Welds
A layer is a stratum of weld metal-containing of one or more runs.
2. Filler metal
A Metal that is to be added during welding.
3. Weld metal
Melted metal when making a weld and is retained in the metal.
4. Parent metal
A Metal that will be joined by welding.
5. Fusion line
It is a borderline found between weld metal and heat-affected zone in a fusion weld.
6. Weld zone
A Weld zone is an area containing the weld metal and the heat-affected zone.
7. Heat-affected zone (HAZ)
An area where the parent metal is affected by the weld; however, it’s not melted.
8. Weld root
A weld root is a zone of the first run furthest away from the corner.
9. Excess weld metal
It’s a weld metal which lies outside the plane joining the toes.
10. Run or pass
It’s a metal deposited when through one passage of an electrode.
11. Weld toe
A weld toe is a boundary between a weld face and the parent metal.
Types of Welding Joints
All welders use five commonly known types of joints in the welding industry. The following are the welding joints;
1. Butt joint
Butt joints are very simple because you place two metallic materials at the same place for welding to join them. Construction buildings and piping systems mostly use butt joints. Butt joints are effortless, and with your creativity, you can make many variations. These welds are built uniquely and for each, a specific purpose. Butt joints are classified into three groups; single butt welded joints, double butt welded joints, closed or opened welded joints. The following are the common types of butt joints groups; single V, double V, single J, double J, square, single bevel, double bevel, single U, and double U grooves.
Cracking, excessive porosity, burns, and incomplete penetration are some of the problems that weaken the butt welding joints, making them break faster. However, to avoid such problems, ensure that you use a small quality and developed welding material.
2. Corner joints
Corner joints are similar to tee joints, but the striking difference is welding the base plate with other materials. For the corner joints technique, you weld two materials to the corners to form an L shape in the corner joints, while in tee joints, you weld two metals in the middle of the base plate. Sheet metal industries commonly use corner joints to form frame boxes and other products alike. V-groove and square butt joints are the two methods welders use for fitting up outside corner joints. The following are common styles for creating corner joints; including J-groove, U-groove, spot, edge, fillet corner-flange, bevel-groove, and Flare-V-groove.
3. Lap joints
Lap joints are revised and developed from butt joints shape. These joints require a welder to place two materials in an overlapping position to weld and join them. You can use these types of joints to join two metals having different thicknesses. You have to weld the two metals on both sides. A welder use lap joints to join metal sheets since they can join in an overlapping position very easily. Welders don’t usually use this technique because adjusting them in an overlapping position and welding them to be strong and smooth is difficult.
The following are different styles welders use for lap joints: spot weld, plug weld, spot weld, bevel-groove weld, J-groove weld, and flare-bevel-groove weld. Corrosion and lamellar tearing are the major drawbacks to lap joints because of overlapping the welding material. To prevent such problems, use the right welding techniques and modify the welding material.
4. Tee welding joint
T forms when joining the edges of one metal at the center of another metal at an angle of 90°. Welders consider tee welding joints as fillet welds, and they form once you weld a pipe to another base plate. If there is a penetration at the weld roof, you will get an excellent tee joint. The following are the styles that form tee joints; plug, fillet, J-groove, spot, melt-through, bevel-groove, and flare-bevel-groove welds
One of the best things about this joint is that you cannot make it with grooves. To make them effective, you have to use a thick and strong metal base to support the welding joint’s weights. The drawback to these joints is lamellar tearing that occurs due to gaps and restrictions in the gap. You can place a stopper during the welding process to help prevent joint deformities and make them stronger.
5. Edge joints
By placing the blithe metal surfaces together, you will form edge joints so that edges can become even. You can make edge joints by bending and welding both plates at a proper angle. Welders consider edge joints as the groove type of welds. To form edge joints, you will set all the pieces side by side to their edges and then weld them. These edge welding joints enable you to do big projects. The input of heat, rate of deposits, and penetrations are the drawbacks to these edge joints
However, you can ensure that you use the right amount of heat and modify other welding factors. The following edge joints applications, including; U-groove, J-groove, V-groove, bevel-groove, corner-flange, edge-flange, and square-groove.
Edge joints weaken due to corrosion from overlapping. Check other factors like slack of fusion, porosity, and presence of joints defects.
How Do You Choose the Right Welding Gloves?
A quality welding mask and a welding machine are essential welding gear and welding gloves. Ensure that you select the best essential as you must protect your hands from potential burns. No one size can fit all welders when it comes to welding gloves. Consider the following factors, like the type of welding you will use and the agility needed.
You need to consider the type of welding you will be using as each produces a different amount of sparks, splatters, and other hazards, like MIG, which produces many sparks that you need to shield yourself from and clean up after. There are various glove materials, but leather is their favorite for most users because leather is durable, non-conductive, and dissipates heat. Leather is made from different animal skins, namely, goatskin, horsehide, pigskin, cowhide, and deerskin.
Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Welding Machines
1. How many types of welding machines are there?
There are eight types of welding machines, namely;
- Metal Arc Welding with a Gas
- TIG Welding
- Stick Welding
- Flux-Corrosion Welding
- Welding with an Energy Beam
- Welding of Atomic Hydrogen
- Tungsten-Arc Gas Welding
- Arc Plasma Welding
2. Which type of welding is the strongest?
Unlike other welding methods, TIG welding produces stronger, cleaner, and finer welds. Different welding workloads generally require you to use different methods. While TIG welding produces stronger welds and high quality, choose another method of welding when the job requires it.
3. Which gases do welding types use?
Generally, shielding gases used in welding and cutting processes are carbon dioxide, argon, helium, and oxygen. However, oxygen is in small amounts in some shielding gases and fuel gases.
4. What does G stand for in welding?
Welders perform welding on the joints’ top side. The molten pool is pulled downwards into the joint in this position, making welding easier and faster. The number 1 stands for a flat position in the IG and 1F while the letter G stands for a groove weld; also, the letter F stands for a fillet weld.
5. What type of welding is easy to operate?
MIG welding is the simplest type of welding, especially for beginners who want to learn the basics. Welders use a spool of wire welding electrodes supplied through a welding gun at a setup speed.
6. What is the meaning of Fusion Welding?
Fusion welding is when a welder uses heat to join two or more metals by melting them.
7. Where do welders perform welding processes?
Welders perform welding processes across many manufacturing industries like automotive, fabrication structures, and aerospace.