The different types of welding are:
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG)
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (Stick)
- Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW)
While these are not the only welding techniques available, they are the four primary types and cover the welding needs in almost any situation. Here are the details:
MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Welding
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
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 using a TIG welder include what you will not get with the technique: spatter, slag, flux, smoke, or fumes.
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, a stick welder is a versatile and straightforward welder used in construction and fabrication settings.
Flux Core Welding
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. A flux core welder is ideal for outdoor welding and on dirty materials.