How Arc Welding Works

Marvin Simmons

When it comes to mechanical fabrication, there are many safety issues to consider. Arc welding is vital in the fabrication of metals used in construction and manufacturing. However, there are may different arc welding methods that you want to be familiar with. This article will discuss three of the most common arc welding processes.

Submerged Arc Welding

Submerged arc welding (or SAW) is done on large, robotic machines. You will usually only find submerged arc welders in large-scale factories. You will not find them on a jobsite. It is a very common process that is usually used in the prefabrication of thicker metals. Submerged arc welding is useful because you can perform deep welds in a fraction of the time. On a single pass, a SAW can produce finished welds with high deposition rates. They can perform stronger welds than most other arc methods. One drawback to SAWs is that they only useful for creating straight welds on flat surfaces.

Gas Metal Arc Welding

Gas metal arc welding or (GMAW) is a manual welding process that uses tungsten electrodes. This is a portable welding process done with a filler rod, torch and contact tube. It is often performed on materials like aluminum, magnesium, carbon and stainless steels. GMAW requires a constant power source. A professional GMAW power supply machine from a place like 101 Industries Ltd is important because it provides a steady source of power, reducing the risk of heat variations that could compromise your welding.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Shielded metal arc welding or (SMAW) is another manual welding process, similar to GMAW. However, it is different because it uses flux electrodes instead of tungsten. Tungsten is non-consumable, while flux is consumable. SMAW is probably the most common and versatile welding process. SMAW is partly popular because it can be powered by an AC or DC current. However, you will get much stronger welds if you use a professional, high-output power supply. Compared to the alternatives, SMAW is simple, affordable, and requires fewer expensive and rare pieces of equipment. SMAW can be performed on a variety of metals, like iron, aluminum, copper, stainless steel and nickel. SMAW is a welding process that is used in everything from the construction of steel framed skyscrapers, to everyday arts and crafts.

Understanding these three different arc welding method, will help make it easier to understand which method is best for your particular project. You will often need to use a combination of all three methods throughout the construction process.