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Welding Processes

Arc Welding Types

Types of Arc Welding

1. Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)

2. Gas metal arc welding (GMAW)

3. Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW)

4. Electrogas welding (EGW)

5. Submerged arc welding (SAW)

6. Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)

7. Plasma arc welding (PAW)

8. Carbon arc welding (CAW)

9. Stud welding (SW)

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Most common because of its wide versatility and because it requires only
low cost equipment.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

The electrodes are coated with a shielding flux of a suitable composition.

The flux melts together with the electrode metallic core, forming a gas and
a slag, shielding the arc and the weld pool.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

The flux cleans the metal surface, supplies some alloying elements to the
weld, protects the molten metal from oxidation and stabilizes the arc.
The slag is removed after solidification.
The key to the process is the special electrode that consists of metal wire,
usually from 1/16 to 1/4 inch in diameter and 9 to14 inch in length.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Around the wire is a bonded coating containing chemical components

that add a number of desirable characteristics, including all or a number
of the following:

1. Provide a protective atmosphere (a gas shield around the arc).

2. Stabilize the arc.

3. Act as a flux to remove impurities from the molten metal.

4. Provide a protective slag coating to collect impurities, prevent oxidation,

and slow the cooling of weld metal.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

5. Reduce weld metal spatter and increase the efficiency of deposition.

6. Add alloying elements.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

7. Affect arc penetration (the depth of melting in the workpiece).

8. Influence the shape of weld bead.

9. Add additional filler metal.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Coated electrodes are classified by:

the tensile strength of the deposited weld metal

the welding position in which they may be used

the preferred type of current and polarity (if direct current) , and

the type of covering

A four or five-digit system of designation has been adopted by American

Welding Society.

E (X) XX X X
Shielded Metal Arc Welding
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

As an example, type E7016 is a low-alloy steel electrode that will provide

a deposit with a minimum tensile strength of 70,000 psi in the non-stress-
relieved condition; it can be used in all positions, with either alternating or
reverse polarity direct current; and it has a low-hydrogen plus potassium
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

A variety of electrode coatings have been developed.

The cellulose and titania (rutile) coatings contain: SiO2; TiO2; small amounts of
FeO, MgO and Na2O; and volatile matter.
Upon decomposition, the volatile matter releases hydrogen, which may be
dissolved in the weld metal and lead to embrittlement or cracking in the joint.
Low-hydrogen electrodes are available with various compositions designed to
provide shielding without the emission of hydrogen.
Since many electrodes coatings can absorb moisture, and this is another source
of undesirable hydrogen, the coated electrodes are just baked just prior to use.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

To initiate a weld, the operator briefly touches the tip of the electrode to the
workpiece and quickly raises it to a distance that will maintain a stable arc.
The intense heat quickly melts the tip of the electrode wire, the coating,
and a portion of the adjacent base metal.
As the coating on the electrode melts and vaporizes, it forms a protective
atmosphere that stabilizes the arc and protects the molten and hot metal
from contamination.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Fluxing constituents unite with any impurities in the molten metal and float
them to the surface to be entrapped in the slag coating that forms over the
This slag coating protects the cooling metal from oxidation and slows
down the cooling rate to prevent the formation of hard, brittle structures.
The slag is then easily chipped from the weld when it has cooled.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Electrodes with iron powder in the coating can be used to significantly

increase the amount of weld metal that can be deposited with a given size
electrode wire and current.
Alloy elements can be incorporated into the coating to adjust the chemistry
of the weld.
Other electrodes utilizes coatings that are designed to melt more slowly than
the filler wire.
If these contact or drag electrodes are tracked along the surface of the work,
the center wire will be recessed by the proper length to maintain a stable arc.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Carbon steels, alloy steels, and cast irons are commonly welded by the
shielded metal arc process, and the welds can be made in all positions.
Reverse-polarity dc is used to obtain deep penetration, with alternate
modes being employed when welding thin sheet.
The mode of metal transfer is either globular or short circuit, and the arc
temperatures are rather low (9000oF or 5000oC).
Typical welding voltages are 15 to 45 V with currents between 10 and
500 A.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Since electrical contact must be maintained with the center wire, most SMAW
electrodes are finite-length sticks.
Length is limited since the current must be supplied near the arc or the
electrode will tend to overheat and ruin the coating.
Nevertheless, SMAW is a simple and versatile process, requiring only a
power supply, power cables, electrode holder, and a small variety of
Since the equipment is portable, and can be powered by gasoline or diesel
generators, it is a popular process in job shops and is used extensively in
repair operations.
Gas Metal Arc Welding

Gas metal arc welding (GMAW), formerly known as MIG (metal inert-gas)
welding, was a logical development of gas tungsten welding.
The process is similar, but the arc is now maintained between the
workpiece and an automatically fed bare-wire electrode.
Gas Metal Arc Welding

The consumable electrode provides the filler metal, so no additional feed is

Argon, helium, and mixtures of the two can be used for welding virtually
any metal but are used primarily with the nonferrous metals.
Gas Metal Arc Welding

When welding steel, some O2 or CO2 is usually added to improve the arc
stability and reduce weld spatter.

The cheaper CO2 can be used alone when welding steel provided that a
deoxidizing electrode wire is employed.
Gas Metal Arc Welding
Gas Metal Arc Welding

The specific shielding gases can have considerable effect on the nature of
metal transfer from the electrode to the work and also influence:
the heat transfer behavior

penetration and

tendency for undercutting (the weld pool extending laterally beneath

the surface of the base metal)
Gas Metal Arc Welding

Several types of electronic controls can be used to alter the welding

current, making it possible to control the mechanism of metal transfer,
from drops, to spray, to short-circuiting drops.
Some of these variations include pulsed arc welding (GMAW-P), short-
circuiting arc welding (GMAW-S), and spray transfer welding (GMAW-
Buried arc welding (GMAW-B) is another variation in which carbon
dioxide-rich gas is used and the arc is buried in its own crater.
Gas Metal Arc Welding

Gas metal arc welding is fast and economical.

There is no frequent change of electrodes as with the shielded metal arc
No flux is required, and no slag forms over the weld.
Thus multi-pass welds can be made without the need for intermediate
The process can be readily automated, and the lightweight, compact
welding unit lends itself to robotic manipulation.
Gas Metal Arc Welding

A reverse-polarity dc arc is generally used because of its deep penetration, spray transfer,

and ability to produce smooth welds with good profile.

Process variables include:

type of current

current magnitude

shielding gas

electrode diameter

electrode composition

electrode stickout (extension beyond the gun)

welding speed

welding voltage, and

arc length.
Gas Metal Arc Welding

In a modification known as advanced gas metal arc welding (AGMAW), a

second power source is used to preheat the filler before it emerges from the

welding torch.

With this modification, less arc heating is needed to produce a weld, so less

base metal is melted, producing less dilution of the filler metal, and there is

less penetration.
Gas Metal Arc Welding

Pulsed arc gas metal arc welding:

The benefits of heated filler metal are extended by the pulsed arc variation of gas metal
arc welding (GMAW-P).
A low welding current is first used to create a molten globule on the end of the filler
A burst of high current is then applied, which explodes the globule and transfers the
metal across the arc in the form of a spray.
By alternating the low and high currents at a rate of 60 to 120 times per second, the
filler metal is transferred in a succession of rapid bursts.
Because of the pulsed form of depositions, there is less heat input to the weld and the
weld temperatures are reduced.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), formerly known as TIG (tungsten inert-gas)
welding, was one of the first developments away from the use of ordinary
shielded electrodes.
A tungsten electrode is positioned in a special holder through which inert gas
(argon, helium, or a mixture of them) flows to provide a protective shield
around both the arc and the pool of the molten metal.
Operating in this inert environment, the tungsten electrode (which is often
alloyed with thorium or zirconium to provide better current-carrying and
electron-emission characteristics) is not consumed at the temperature of the arc.
The arc length remains constant and the arc is stable and easy to maintain.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

In applications where close fit exists, no filler metal may be needed.

Where filler metal is required, it must be supplied as a separate wire.
The filler metal is selected to match the chemistry of the metal being
Where high deposition rates are desired, a separate resistance heating
circuit can be provided to preheat the filler wire.
The deposition rate of heated wire can be several times that of a cold wire.
The deposition rate can be further increased by oscillating the filler wire
from side to side while making a weld pass.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

The hot-wire process is not practical when welding copper or aluminum,

however, because of the low resistivities of the filler wire.
With skilled operators, gas tungsten arc welding can produce welds that are
scarcely visible.
In addition, process produces very clean welds.
Since no flux is employed, no special cleaning or slag removal is required.
However, the surfaces to be weld must be clean and free of oil, grease,
paint, and rust, because the inert gas does not provide any cleaning or
fluxing action.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

All metals and alloys can be welded by this process, and the use of the inert gas
makes it particularly attractive for reactive metals, such as aluminum, magnesium,
and titanium, as well as the high-temperature refractory metals.

Maximum penetration is obtained with straight-polarity dc conditions, although they

may be specified to break up surface oxides (as when welding aluminum).

Reverse polarity is rarely used because it tends to melt the tungsten electrode.

Weld voltage is typically 20 to 40 V and the weld voltage varies from less than 125 A
for rpdc to1000 A for spdc.

A high-frequency, high-voltage alternating current is often superimposed on the

regular ac or dc welding current to make it easier to start and maintain the arc.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

Gas Tungsten Arc Spot Welding:

A variation of gas tungsten arc welding can be used to produce spot welds
between two pieces of metal where access is limited to one side of the joint or
where thin sheet is being attached to heavier material.
A modified inert-gas tungsten arc gun is used with a vented nozzle on the end.

The nozzle is pressed firmly against the material, holding the piece in reasonably
good contact.
The workpieces must be sufficiently rigid to sustain the contact pressure.

Inert gas, usually argon or helium, flows through the nozzle to provide a
shielding atmosphere.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

Automatic controls advance the electrode to initiate the arc and then retract it to
the correct distance for stabilized arcing.
The duration of arcing is timed automatically to produce an acceptable spot weld.

The depth and size of the weld nugget are controlled by the amperage, time, and
type of shielding gas.
In arc spot welding, the weld nugget begins to form at the outside of one of the
members being joined.
With the more-standard resistance spot welding methods, the weld nugget forms
at the interface between two members.
Each technique has distinct advantages and disadvantages.