Welding Processes

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Welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing coalescence. This is often done by melting the work pieces and adding a filler material to form a pool of molten material (the weld pool) that cools to become a strong joint, with pressure sometimes used in conjunction with heat, or by itself, to produce the weld.

This is in contrast with soldering and brazing, which involve melting a lower-melting-point material between the workpieces to form a bond between them, without melting the workpieces. Welding is a craft that can be performed reasonably by amateurs.

As always, good equipment is important for producing good work.

For example, you need the correct tip and drive rollers to avoid the risk of bird nesting. It usually occurs when the wire tangles up, which halts your productivity while cutting, removing, re-starting, and re-feeding. Incorrect tip size and wrong rollers are two common causes of bird nesting. Hence, if you want to ensure a productive and successful welding process, get the right equipment. 

To know more about bird nesting, check out reliable websites that provide valuable information about welding and other related matters.  

On the other hand, you can also produce good welding work through some additional tips. For instance, the basics and theory can be learned solo, and from books, but like many crafts, learning from someone proficient is very desirable. A real good way to start is to take some kind of night school or similar beginning welding class.

You get exposed to various equipment and methods. There are often advanced classes available, as well. One of the most common types of arc welding is shielded metal arc welding (SMAW); it is also known as manual metal arc welding (MMA) or stick welding. Electric current is used to strike an arc between the base material and consumable electrode rod, which is made of steel and is covered with a flux that protects the weld area from oxidation and contamination by producing carbon dioxide (CO2) gas during the welding process.

The electrode core itself acts as filler material, making separate filler unnecessary.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) process is versatile and can be performed with relatively inexpensive equipment, making it well suited to shop jobs and field work. An operator can become reasonably proficient with a modest amount of training and can achieve mastery with experience. Weld times are rather slow, since the consumable electrodes must be frequently replaced and because slag, the residue from the flux, must be chipped away after welding.

Gas Metal Arc welding

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), also known as metal inert gas or MIG welding, is a semi-automatic or automatic process that uses a continuous wire feed as an electrode and an inert or semi-inert gas mixture to protect the weld from contamination. Since the electrode is continuous, welding speeds are greater for GMAW than for SMAW. A related process, flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), uses similar equipment but uses wire consisting of a steel electrode surrounding a powder fill material. This cored wire is more expensive than the standard permits even higher welding speed and greater metal penetration.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, is a manual welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode, an inert or semi-inert gas mixture, and a separate filler material. This is especially useful for welding thin materials, this method is characterized by a stable arc and high quality welds, but it requires significant operator skill and can only be accomplished at relatively low speeds.

GTAW can be used on nearly all weldable metals, though it is most often applied to stainless steel and light metals. It is often used when quality welds are extremely important, such as in bicycle, aircraft and naval applications.

Submerged Arc Welding

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) is a high-productivity welding method in which the arc is struck beneath a covering layer of flux.

This increases arc quality, since contaminants in the atmosphere are blocked by the flux. The slag that forms on the weld generally comes off by itself, and combined with the use of a continuous wire feed, the weld deposition rate is high.

Working conditions are much improved over other arc welding processes, since the flux hides the arc and almost no smoke is produced. The process is commonly used in big industries, especially for large products and in the manufacture of welded pressure vessels.

There is, of course, a wide range of equipment, capabilities, quality, and pricing. [quote_box_center]The quality can make a big difference in the ease of use and quality of work. “You get what you pay for.” Experience and practice are also very important. Learning from an expert gets you there a lot faster.[/quote_box_center]

Miller Electric

Miller Electric of the U.S.A., is a leading manufacturer of TIG welders, MIG or wire welders, stick welders, flux cored welders, multi-process welders, plasma arc cutters, engine-driven welding generators, wire feeders, multi-operator systems, resistance spot welders, automated welding systems, submerged arc welders, induction heating systems, welding equipment, welding guns and accessories, and welder training materials for the Industrial, Maintenance & Repair, Farm and Ranch, Construction, Motorsports, Hobbyist and Fabrication markets.

Oxy-fuel welding and cutting

Oxy-fuel welding (commonly called oxyacetylene welding, oxy welding, or gas welding  and oxy-fuel cutting are processes that use fuel gases and oxygen to weld and cut metals, respectively.

Pure oxygen, instead of air (20% oxygen/80% nitrogen), is used to increase the flame temperature to allow localized melting of the workpiece material (e.g. steel) in a room environment. Oxy-fuel is widely used for welding pipes and tubes, as well as repair work.

It is also frequently well-suited, and favored, for fabricating some types of metal-based artwork.

Key consideration when selecting welding material/systems is defining the requirements and the operating environment and the overall objective with the equipment. For example is the equipment to be used in a weld shop or from the bed of a maintenance truck? Is weight and portability an issue?

When selecting welding equipment /system/material, one should strongly consider the Application, The Welding Process, The Welding Consumables and The Deadline of the Job.

Cost, availability and longevity of life should also be given utmost consideration when selecting welding products. Protection offered to user, Comfort and affordability should never be overlooked. Size, style and grade of material of the stud that is to be installed should also be taken into consideration.

This is very important in helping you know what type and style of equipment accessories will be required to install the correct weld studs.

High quality products, with full technical back-up at competitive prices would be a priority.

Miller Electric also features a line of welding helmets and safety gear. In Uganda, Miller is represented by Terrain Plant Ltd. as their Authorized Agent.

GULLCO International

Gullco International Ltd. supplies a variety of different Welding Automation solutions for the construction industry.

The Automated Welding Carriages manufactured by Gullco and sold through Distributors worldwide have been used for over 40 years and have helped to improve productivity in industries such as Tank Construction, Shipbuilding and Beam Construction.

The KAT® Welding Carriage is an automated travel carriage used on Rigid or Flexible track and its feature benefit is that it can be used by semi-skilled welders to produce high quality welds with decreased cost and increased efficiency because of its simple to use design.

Gullco also supplies a trackless carriage known as the MOGGY® this carriage is a versatile unit that is ideal for Fillet, Lap and Butt welds and can be used in tight spaces such as Ship Hull Stiffeners or Box Beam Construction.

For plate preparation prior to welding such as beveling, Gullco provides a line of portable plate beveling machines which use a cold sheering process to produce the bevel and as a result there is no heat affected zone (HAZ). The elimination of the HAZ means more accurate fit up and higher quality welds at reduced man hours and decreased use of consumables.

With their extensive distributor network, Gullco are capable of providing service and delivery anywhere in the world. This means getting the products to the job site on time and providing the necessary training required to make effective use of automated welding techniques.

Gullco also has unsurpassed competitive advantage over the market competition because they are the manufacturers of all their welding equipment. This means that quality is given utmost priority throughout the manufacturing process.

The durability of the Gullco equipment has helped make the KAT Carriage and other welding automation carriages from Gullco well known. With 100lbs of vertical load capacity, the automation carriages from Gullco can accomplish the most demanding of welding applications.

Gullco also says; Lack of skilled welders and laborers, Current Economic uncertainty and reduced infrastructure growth are the main challenges facing the construction industry in their country. Gullco has its Head Quarters in Canada. Their main export markets are; USA, UK, Europe, South America, China and Australia.

For all customers who want to have a feel of unmatched Gullco Welding equipment, Gullco has made available a great list of resources on their website www.gullco.com where you can source for automation equipment and view video demonstrations and case studies.

Electron Beam

Electron Beam supplies a variety of different Welding solutions for the construction industry. Among their wide range of welding equipment includes; Class K Standard Welding Cable trademarked “EB-flex” in popular sizes and “Fast ‘N Easy” Bulk electrode accessories.

The “EB-flex” offers competitive cost with excellent flexibility and long service life. “Fast ‘N Easy” product offers simple low cost solutions to remote transfer of welding electrode from Bulk electrode containers.

Electron Beam offers Standard Welding Cable which ; exceeds NEMA Class K rating, made of stranded annealed copper wires, long life, cross-linked rubber insulating jacket, direct-to-you pricing, with no minimum.

They offer 105 degree Celcius, 600 Volt, Ruber Jacketed, Welding Cables of different sizes, conductor quantity gages and weights with quality features such as; good flexibility, abrasion resistant, tear resistant, spatter resistant, easy jacket stripping and RoHS compliant.

They also offer general construction conductors of NEMA Class K, 30 gage,bare bright annealed and stranded, Electrolytic and fine copper wires. Jackets of premium Poly-XL, High Energy Electron Beam cross linked synthetic elastomer with polyester release barrier with Temperature range of +105 C to – 40C specifically engineered for the welding industry.

Electron Beam is a world wide supplier of welding products. They say; holding down costs due to rapidly changing prices and markets, especially markets affected by non ferrous metals are the main challenges facing the construction industry in their country.

3M Welding

3M have a large range of specialized Welding Products. For construction there are generally 3 Welding Shields and a number of Welding Respirators that are used.

3M Supplies the Speedglas range of welding helmets with Auto Darkening Filter (ADF) Technology, and indeed they are the originators of this technology almost 30 years ago. With regards to Respirators, 3M is the Global Leader in providing safe, comfortable and efficient respirators for all situations, including welding.

The Speedglas100V is their general purpose construction welding offer. It is lightweight, robust and offers adjustable settings for all types of welding.

The Speedglas SL is their specialised welding helmet. It is the worlds lightest, slimmest and closest fitting ADF helmet. This is specifically designed to allow the Welder to insert his head and shoulders in pipes and difficult to reach areas without compromising by removing the Welding helmet.

The Speedglas 9100V FX is another top of the range welding helmet from 3M. It is used where heavy duty construction welding takes place, where continuous, uninterrupted welding is required for long periods of time.

It allows the user to be comfortable and protected for extended periods and also had the added benefit of a flip up front with a polycarbonate shield to inspect or grind. The 3M 9925 and 9928 are the ultimate re-usable welding masks that can fit under all 3M Welding Helmet and offer superior protection, comfort and safety.

3m offers free product training and certification to all its customers who purchase their products. Furthermore, their welding products are designed for welders, by welders, and most importantly are designed to be worn in conjunction with other PPE, as welding is not only a threat to Eyes but to lungs and ears as well.

Their products are offered throughout Sub Saharan Africa through their local distributors and are supported by 3M personnel in all these regions.

Thermadyne Industries, Inc.

Thermadyne Industries, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of metal cutting and welding products and accessories under a variety of leading premium brand names including Victor®, Tweco®, Arcair®, Thermal Dynamics®, Thermal Arc®, Stoody®, TurboTorch®, Firepower® and CIGWELD®.

Victor® Professional Edge™ Series Regulator

Thermadyne recently introduced the Victor® Professional Edge™ Series Regulator.  The Edge Series was designed for durability, ease of use, maximum flow performance, and safety.

The compact design of the Edge is radically different from anything else in the marketplace.  While other regulators have multiple gauges and outlets that are vulnerable to damage in the work environment, the Edge, with a single point of contact, minimizes potential impact points to protect the integrity of the gas delivery system.  Dual, built-in gauges are recessed into the body for additional protection.

The Edge Series is also the most user-friendly regulator, allowing a more natural and safer hand/body position for the user when adjusting delivery pressure.

The dual gauges feature high-contrast graphics for enhanced visibility in a smaller size, and the color coded knobs mean you can determine the type of gas (oxygen, acetylene, inert gas, LPG, carbon dioxide*, and nitrous oxide*) at a glance – indoors or outdoors, up close or far away – for improved safety and better cylinder management.

[quote_box_center]“It’s easy for a regulator to maintain good flow performance when inlet pressures are high, but cylinder pressure decay is inevitable. A regulator needs to function well across the entire range of cylinder pressures,” said Bob Boyer, Victor’s Principal Engineer for Gas Equipment.[/quote_box_center]

Outperforming the competition, the Edge Series regulator offers better flow control across a full range of cylinder pressures, resulting in a more consistent supply for the downstream application.  The “set it and forget it” design means fewer operator adjustments.

Other new design features include a unique bolt-on housing cap which provides superior strength in a slimmer profile, and newly designed internals that deliver optimum torque and compression to the diaphragm and internal seals, insuring the highest level of seal integrity and performance.

In the gas regulation market, the name Victor has always been synonymous with safety, and the Edge Series regulator is no exception.  The new design meets or exceeds all industry standards, including ISO 2503, UL 252 and the CGA E-4 “Heated Oxygen Impact Test”.  In fact, the new design offers the highest resistance to oxygen-related fires in the industry, passing the stringent ASTM G-175 Promoted Ignition Test.

The design is “fault tolerant” in the event of an inboard ignition source in oxygen use, offering unsurpassed resistance to oxygen combustive contamination.

Along with its exceptional performance and unparalleled safety, the Edge Series regulator offers a highly durable, rugged design to protect critical regulator components.  An innovative internal vent system protects the regulator internals from weather elements, ensuring reliability in even the harshest environments.

A Victor exclusive is the Shock Limitation and Absorption Mechanism (SLAM) technology, which is built right into the knob, where a multi-layer shock zone slows velocity to reduce the force of impact in the event of a fall.  SLAM is designed to protect regulator vitals and the cylinder valve itself by absorbing more than 5,000 pound-force of impact energy.

[quote_box_center]“It has been many years since there has been any significant improvement in the regulator industry, and we felt it was past due,” said Boyer. “More than just a better design, we wanted to create the best industrial regulator.  [/quote_box_center]

We began by conducting research with end users and distributors to determine problems common to traditional regulators.  We also asked: What new capabilities can we provide to bring even greater value to our customers?

Now, the result of our efforts has surpassed even our own expectations, offering the industry a new benchmark for regulator design, user-friendliness, outstanding performance, and unsurpassed safety.”

The Victor Professional Edge Series regulator is the most significant innovation in gas regulator design in more than a hundred years and represents the future of gas regulation. The new Professional Edge Series Regulator’s innovative patent-pending design is only available from Victor.

Victor®, a world leader in the gas cutting and welding industries, was founded in 1913 by L.W. Stettner, a welder who suffered the loss of an eye from a welding accident and set out to design and build better, safer welding products.

Victor produces oxy-fuel welding and cutting apparatus, torch handles, cutting attachments, straight cutting torches, regulators, cutting tips, welding nozzles, and cutting and welding outfits and other accessories and components.

These products cover the full range of needs from general industrial to heavy duty mill and foundry requirements. Victor’s gas equipment line is the most complete selection offered from any manufacturer and the only one offering users the (patented) safety benefit of built-in flashback arrestors and reverse flow check valves.

Broco Inc.

Broco Industrial Ultrathermic/exothermic torch set is an extremely valuable maintenance tool that is targeted primarily at heavy machinery maintenance and repair. Their sister company, Rankin Industries is a 75-year-old manufacturer of hardfacing alloys known for its high performance electrodes and flux cored wires.

The Rankin Automation division also manufactures a line machines for welding tungsten carbide to ground engaging parts (blades, teeth, wear blocks). A number of Caterpillar dealer ships and OEM aftermarket parts manufacturers use Rankin tungsten carbide vibratory feeders, and single and double axis machines for creating parts that dramatically outlast standard wear parts.

Off highway equipment routinely needs attachments, hydraulics, articulated components removed or replaced and many times the pins that retain them are frozen in place. Broco’s torch sets are the fastest and easiest way to remove frozen pins. The torch can also be used for quick quiet weld removal and cutting of hardplate and cast iron.

GOWELD welder is easier to setup and faster to use than engine driven welders. GOWELD deposits high quality permanent welds. Especially important for the African market is GOWELD is large support equipment is not required. GOWELD is easily carried to a jobsite in a small car to make repairs in the field.

Rankin hardfacing alloys are formulated for long service life. Their manganese products are exceptional and Rankin has led the way in chrome carbide alloys for a number of rebuilding applications. Rankin/PMA (Protective Metal Alloys) nickel based tungsten carbide hardfacing alloys (trade name Diamond Carbide) are the toughest, longest lasting, easiest to apply alloys for improving critical parts life. If nothing else works, Rankin/PMA Diamond Carbide will.

Rankin Automation products are significant. They are the industry leader with state of the art control systems and proprietary weld tracking (data logging) software.

Their double axis and three axis MIG Carbide parts surfacing machines enable wear parts to last many times longer than other ground engaging parts.

This reduces not only replacement parts costs over the life of a piece of heavy equipment, it also significantly reduces equipment downtime and out of service costs.

Rankin Automation also makes equipment for rebuilding rock and coal crushers and large mill rollers (ex.: sugar mills). For the drilling industry they lead the way with specialty machinery (complete material handling systems) for on-site welding ‘hardbanding’ and ‘smoothbanding’ alloys to drill pipe. Full trailer mounted and skid mounted machines are available.

Rankin Automation equipment has historically been sold within North America and Latin America.
With wear alloys and wear parts the questions must focus on parts weaknesses.

What parts are wearing out? How frequently? How costly is disassembly and replacement? What is the opportunity cost of this extended downtime? When the customers define the problem, Broco and Rankin can help design the proper solution and that solution can range from off-the-shelf tools (GOWELD, Broco Industrial Torches), standard alloys and specialty alloys and equipment to apply it.

Sunbelt Stud Welding, Inc.

Sunbelt Stud Welding, Inc offers all types and styles of stud welding equipment, weld studs and accessories for welding the studs.  They offer engineering help, fast reliable information and quotations on stud welding requirements.

They do not have a store in Africa. Sunbelt supplies over 10,000 welding products. They do not have a store in Africa and all of their parts are shipped from their facility in the United States.

Speciality Welds Ltd

Speciality Welds Ltd provides both welding and cutting products and services (welder training and formal qualification testing) to the construction and marine industries.

They are the only manufacture of a specialist spot-welding electrode (Hammerhead) and an specialist arc cutting electrode (Swordfish).

Although these products were originally developed for underwater use, they are also extensively used in the general construction industry too. They are an internal operation and their products/services are sold all around the world.

Speciality Welds Ltd says; skill shortages and an ever increasing ageing workforce are the main issues facing the industry today.


Welding Alloys South Africa (WASA) is a Producer of flux core arc welding wire (FCAW). The company specializes in producing products such as SPEEDARC X70-T4. An open-arc flat-horizontal flux core arc welding (FCAW) wire for the joining of rebar.

This technology on welding was applied in the construction of the world’s highest bridge, the Millau Viaduct in southern France, the bridge was joined using only 100% Speedarc X70-T4 from Welding Alloys in France.

Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW) is the only welding process that is growing when compared to other conventional welding processes like manual metal arc (MMA) welding or metal inert gas (MIG) welding.

In cases where low hydrogen levels are required a seamless copper coated FCAW wire with hydrogen levels below4ml/100grams and which does not require baking or drying is put to use.

This range of products is only produced by Welding Alloys. Welding has many processes that are diverse, each of these strive to accomplish a given target in respect to materials being used.

Air Liquide

Air Liquide offers a complete solution on (equipment + consumables + gases + services) for welding applications even in the most demanding situations.

Air Liquide Welding provides expertise and innovative solutions, allowing its customers far wide to increase their performance and productivity, while taking into account the comfort and safety of welders.

Yuryoku Sdn Bhd one of Malaysia’s leading manufacturers of automated jigs & fixture welding aid machine for oil & gas industries. In addition to automated jigs & fixture welding aid machine, also offer companies with cost-effective and hi-performance reconditioned welding machine.

Their solutions are implemented in pipelines, oil and gas industries, petrochemical and pressure vessel fabricators.

The need for Welding solutions in this day can never be over emphasized. High tech and better solutions to current and future problems in regard to welding are getting promising results.

Nelson Stud Welding, one of the leading global manufacturer and distributor of weld stud fasteners and application equipment serving a broad range of markets on a worldwide basis including the automotive, construction and industrial markets agrees that Welding can be applied in many applications and many different energy sources can be used for welding, including a gas flame, an electric arc, a laser, an electron beam, friction, and ultrasound.

While commonly regarded as an industrial process, welding can be done in many different environments, including open air, under water and in outer space. Regardless of operating location, precautions must be taken to avoid burns, electric shock, eye damage, poisonous fumes, and overexposure to ultraviolet light.

List of Contributors

Miller Electric
Contact: John Montgomery
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.terrainplant.com

Contact: Nick drake
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.GULLCO.com

Contact: Valgene Raloff
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.electronbeam.com

Contact: Stephen Llewelyn Jackson
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.3M.com

Thermadyne Industries Limited.
Contact: Sean Mallion
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.thermadyne.com

Broco, Inc.
Contact: Tom Joos
Email: [email protected]

Sunbelt Stud Welding, Inc.
Contact: Curt Gardiner
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.sunbeltstudwelding.com

Speciality Welds Ltd
Contact: David Keats
Email: [email protected]
Website:   www.specialwelds.com

Email: [email protected]

Standard Equipment &Automation
Contact: Derek Harvey
Email: [email protected]

Welding Alloys
Contact: Wiehan Zylstra
Email: [email protected]

Air liquide welding
Contact: Roure, Georges
Email: [email protected]

Contact: Rauch Marion
Email: [email protected]

Nelson Stud Welding
Contact: Mark Koester
Email: Mark.Koester@nelsonstud>

2 thoughts on “Welding Processes”

  1. Thank you so much for this very informative blog. Been searching for something like this. Keep it coming.

  2. Wonderful experience gathered while I was going through your great article. Keep it up and best of luck at all times.

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