Quality welding is essential in the construction, manufacturing, and repair industries. Better welding methods mean safer buildings, more reliable products, and fewer customer complaints. Make sure to evaluate all of the types of welding, assessing each for its safety, precision, and efficiency. The most common welding methods include:
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
Ideal for airplane and bicycle manufacturing, gas tungsten arc welding uses inert gas to prevent chemicals in the air from contaminating the welding process. The gas, usually argon, creates a shield around the area being welded. The welder then uses an electric arc to produce temperatures of up to 20,000 degrees Celsius within the target area, fusing the metals together. Gas tungsten arc welding is more expensive and time consuming than most other welding methods, but it produces strong welds, particularly if you need to fuse small quantities of dissimilar materials.
Gas Metal Arc Welding
Like gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding uses gas to shield the welding process from outside contaminants. With this method, the welder sends the weld metal directly through the gun, melting it before applying it to the target area. This process is one of the quickest and easiest welding methods, making it ideal for fusing large quantities of metal. Gas Metal Arc Welding is more likely to produce hazardous fumes than other methods, so never perform it unless you are in a well-ventilated area or have the proper breathing equipment.
Plasma Arc Welding
Plasma arc welding involves heating argon gas to the point of ionization and then using that gas to transfer an electric current to the weld pieces. This is one of the most precise welding methods in the industry, rarely distorting or damaging the metal. Such precision is ideal for manufacturing and repairing airplane parts, medical equipment, and other products that require strong, specific welds. Plasma arc welding is also suited to welding large volumes of metal, as it is quicker and can be sustained for longer than most other welding processes.
A favorite among bridge builders, electroslag welding is one of the safest types of welding for work on large, dense metal structures. It involves melting filler metal with an electric arc and then inserting that metal into the space between the materials being welded. The welder surrounds the weld area with water-filled copper shoes in order to prevent the molten metal from fusing to other parts of the structure. Of the thousands of structures in the United States built with electroslag welding since the 1960s, there has been only one known case of weld failure, compared to thousands of weld failures in structures made with other welding methods. If you seek to improve safety on the structures you build, this is the method for you.
Whatever money you invest in your welding, you will more often make back through improved efficiency, reduced recalls, and customer loyalty. With detailed knowledge of all types of welding, you’ll be prepared to select the best methods for your business and keep your customers safe and happy.
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