14 Types of Welding Processes – A Detailed Guide of 2020

Last Updated on September 16, 2020

Types of Welding ProcessesAs technology is leading towards an outstanding advancement in this modern era, one has a variety of welding processes, which they can prefer for their homes, offices, industries, or companies.

Welding is a thrilling and satisfying process for devoted workers. Professional welders know the art of converting several types of metals to an anticipated shape or size. Present welding processes use electric flows, ionized gases, oxy-fuels, and laser beams.

It is important to be aware of the knowledge concerning different welding processes as each type has its own gains and losses.

Along with appropriate training and experience, it is essential to have an understanding of the various types of welding processes before you make any smart choice.

14 Types of Welding Processes

Below are briefly explained 14 different types of welding processes, when they are used and how to use them:

1. Arc Welding Process:

Arc welding process is a very basic type of welding process. In this method, an expandable electrode is coated with a flux-coated cable. It is designed in this way to provide intense heat in the form of an electric arc and you can save yourself by wearing Arc welding Helmet.

It is a very efficient technique generally used to create a weld between two metal parts either directly or by adjoining any filler material along.

The work is done between the tip of the electrode rod and electric spark. Molten joint is allowed to cool for some time, leaving behind a metallurgical solid strong bond.

Advantages
  • Appreciable amount of heat while dealing with heavy metals
  • Manufactures steel products of size 4mm and beyond
  • Effective on eroded metals
  • Does not require any shielding gas like in other processes
Disadvantages
  • Practiced and capable operators are required
  • handling metals with a small diameter is a bit complicated process

Distinct from soldering and brazing, as this process does not melt the base material. Temperature in the arc welding process can be as high as 6500 degrees. Overall, pipeline welding, steel erection, and construction industries also use this method as the arc welding process is very valuable.

2. TIG Welding Process:

TIG welding is considered to be one of, if not the most, tough welding methods of the welding process, as it requires a lot of patience and practice.

It involves using both of your hands: one holding the welding torch while the other continually injecting the filler rod. The professional must also be certain that the tungsten electrode is never touching the workpiece.

TIG is named as tungsten inert gas welding as it uses an inert gas for shielding purposes. Most commonly, argon is used as a shielding gas, but other gases may also be used depending upon what material is being welded. These gases help in protecting the weld from being oxidized by atmospheric gases like oxygen and nitrogen.

Advantages
  • Provides a firm control over the weld
  • Produces stronger weld than other welding processes
  • The gases used a shield and protect the weld
Disadvantages
  • Requires skilled and patient workers
  • Safety precautions must be taken beforehand

TIG welding technique is in practice in many industries including aerospace and automobile manufacturing industries, as it provides you firm control over the weld.

Also to mention that the welds produced by TIG welding are much stronger than MIG welding.

Even though TIG welding generates less heat, it is important to wear welding gloves, eye protection, and welding helmet before starting the practice. The workers must cover their skin too by wearing proper welding clothing to protect themselves from arc flashes.

3. MIG Welding Process:

MIG welding; metal inert gas welding is also recognized as GMAW (gas metal arc welding). MIG welding is very famous in industries today. As far as its basic understanding is easy to learn, flexibility and speed make it the standard of choice in metal and motorized repair industries.

Working principle revolves around the same concept of conjoining two metal parts using electric current supplied by a wire. MIG welding is fairly easier for operators as the wire-feed electrode automatically passes through the torch.

However, the welding stick must be shielded by an inert gas during this process to prevent porosity and other complications.

Advantages
  • Widely preferred in industries
  • Easy and basic to learn
  • Flexibility and speed
  • Highly versatile welding process
Disadvantages
  • Requires shielding by an inert gas
  • Expensive tools and equipment

Its high versatility factor is the reason why this technique is used when working with aluminum, copper, stainless steel, nickel, bronze, and many more alloys. Although the machines are a little expensive but its high electrode potential, less welding fumes, and less heat input make them worth buying.

Proceeding further, MIG welding offers you decent welds with a low degree of accuracy that is required by a welder to run the machine.

Ventilation is a vital requirement of this process along with proper eye protection, welding helmet and welding gloves as the safety measures required to protect from arc flash.

4. SMAW Welding Process:

SMAW welding technique is usually considered archaic especially when more advanced techniques like TIG or MIG are available. Yet shielded metal arc welding makes its own place by being very inexpensive and tends to be forgiving on new inexperienced operators.

Commonly denoted as stick welding, the shielded metal arc welding is a simple method that includes a core wire typically as an electrode.

Work is done on the tip of the electrode as the electric arc sparks, generating a sufficient amount of heat to weld the metal. This molten weld is then allowed to cool and solidify.

Advantages
  • Advanced technique
  • Inexpensive
  • Easily handled by inexperienced operators
Disadvantages
  • Time consuming process
  • Not the finest output produced

Why SMAW welding is preferred is that it is portable, cheap and most importantly manual. Moreover, there is no need for shielding gas, which means that it can be used on rusty metals or during rains, making it appropriate for pipeline welding, construction, plumbing, or steel erection.

However, this method could be time consuming and may not provide the finest output as the equipment used are cheap and no professional skills are required.

Sometimes it is not possible to practice TIG or MIG, at that time SMAW can prove to be the most adoptable technique.

5. Spot Welding Process:

Spot welding technique is generally used for joining metal sheets. Being one of the oldest it is still in practice today as it’s a huge time saving when compared to TIG or MIG welding.

Pointed tip electrodes are preferred as they somehow affluence the process by creating opposing forces.

Working principle of spot welding revolves around two electrodes, normally copper alloys. Electric current is allowed to run through these electrodes to the metal being welded. Resistance in this electrical flow increases the temperature to the point where the work-piece (metal) can melt.

Advantages
  • Automated welding technique
  • Time efficient
  • Risk is minimized as robots are used
Disadvantages
  • Not used when strength and shape is in demand

Fact that it is an automatic welding technique makes it ideal for working in automotive industries or while dealing with carbon, steel, aluminum in bulk.

As robots can easily be programmed to follow the assigned instructions, the risks of alteration in the desired shape are also minimized.

Spot welding is a smart choice for making cabinets and household furniture as it can offer you a range of speed to work. Sheets with 0.25 inches thickness can be spot welded without any hassle.

Nevertheless, spot welding is not offered when strength and durability is the demand.

6. Resistance Welding Process:

Resistance welding is an electrical process where two metal surfaces are held adjacent to each other and an electric current is allowed to flow through them, producing powerful heat.

This heat then meets a resistance in its flow that further intensified the heat making is desirable to weld the workpieces. Two molten pieces can be permanently joined by pressing them together.

But it’s very important to be careful while applying this pressure as it can harm the required shape and also make you susceptible to the flow of electricity voltage. Despite that, there are also some key benefits of using this technique.

Advantages
  • proper weld shape is achieved
  • quick and efficient welding process
  • less disruption
Disadvantages
  • Dealing with electricity voltage is risky

Resistance welding does not use filler material and hence does not splatter the shape. Its high resistance helps in reaching the welding temperature quickly and therefore the process winds up incredibly fast.

Even though the heat generated through this method is extensively high, still it has little or no risk or causing burns. Why? Because the process is impressively fast that the heat from the hot weld barely has the chance to spread. These machines can work all day with maximum efficacy without any disruption.

7. Stud Welding Process:

Stud welding is the technique chose by many professionals as it offers a range of speed, reliability and promising results. As the demands of our system have evolved with time, stud-welding machines have now been automated and this is where things get exciting.

Simple yet accurate method, which fuses two metal pieces (filler material are optional) using an arc of electricity. Metal stud and the base material are joint together finely by providing the exact pressure and heat. It facilitates the worker to design welds or varying thicknesses.

Advantages
  • Automated technology
  • Simple and accurate method
  • Offers speed, reliability and promising results
Disadvantages
  • Requires exact amount of pressure and heat

It is important to know that there are two types of stud welding depending upon the base metal, stud size and their uses.

First type is drawn arc; welding thick base metals with diameter 2-25 mm. Second type is capacitor-discharge; using thin base metals having a diameter between 2-10 mm.

All these specifications make stud welding appropriate for manufacturing a wide range of applications that involves welding stainless steel, copper, aluminum and brass.

It is because of the fact that the studs manufactured by stud welding are reliable and extremely strong; stud welding is a part of manufacturing kitchen appliances to even military ships and tankers.

8. Laser Welding Process:

Laser welding works on the same principle of generating heat between the metals that are to be welded. It is one of the latest and precise methods of welding.

The only difference is that laser welding process is free positioned and do not require any mechanical contact. However sometimes a clamping device may be attached to exert the force required for welding.

It uses high power laser-beam to join thermoplastics or metals. This high intensity laser beam helps you achieve your desired weld in literally milliseconds.

Places with narrow working areas demand this technique as it has high accuracy and low distortion.

Advantages
  • Detailed method of welding
  • Time efficient
  • High accuracy and low distortion
  • Strong and reliable welds
  • Minimum rates
  • Flexible
Disadvantages
  • Requires hybrid of another process for much efficiency

Generally, there are three types of laser: YAG laser, fiber laser and diode laser. Laser welding seems to be a flexible solution when continuous production is in demand. However, for deep penetration, the laser-welding process is used as a hybrid with any other techniques such as MIG or TIG.

This modern technology of laser is the key for manufacturing businesses in engineering, medical, electronics or even aerospace. For beginners, handheld laser machines will be a head start.

In addition, it is vital to remember that laser welding not only provides strong and reliable welds, but also helps businesses increase their manufacturing efficacy at minimum possible rates.

9. Ultrasonic Welding Process:

Ultrasonic welding is one of the most versatile and popular technique. This technique is mainly used for welding plastics of varying shapes and sizes. It is an energy efficient type of welding as it produces very little fumes or dust.

Unique to other existing welding methods in such a way that it uses sound vibrations of high frequency to displace plastic molecules, further by applying pressure these joints become strong.

As observed, it can join different types of materials very efficiently and easily without the help of any adhesives. It hands you the desired weld in its perfect shape without using any nails, bolts or fillers.

Advantages
  • Versatile and popular
  • Uses a unique method of frequencies
  • Strong, clean welds produced
Disadvantages
  • Expensive machinery

Since ultrasonic welding process is free of contamination it can be used for making clean medical products. Potent technique for packing and sealing containers hermetically increasing the quality of the product.

Electronic industries also opt for this technique when vibration welding is not suitable.  To decide whether this method is the right technique, you are looking for, focus on the key factors that the machine offers.

In this case, ultrasonic welding machines are not only cheap and rigid but provides you a range of materials to be welded, including amorphous plastic, thermoplastic and even fabric/films.

10. Process Piping Welding:

Like other welding processes, process-piping welding offers its own extraordinary ease and difficulties. Welders must stay firm on rules and procedures when welding in these applications.

In order to carry the task safely and to stay away from potential deformities like the absence of combination, porosity, or other weld issues that could bargain the uprightness of the finished weld.

Process piping welders likewise experience a considerable lot of similar limitations as in different welding processes. Meeting tight deadlines, absence of talented workers, and the drive to lessen costs are important to consider to meet the need of turning out quality welds.

Material utilized in process piping welding is generally carbon steel, going in measurement from 4 to 36 inches. The most widely recognized widths welded with the self-loader process are 18 inches or on the other hand a bit smaller.

Advantages
  • Advanced technology
  • Offers favorable ways
  • Easy requirement and consumption of materials
Disadvantages
  • Welders experience strict rules to carry this welding process
  • Lack of talented workers in this field

Advanced and innovative technology like adjusted short-circuit GMAW or pulse gas metal arc welding (GMAW-P), just as customary GMAW and flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), can help speed creation, ease preparing, and produce top notch welds in-process pipe applications.

As an efficiency improving measure, most administrators weld the funnel in the 1GR position at whatever point conceivable—a flat situation wherein the pipe rolls. Three primary filler metal wire alternatives for this application are strong wire; gas-protected, transition cored wire; and metal-cored wire.

Each of which has extraordinary highlights, favorable circumstances, and constraints. These variables must be gauged cautiously to decide the most ideally equipped alternative for the welding.

11. Spray Welding Process:

Spray welding process is itself a broad technique, which encloses many sub-techniques under it. It includes the use of flame, arc, plasma, cold spray and oxy-fuel as energy sources.

Usually a coating material is used in this method, either in the form of powder or wire that is further atomized on the metal surface.

Industrial welding process that requires a high voltage between 27 volts to 37 volts. While starting the machine it is required to adjust the voltage to the given parameters and later it can be manipulated up and down until the sound is half whoosh and half crackle.

Advantages
  • High penetration power
  • Cost effective method
  • Very detailed welding process
Disadvantages
  • Distance is mandatory or it may be risky
  • Requires professional worker

Depending upon the type of energy source used, coatings are applied on metals. Along with coatings, the spraying distance holds a significance importance in spray welding process. While using oxy-fuels this distance should be between 380-400mm. However, when playing with flame, there should be a minimum of 100-200 mm distance.

Spray-welding process provides you smooth and rigid welds, as its penetration power is high. The reason that it is a cost effective method with minimal spatter makes it one of the versatile technique.

However, only a professional worker can lay hands on this method as missing out the smallest detail can cause a big risk.

12. Thermite Welding Process:

Thermite Welding process is the outcome of a combination made by a chemical compound response that happens because of the distinction of free energy among aluminum and metal oxide.

This distinction delivers enough warmth to create fluid steel or some other metal and permit without the need for any outside energy. It is carried out with or without the use of applied pressure. The utilization of filler metal is discretionary.

All parts for the aluminothermy procedure are utilized as powders or granules. Since these two parts are distinctive density wise, they separate consequently and the fluid metal can be utilized for the creation of compounds, unique metals, or for various welding applications.

Advantages
  • No outside force is required
  • Enormous segment parts can be joined
Disadvantages
  • Only ferrous parts might be welded
  • Slow welding rate
  • Weld may contain gas and slag contamination

In setting up the joint for Thermite welding, the parts to be welded must be cleaned, adjusted, and held stable. Thermite Welding is utilized to fix steel casings and forgings, for joining railroad rails, steel wires and steel pipes, for joining the enormous cast and fashioned parts.

13. Solid State Welding Process:

All those welding processes in which the parent metal is not melted are known as solid-state welding processes. A sound joint is made by applying pressure instead of heat. Materials are weld at temperatures below their melting points. Hence this process can also be termed at pressure welding.

Inquisitive part about solid-state welding is that although it is one of the archaic types of welding, it is still used at a backbone for many newly developed techniques. This process counts on the trifecta of temperature, pressure and time.

Advantages
  • Minimal distortion and stress
  • Opulent welds are achieved
  • Narrow heat affected zone (HAZ) eases the process
  • Easier to join unlike metals
Disadvantages
  • Becomes problematic joining two or more than two fragments
  • Requires distinct joint designs
  • Wider root gaps may be observed, as fillers are not used
  • Increasing the pressure limit may harm the final shape

Some of the many models of solid state welding are explosion welding, diffusion bonding, cold welding, roll welding and forge welding. Since these types do not use filler materials, so much smoother outcomes are obtained.

14. Friction Welding Process:

The world of friction welding is very vast. It provides a list of solutions to industrial manufacturing problems. Friction welding process is applicable for joining dissimilar metals. However, the only circumstance is that they should be attached in rotational symmetry.

Dynamics of this process includes four basic stages: during the initial phase of frictional interaction, one of the metal surface is rotated while the other is pressed beside it.

Upon this contact the second phase starts, leading to more friction generation. Third phase increases the pressure on the material to facilitate joining and then finally it is allowed to cool.

Advantages
  • Flexible and powerful
  • Durable joints
  • Remarkable automation
  • Allows a range of materials to be welded
  • Great reproducibility
Disadvantages
  • Limited to round bars only
  • Wont give satisfying results for different cross sectional area
  • No diversity in joint designs
  • The process can be critical sometimes

Thanks to this welding process that offers reliable quality, the capacity to join different metals within minimal material waste.

Friction welding is a cost effective and time efficient technique that has increased the standards of quality. Depending upon the new requirements, automated friction welding has also set its place in the market.

Conclusion:

To sum it up, welding is a key procedure in the production of practically any custom steel wire or sheet metal structure—from a smallest plate to the greatest hardened steel trucks. Many people consider welding as an individual covered in overalls holding a gaslight to a huge bit of metal and attempting to melt the metal together.

However, modern welding systems are significantly different from what the normal nonprofessional would think of. There is a wide range of sorts of welding hardware and welding methods that producers working with metal use past the conventional gas burn process that the vast majority consider.

Through the above-mentioned 14 types of welding processes, welders can transform a portion of the world’s most grounded materials into the shapes and items one can imagine. This ability requires work and practice to gain, and its best learned with the help and direction of industry experts.

So pick the type of welding process that meets your requirements as per this guide!

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