“Welding is a process where two or more pieces of metal are fastened together by use of heat and a suitable filler material. The process of applying heat melts the material with the filler and they become a homogeneous mass as they cool. The end result being 1 piece and not 2 pieces joined together”
The concept was first developed in the middle ages, although the modern process wasn’t introduced until the 19th century. Before this, apart from mechanical joining such as riveting “forge welding” was the only means of joining two metal objects together. Forge welding used a forge or furnace to heat metal to extremely high temperatures and then both pieces were hammered together until they became one; usually with the use of a “flux” or other chemical that helped remove impurity from the joint. When introduced, electric and gas flame heating methods proved to be much safer and faster for welders.
As many metal objects are created by welding, indeed sometimes using tools that have been welded themselves, welders have a wide range of employment opportunities , e.g. pipes, cars, aircraft, ships, machinery etc etc. The possibilities are endless as welding can be done in most places, including underwater. Some systems use gas, while others use electric current and the newest forms involve use of a laser. The method used depends on a variety of factors but the form and thickness of the material is generally the deciding factor on which is most effective. Manual Metal Arc, Flux-Cored, Gas Metal-Arc, Gas Tungsten-Arc, Metal Inert Gas, Plasma Arc, Shielded-Metal Arc, Submerged Arc and Tungsten Inert Gas are all used and often for machine operated production processes.
The most widely used methods in the production of small quantities or “one offs” by a single “welder” are:
Manual Metal Arc Welding
Manual metal Arc welding or “Stick Welding” is popular due to its low cost. The process involves a device that gives off an electric current through the materials to be joined via a “stick” of filler material or electrode. It is called ‘arc welding’ because the electrical current that is created between the device and the materials forms an electric arc and hence generates the heat that melts the material and filler rod. This melted material is protected by a flux that is incorporated into the filler rod. During the process this flux melts and forms a hard crust over work to stop the weld from oxidizing.
MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Welding
This process uses a gas to shield the weld metal rather than the “Flux” in the arc process. The gas keeps the metal being welded from being effected from natural elements in the environment, like oxygen. Rather than the use of a “Stick” of filler, this process uses a large drum of filler wire which is fed through an operator held “gun” along with the gas and electrical current. This allows the welder to operate continuously, making the process fairly quick. Operation of the equipment does not require high skill levels, but, the equipment used in MIG Welding can only be used where drafts and breezes cannot disturb the gas shield involved in the process. This process was originally introduced in the 1940’s to produce Liberty ships but was really perfected in the 1960’s.
TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) Welding
This is much like the process of MIG, above, in that is uses a gas shield to protect the weld. The main difference between these two forms is that TIG uses a tungsten electrode and a hand held filler rod, while MIG uses a metal wire which doubles as the electrode. Tungsten is used as the electrode because it is unique in that it can be heated to a higher temperature before melting than all other metals. This method is usually used in industries that work with stainless steel & aluminum.
All Metal Solutions uses all 3 of these techniques depending on the nature of the job and its location; in addition we have a mobile welding facility that is perfect for on-site work. For more details on what we can offer follow this link .