An Overview of Welding
Welding is a very useful skill which is used all over the world. Welds are the bonds which hold most metal products together. The bodies of cars, appliances, office furniture, and skyscrapers are just a few examples of things that utilize welding technology. Welding is actually the process of melting separate pieces of metal together at the joint. Blacksmiths have been welding pieces of iron together by heating them for centuries, but modern welding techniques were not widely used until the early and middle twentieth century.
While certain welds are still done with gas torches which simply heat the two pieces of metal until they fuse together, most modern welding is done with an arc welder. Arc welding is a process of welding with heat that comes from an electric arc. A transformer is used to obtain a certain amperage and voltage, and a ground clamp is attached to the work piece. The circuit is completed with an electrode which is attached to a ‘torch’ or ‘gun.’ An arc is struck between the electrode and work piece by momentarily letting them touch. It is a common misconception that the electrode touches the work during welding. In fact it is the tiny distance between the electrode and metal that creates the heat in the arc. Think of the arc as a tint lightning bolt that you move along the work piece to direct the heat. Controlling the arc is probably the most difficult skill to learn in welding.
There are three common types of arc welders – TIG, GMAW, and SMAW – and no one type is ideal for every type of welding. It is important when welding to keep oxygen from touching the molten metal that you are working with. This prevents rust or oxidation of the joint which you are creating. The way this is accomplished is one of the main differences in different welder types. To learn more about these separate methods visit our SMAW, GMAW, and TIG rundown on types of welders.
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If you’re interested in learning more about welding and starting a career in welding, contact Tulsa Welding School today!
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