an image of a person performing a safe weld

What is Welding?

It’s funny, we’ve covered everything from underwater welding to outer-space welding, yet haven’t delved into the basics of the art itself. Speaking of art, we also discussed some of the most prominent welding artists in contemporary culture. However, this blog post details the basics of the industry on which this company, Arc Welding Services, was built. So, what is welding?

Industry

Welding is the most permanent, efficient and economical method of joining two metals. At its core, welding is the act of making two pieces of metal act as one. What’s more, this industry is so substantial that it’s estimated 50% of the US’ income is related to welding – which makes sense.

Almost every item, product, machine you interact with day-to-day would not be possible to produce without welding. Whether it be directly in its construction, or during the construction process with the manufacturing machines, you’d be surprised. But, still, you may be wondering “what is welding?”

Basics

Friction welding is the most common form of welding. This process is the heating of localised metal edges beyond melting point, which allows the materials to bond during cooling. Naturally, the metals involved must be mutually soluble (having similar melting points), but the joint made will often be as strong as the metals themselves once complete.

Inert/active gas may be used to surround the weld during the heating process in order to protect the molten metals from becoming contaminated by agents that will weaken the final joint. The use of filler metals, which are fed to the joint by the welder, can fill the extra space within the weld pool and improve the quality of the joint.

Arc Welding

Arc welding is the term used to describe the welding of two metals by using high current/voltage electricity to produce the heat required. An arc of electricity is created between the electrode and the metals, which produces the heat and forces the metals to melt. The four main types of arc welding are; Shielded Metal (SMAW), Gas Metal (GMAW), Flux Cored (FCAW) and Gas Tungsten (GTAW).

The most common rendition of these methods is Gas Metal Arc Welding, which uses an inert or active gas along the electrode wire to protect the joint being formed. The popularity of this process comes from its versatility and is now being performed by robot automation – reducing human danger and efficiency.

So, what is welding? Well, it is the process of joining two metals and encompasses a variety of methods beyond what we discussed today. Welding must be adaptable and specific because of the complexity of the materials it brings together. It’s all around us, and our lives would be drastically different without it.

Here at Arc Welding Services, we offer the hire or sale of many materials related to the welding industry. If you would like to hear more; visit our website, fill out our contact form or call us on 0121 327 2249.