The different types of welding are:
- Gas metal arc welding (MIG)
- Gas tungsten arc welding (TIG)
- Shielded metal arc welding (stick welding)
- Flux core arc welding (FCAW)
While these are not the only welding techniques available, they are the four primary types that every welder should know. Here are the details:
MIG (metal inert gas) welding
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MIG welding comprises a continuously-fed solid electrode that heats the metals to be joined, a direct current power source to melt the electrode, and an externally supplied shielding gas to protect the weld. With four main metal transfer methods--globular, short-circuiting, spray, and pulsed-spray—MIG welding has become the most popular industrial welding process.
TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding
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In TIG welding, a non-consumable tungsten electrode heats the metal, and a shielding gas protects the weld pool from contaminants in the air. The TIG process produces clean, high-quality welds in various metals including, aluminum, steel, stainless steel, copper, and brass, to name a few of the most common types. The advantages of TIG include what you will not get with the technique: spatter, slag, flux, smoke, or fumes.
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Appropriately called shielded metal arc welding, stick welding uses an electrode (stick) and electric current at the weld pool to join various metals. The electrode consists of a solid metal rod surrounded by compounds and metal powders. Mostly used on steel and iron, stick welding is a versatile and straightforward welding process used in construction and fabrication settings.
Flux core welding
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Flux core welding is a wire welding process, similar to MIG, that does not require an external shielding gas. Instead, the wire contains a flux compound that reacts with the welding arc to form a gas protecting the weld pool. Flux core welding is ideal for outdoor welding and on dirty materials.