Ultimate Welding Guide – Things to Know Become A Welder

In today’s modern century, we often find ourselves needing to fuse metals together to create infrastructures, furniture, or even fix one’s home.

The welding industry helps build the world, and it shows its importance in our lives. Initially, it may seem complicated, but in the long run, as you familiarize yourself with the information and techniques, it is actually user-friendly.

Generally, the tools used in the welding processes are intimidating, especially as you stumble upon the sparks and energy used as you connect the two metals.

Though, it can also be a way for you to see that the profession is actually fascinating, as you delve into the various industry all over the world depending on your liking.

To know more about the welding career, read more to assess if the job is right for you!

What Is It: Welding?

The concept of welding is simply the act of joining two pieces of metal together, creating a single output. Though, the bond formed cannot be easily modified much like in brazing and soldering.

Instead, extreme heat and any other additional gas and metal cause the actual metallic structure and composition to combine and become one.

Keep in mind that in this process, the frame that is done is expected to be in solid construction and cannot be moved any other way. In it, the materials are fused while adding heat for its structure to melt. Then, once cooled, a filler is added to ensure the strength of the bond.

 What-Is-Welding

While doing this process, different methods can be used such as inert metal gas, inert tungsten gas, gas welding, and arc welding depending on your liking.

Also, some exceptions apply to its process, such as the application of heat isn’t necessary at all times since some methods such as pressure welding can be done without it. The welding process also does not strictly abide by fusing two metals, as other materials can still be used in the process such as thermoplastics.

Overall, the progress from attempting to finishing the fusion often leads the welding enthusiasts in awe as it can be done effectively on land or even underwater!

Importance Of Welding

The importance of welding can be seen in our everyday lives. Specifically, in transportation, building structures, or even the fusion of metals in a prototype. Since it is present in almost everything, its importance can also be correlated unto how it benefits us.

Metal tables or even railings include an intricate part of the welding process, and without it, the joint of metals cannot be as strong as they are in objects unto which metals are joint to create the entire structure. The welding has the most substantial connection progress available.

It helps the stability of a product, as well as its long-lasting nature and is also relatively cheaper and faster than any other types of fusion such as bolting.

Since the joint is active, the output promotes safety. The construction will not fall apart unexpectedly, and even the vehicles will not crumble as it does its job. With that said, the lives of mankind depend on its strong bond, which is fascinating along with its progress in promoting innovation.

Also, some types can be automated which saves labor costs while increasing the amount and consistency in production.

Welding As A Profession: What Are The Basics?

To enter the field of welding, you need to have an interest in its profession. As it is present in construction and manufacturing, its application may lead to various creations depending on demand.

In assessing it, you may ask yourself “can I do it? is it suitable for me?” Worry no more! With the right tools and effort, you can be the welder that you want to be!

Here are the guidelines to get you started:

1. Knowing The Process Of Welding And Its Demands

As a welder, your output should not reflect any clumsy or weak joints for it demonstrates your capability. To do this, you need to have a sense of great focus and also be physically fit for the task with matching eye observation skills.

Also, the job requires you to be around hot temperatures and fumes most of the time, and lacking the skills may cause serious injury if you’re not paying attention properly.

You should also be mindful and open to being a self-starter since a part of the job requires you to find your own projects, or in other words, freelancing.

2. Find Programs That Offer Welding Training

To start your welding knowledge, it is of great help to find a training program to learn how to weld and experience it physically.

It can be available in some vocational programs or community college within your area. This gives you a stepping stone in the industry and helps you to be assisted in any convenient job placement.

3. Have An Experience

Aside from knowing the basics and terminologies from a book, you need to experience it to understand how it fully functions. Just by knowing it is not enough, as the field of welding is a hands-on trade that requires you to execute what you have learned.

You can do this by having a practical training in the class itself, as you enroll in a school or program that offers to teach welding.

In it, you need to know how to control the puddles, use the filler, and strike an arc. You can start at knowing how to stick the metals without any clamps, then by monitoring the rod as you fuse it. Doing this efficiently requires practice and patience.

4. Know The Types Of Welding

It depends on the demand and industry where you learn where each type is needed, which is why you have to know the various ways to be flexible enough on the job.

Learn the basics, then aim for the industry of your choice. You need to see the process of MIG (inert metal gas) welding, stick welding, TIG (inert tungsten glass) welding, and any other types that are needed within the profession.

5. Learn About The Different Fields Of Welding

You should be mindful about the expectations in your output as you wield. Also, the need for certification and the experience acquired depends on the position of your liking.

Assess if you are fit for being a welder that is specifically for machinery, manufacturing, and construction, or as a welding engineer that takes more responsibility as they are also concerned with planning.

There is also the option of being an inspector which requires you to be certified enough to evaluate the quality of each wield, as per following the required standard.

6. Get the Certification

AWS certification is needed that is done and renewed in a year or six-month time, depending on location. It includes an experience welding test and written output to pass the certification. For engineers, they need the “Welding Engineer AWS Certification” which has techniques and geometry guidelines required to pursue it.

For commercial welding, it depends on the type of industry but oftentimes, you would need a MIG, GMAW, or AWS certification.

7. Be Open To A Variety Of Jobs

If you continue your profession up to 10 years, the steady employment in trade is already ensured especially if there are no mishaps that came in your way. The more work you do, the more experienced you are, which is why it is important to be open to different techniques and types as you go on with your job.

You can also find jobs that require you to travel, which is preferable as a large project may require a lot of work that is needed to be done in a month or depending on the stated timespan.

Or, you can also work for a company which will assist you in finding jobs for you, instead of self-employment wherein you need to find the job yourself. Being familiar with different types of technology can help you grow in your profession, which is beneficial as you work your way to the top.

The Wage Of A Welder

Since you attempt to enter the field of welding, it is only reasonable to assess the profit you can make in this field. Believe it or not, the act of welding is considered to be one of the most profitable careers around, mainly depending on demand.

Though, along this process, you should ensure proper quality welding works regardless of the profit to work your way through to the top.

As of today’s time, the annual profit for an average welder can be $36,720 to an amount of $25,000. Though, there are many in the welding industry earning around $57,000 a year which is reflected based on the years of experience.

If you want projects with a big pay, you should strive to be the best as the demand for it is low. Specifically, on projects that are involved in power generation or gas distribution, the profit is higher than average, but the need for it barely arises.

You should learn how to make connections along the way, to enlarge your scope to the masses. As a novice, you can expect to earn at least $15-$18 an hour depending on the demand for a job in your location and the type of job that is needed. It increases as you obtain experience later on.

Pros Of Being A Welder

While doing welding, there are plenty of advantages that you may experience as time goes on.

  • Travel location

While working, you may be relocated to different areas or countries as welders are required everywhere around the world.

  • Easy Advancement In Career

The improvement within your job is easy access, to do further studies and experiences to gain more certifications, which allows you to be versatile.

  • Different Job Openings Available

You can be open to different specialization depending on preference. Precisely, you can apply in the field of automobile, structure construction, aerospace, military, and the shipping industry.

  • Job Satisfaction

It is stated that those who engage in the welding industry tends to be well-motivated and satisfied with every finished product. This builds up their self-esteem as it reflects their skills acquired.

Cons Of Being A Welder

On the job, some disadvantages cannot be avoided as you gain experience. It is a matter of assessment if you can withstand it, and let it work up to your advantage. To know the possible cons, that you may encounter, here is the list—

  • Hazardous Environment

Wearing safety gear is crucial while attempting to do a welding process since there are many hazardous materials that you may encounter. In it, you should keep in mind that you use extreme heat with high intensity to weld the pieces of metal, and its contact on your body may result in mild to serious effects.

  • Discomfort In Certain Areas

While welding, you may be stationed in cramped places, or even outdoors wherein weather may be a problem and can affect your output infusion.

  • Time Of Work

The working hours can be relatively long, especially if you have a deadline to aim for. This industry often leads to night shifts since the process is long, and the demand for a finished product usually has an allotted time given.

Materials, Tools & Equipment Used In Welding

Since time immemorial, the human race has made use of metal for many purposes. After some time, the evolvement of its usage is foreseen in the technology era through the improvement in production and construction made use of fusing the metal components to produce an output.

It is seconded by the innovation of today, and the welding process will continue to strive as long as the different ideas are improved and are present.

Before attempting the process of welding, you should first keep in mind the materials needed to do so, along with its proper function. To know what is required, here are the checklist that you should be careful about-

  • Safety Gear

Safety is a must. Follow the necessary precautions such as wearing a grinding visor or protective glasses with a face mask to protect your eyes or face from any debris while in the process of grinding and fusing.

It also steadies your vision as you can be more concentrated on the welding itself, instead of the heat temperature and flying particles.

You should also wear welding or protective gloves to protect your hands from hot metal. It should be loose so that if you feel that the gloves are becoming too hot for your liking, you can quickly remove it.

In terms of footwear, canvas or work shoes should be worn and not any other shoes that may contain synthetic materials that may melt while on the job. You should not wear any running shoes or even shoes that are made of rubber.

welding-safety-gear

The clothes that are worn while welding should cover your overall skin as much as possible, and it’s ought to be made up of cotton, natural fiber, or leather that is heat-resistant.

Any other fabrics, especially synthetic ones, will melt due to extreme heat temperatures and cannot guarantee your safety form the molten metal that can shoot in any direction.

If you work alongside different people or there are simply lots of people in the room, you should have a welding screen to protect them and their sight in your work. You should also wear sunscreen due to the heat, to prevent any sunburns especially in the gap of your clothing.

Also, use earplugs if the prolonged exposure of the sound and screeching of metal in welding and grinding causes pain.

  • Welding Machine

The welding machine depends on the type of welding that will be conducted and the most common welder used by homeowners is a stick welder.

It is preferred for its easy application and is also easy to get a hold of. Though, professionals often resort to different types since it consumes a lot of time in the replacement of electrodes. The more advanced models are GTMAW, TIG, and MIG welders.

  • Charged Electrode

The electrode is needed for the metal to be fused by making it hot to become a liquid substance. It is the tip of the electrode tool that passes current to the metal or material being welded from the welder.

In stick and MIG type of welder, it is required to be replaced after some time, as it depends on the type of electrode tip that is suitable for the project. Meanwhile, for TIG welder, the electrode does not require replacement since it is made up of non-consumable tungsten.

  • ElectrodeOr Wire Feed

The welds require a feed to strengthen the fuse of the two materials, to prevent the weakness in joint due to just the geometry or extreme condition. MIG and stick welding uses an electrode or wire feed in the process. The TIG welding also needs a feed even with its non-consumable function.

  • Flux

The flux availability is optional depending on the type of welding conducted. It is a coating that provides the protection on the wield itself, preventing any occurrence of mishaps such as oxidation.

  • Measuring Tools

The proper measurement is crucially needed to ensure that the finished product meets the quality standard and is not poorly crafted. In measuring, you can use T-squares, rulers, and calipers while using a marking tool to take note of the digits.

  • Hacksaw Or Grinder

The cutting of metal is often done to ensure the smooth edges before joining, and to smoothen the blemishes once finished. You can use a hacksaw for thin metals. Though, it is often slow in the process and is not smooth within the edges itself, which is why most use a guide or miter box to achieve the cleanest cut possible.

When using an angle grinder, keep in mind that the wheel depends on the material and thickness of the metal. To achieve a clean square cut, a combination square is needed to be used as a guide in the process.

If space tends to be limited, consider acquiring a grinder miter stand to store it easily. Overall, the feedback of the equipment is known to be fast and is known to produce smooth edges.

  • Steel

Of course, if not already available, you need to find steel to be fused to one another. What is there to weld if the iron is not present at first?

Finding the most suitable one for your project is easier than you think! You need to be mindful regarding the assessment of what kind of metal do you really need. The thickness, length, composition, and purpose should also be taken into consideration.

Many hardware stores offer different variety, and so there are plenty of raw materials to choose from. For raw steel, know if the iron is either hot or cold rolled.

Since steels are known to be ductile, the hot-rolled one tends to be shaped which is ideal for structural and manufacturing purposes. Meanwhile, cold-rolled ones tend to be stretched. It is usually smoother and brighter than the latter. It is suitable for your home welding needs.

  • Wire Brushes

The brushes are used to ensure that the metals are clean before and after welding. It is to prevent any mishaps regarding the weak bond of the two metals due to the presence of debris within the material.

  • Clamps

Before welding, you need to tighten the joint for the bond of the materials to strengthen. The welding clamps will hold the metal pieces while you fuse the two elements together. Since it comes in various shapes and sizes, find the one that is most suitable for the project.

For quick welds, you can use welding magnets that are available with different angles.

Types Of Welding

As a welder, you need to familiarize yourself with the different kinds of welding to properly execute it. There are numerous ways to approach certain things and the field of welding is no different from it.

Learning how to do it gives you a heads up in your career. To know more, the different types are as follows:

  1. Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

The type can also be referred to as a manual metal arc welding (MMAW) or stick welding. In this process, it follows a sort of manual operation in stick welding. This is known to produce an electric arc using an electrical current to achieve the joint. Also, it is typically used in structures and fabrication.

An electrode is used in the process and is covered by a shield that serves much like the function of a welding torch. Since it is consumable, it needs to be replaced at a specific point in time. To use it, it is connected to a power supply depending on the required voltage, then allows the device to weld and produce an arc.

In it, the stick touches the metal that needs to be fused to create the required arc. As the arc forms, the material begins to melt and applies the electrode filler to strengthen the bond.

It is within this process that the coating breaks hence produces a protective layer with the joint in forms of gas. The flux is formed to protect the weld from oxygen and rust, and once cooled, the slag can be chosen to remove to accentuate the weld further.

Since the amperage should be controlled, it is done so with a foot pedal. Moreover, it is mostly used with steel, copper, aluminum and iron material.

The Benefits

Some prefer this process due to the advantages it can give. This is mostly in terms of preference of the welder and is used to complement their skills. To know what it potentially offers, here is the list of its pros:

  • Known to be inexpensive since the budget range is broad in the market
  • Does not require shielding gas since all that is needed lies within the electrode
  • The rod can easily be replaced especially in dealing with different types of metal
  • It is less affected by extraneous variables such as wind and rain when done outside
  • Not sensitive to dirt, corrosion or paint which may save time on the initial clean up
  • Can be used in small and narrow areas

The Limitations

Even with the benefits, some disadvantages can still exist in the process. Hence, there are some disadvantages and they are as follows:

  • Has the slowest work process among the other types
  • It requires skill and the right knowledge as the electrode needs to be in a specific angle to prevent it from sticking directly onto the metal
  • The removing of slag or layer of protection from the oxygen while in the cooling process can be time-consuming
  • Challenging to deal with thin metals
  • The output has a rough surface and excess splatter since it does not need to define the strength of the bond
  • The rods should be replaced often than other welding types that are available
  1. Gas Welding

Specifically, it requires a process of melting and fusing the two materials with the use of a flame that is produced by the reaction of oxygen and gas at extreme heat temperatures. It can also be called as oxy-fuel welding and is known to be one of the oldest methods available.

This is known to be efficient in terms of application in construction, ventilation, hot water pipes, gas bottles, and in air conditioning systems. To use it, the torch is connected in the two gas tanks namely those that contain pure oxygen and other gas fuel, which is typically acetylene, or hydrogen.

Gas-Welding

With its name, the process can be easily understood. It is with this that the flame is created, and defines its essentiality in the overall welding process. The fire executes a hot temperature that melts the metal, creating a pool.

Though, as of today’s time, arc welding is done instead of this type. With it being simple, some welders and hobbyists still use it because it is their preference.

Two Systems Of Gas Welding

In using this type, there are two systems available, namely the low pressure and high-pressure gas welding.

  • Low-Pressure Gas Welding

The system uses a little pressure acetylene or other gas which is produced and stored in a generator.

It is made by a reaction of controlled water and calcium carbide. The product is ensured to be low pressure at all times, with slight atmospheric pressure going above. It can be carried to the working area using an injector type blowpipe or pipes.

With this form of welding, back pressure is used to prevent the backflow of other gas in the generator.

Keep in mind that the acetylene or other gas is not pure, which means that it needs to run through a purifier. The process is often used in production and manufacturing units wherein the acetylene is required in large quantity.

In terms of storage, there should not be any direct heat within the area to prevent any potential mishaps.

  • High-Pressure Gas Welding

As the name implies, it uses high-pressure oxygen and other gases such as acetylene. Often, they are given or supplied using a blowpipe that is also applied in high pressure.

It is composed of a regulator valve for the two metals and a mixing chamber for the contact that is then transported through the nozzle of the torch. This is also known to be the most commonly used among the two systems since the pressure gasses are easily acquired commercially.

The Benefits

The type offers a variety of positives that can be used to your advantage. You can use it to complement your skills as a welder and to make the work efficient and more comfortable. To know the benefits, it is as follows:

  • The presence of electricity is not required since it only needs the two gas tanks
  • It has better control in terms of temperature in terms of controlling the actual gas flame
  • The weld is portable which comes in handy for repair or maintenance work
  • Reasonable cost and maintenance as it is self-sufficient
  • Can weld metals that are not the same type

The Limitations

The disadvantages still exist within using the welding, which is why you need to be knowledgeable regarding this. This should not lessen your capability. Instead, you should learn to work your way through it. Some of the cons are as follows:

  • Slow heating and cooling process
  • Is not recommended for reactive metals such as titanium and on refractory metals such as molybdenum
  • The large sections cannot be joined efficiently, which is why it is not suitable for extensive works
  • Is not that aesthetically pleasing since it executes a rough appearance
  • Heats the area surrounding the metal more than any other types, which may affect the integrity of the metal
  1. Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding

The type of jointing can also be called as gas metal arc welding (GMAW) or wire welding. It is known because it is not a tedious process especially for beginners, as it is easily accessible and is simple to be learned.

In the process, the arc welding is done wherein a continuous wire electrode is fed, forming a weld pool that fuses the metal altogether. Also, to protect the weld pool from any initial debris, a shielding gas is used.

It is often done by artists, DIY welder, or for home-based welding purposes in terms of repair work or fabrication. The simplicity of the process is often compared to the workings of a glue gun, but it is not exactly that simple.

Specifically, the welding gun has an electrode wire that feeds through the nozzle to form an arc. Much like in glue guns, the excretion of shielding gas and wire electrode is controlled by a trigger-like button.

Moreover, it can also be set to automatic mode, wherein you can connect the two metals even with using just one hand. Though, using both sides are proven to achieve cleaner results as stated by some professional welders.

The Benefits

Aside from its simplicity and easy usage, it also offers various advantages that can complement your skills. These are the following—

  • Fast in the welding process, but still ensures its quality
  • The type is versatile and can be used in different kinds of alloys and metals
  • Can be operated in several ways depending on preference, specifically by using fully or semi-automatic
  • Can do continuous welding

The Limitations

Aside from pros, there are also cons unto which you may encounter while using this type of welding. Be careful of the following limitations to prevent any mistakes or mishaps that may potentially occur while in the process of welding:

  • Cannot be used in overhead or vertical positions in welding due to the heat and puddle fluidity
  • May leave debris or deposits which may rust if not cleaned
  • Sophisticated equipment which makes room for more errors
  1. TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) Welding

It can also be classified as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). This type of welding uses a tungsten electrode that is not consumable to transport current into the arc itself.

The inert gas, such as argon, serves as a protection shield that protects the weld puddle from rusts and debris that may potentially come in contact with the material. This type of welding has similarities with gas welding, as it also uses a filler to reinforce or strengthen the bond made.

However, its main difference among all the types lies in its ability to initially start or slowly stop the heat temperature on the welding process which can be done using a pedal or built-in remote that is located unto the torch. Specifically, it uses an electric light to feed the filler into the weld puddle made.

Keep in mind that the electrode does not burn up or lessen unlike some filler rods since it can withstand extremely high temperatures. Though, it can be shaped into a ball or point-like in nature depending on preference and needs. In the torch, the collet made up of copper holds this tungsten rod and adjusts its length.

 TIG-(Tungsten-Inert-Gas)-Welding

Moreover, The torch used can do two functions to strengthen the bond. To be specific, it connects to the machine itself to gather the heat temperature needed to create a spark. Also, it transports inert gas into the fusion that serves as its protection.

To use the torch, it is moved in a circular motion form after an arc is done. Then, the filler is added into the weld, creating a puddle. This goes on alternatively. In doing this, it is crucial not to withdraw the filler too far, as it needs to still be within the protective shield to prevent the possibility of oxidation.

Moreover, the full range of metal it can fuse includes aluminum, nickel, copper, titanium, etc. This method can also be applied in areas in which the quality and strength of the joints are critical, much like in water or air pipes, and in the aerospace field.

Also, its position in welding is also versatile, as you can approach the joint in vertical, horizontal, flat or overhead areas.

The Benefits

The advantages of this type of welding are as follows:

  • Flux is not required since the inert gas present already protects the weld metals, which will result in nolag problems
  • Produces anesthetic and clean joint that implies it does not need any additional finishing process
  • Suitable for the thin section of metals
  • The high quality is always ensured
  • Can work with or without the presence of filler

The Limitations

In knowing the disadvantages, you should assess how you can use it as a benefit in your work. Keep in mind that not all cons can be a way of limitation unless you find a way to conquer it. To know the possible setbacks, here is the list:

  • It is a time-consuming process
  • The process is complicated, and only those that are highly skilled or professionals can perform the welding efficiently
  • This method is very expensive
  • Is not recommended for thick sheets of material or metal
  • Produces high intensity of heat and light which may cause damage to the eyes later on if safety eyewear is not worn correctly
  1. FCAW (Flux Cored Arc) Welding

The type of welding is known to be in close relation to MIG welding. In it, they use similar equipment, and both have the same feeds as fillers and power supply.

Though, in this process, the shielding gas used is optional and depends on preference. Also, it is classified to be the most productive process amongst the other types.

In encountering this welding progress, many may ask oneself how it works. To do this, an electric arc is done to fuse the filler to the base of the two metals. Even though both MIG and FCAW uses filler electrode, the composition of it varies within the types.

Specifically, the FCAW makes use of a tubular electrode that is known to be filled with flux, while MIG welding only uses a solid metal as an electrode. The electrode is fed through the welding gun, and in it, the gas shield is also supplied to prevent oxidation possibilities.

Also, the flux forms a slag, and it will cover or protect the weld from additional debris existing within the environment. Since the protective cover or shield is present, the welding process can be done outdoors easily even in windy or rainy weather.

This process works best on stainless and carbon steel, and also on alloy steel. Though, you should keep in mind that it is not preferable in non-ferrous metals such as aluminum. Also, it is typically used in the structure and construction industry wherein the welding is generally done outside the premises.

The Benefits

In using this type, there are many advantages that you may encounter which aligns with your preference. Moreover, here are the following existing advantages:

  • It is capable of high deposition rates that may occur
  • It is one kind of process which simplifies welding training and supervision
  • Known to be versatile as it can be used in any position
  • The machine is portable, which is suitable for jobs requiring you to go to different locations

The Limitations

The welding process has a set of limitations that you should keep in mind while fusing the metals. Specifically, these are the following:

  • Not preferable for thin materials or metals
  • An incorrect selection in terms of parameters may result in weakening of the welded bond.
  • Fume extraction is foreseen throughout the process
  • Can often have issues in the wire feeding process

Five types Of Joints In Welding

Aside from the different approaches in welding, there are also different kinds of joints that you can produce. After all, the importance of welding lies in its ability to fuse the two selected metals together. To familiarize yourself with it, here are the five types that you may encounter while connecting various materials:

  • Lap Joint

This is often used when joining materials with different thickness. The weld can be made on only one side or two sides, depending on what is needed. It is also known to be a fillet type.

  • Butt Joint

The welding butt joint can also be called as a square groove weld in some textbooks. It is classified to be the most common joint that exists. Specifically, it uses the two flat metal that is parallel to each other.

It is used in the attachment of pipes or for valves and flanges. Since the overall procedure is user-friendly, it is an ideal stepping stone for beginners.

  • Edge Joint

It is often used wherein the metal edges have flanging edges. Also, it can be used when the pieces of metal are made to attach. In its nature, the filler is applied often to connect the surface area where it lacks, to strengthen the bond despite the absence of the material where both should meet.

  • Corner Joint

This is a type of joint that forms a right angle degree between the two parts of the metal, creating a letter “L.” It is common in the production of boxes and for box-like frames.

Moreover, it is considered to be the kind of joint that is often repaired and checked since it is often abused by those that may come in its way. Keep in mind that the welding process is attempted to push the joint outwards and not inwards.

  • Tee Joint

As implied by its name, it intersects at a 90-degree angle which meets at the center, forming a T shape. It is made when a tube is connected to the base and is known to be classified as a fillet type of wielding. Though, further, observation is needed to ensure its strength unto the roof of the welding itself.

The Process Of Welding

The welding process tends to have one thing in common, and that is their aim to fuse two materials or metals together forming a connection. Even with different types, they all have the same principle within their usage. Following a simple step-by-step process, here are the stages that you may encounter:

  1. Forming An Arc

To do this, you would need a power supply to have a source of energy. In it, one is attached to the welding material and welding gun while the other is connected to the ground of the supply.

Then, the tungsten filler is somehow placed in the base material in a tap-like manner and is withdrawn. Doing so creates an art form which ionizes the electrons in the base. Keep in mind that the temperature depends on the current present.

  1. Melting Of The Two Metals

To be fused, the two metals are first melted to one another at their intersection point. With this, the arc is motioned in a circular pattern to achieve a weld puddle. It is within this step that the welding reflects as a powerful method of joint since the materials itself are fused and is connected to one another.

Moreover, before doing this stage, you need to be knowledgeable of the melting point of both materials, since it should be the same. Not achieving the same melt may result in a failed attempt at welding, since there would be a discrepancy in the consistency.

  1. Application Of Filler

Once the process of melting is completed, the filler is added to strengthen the bond, depending on the type of welding process.

If the metals are the same and do not introduce any gaps when combined, then the usage of filler is not required but you can still do it if you want. Though, keep in mind that its goal is to strengthen the bond, and working with or without it can be applied to your advantage.

To do this, the filler rod is applied into the weld puddle in a dip-like manner, which then deposits it. The gas between the spaces is eliminated to ensure the connection. Also, the filler should have the same composition as the materials joined.

  1. Protection Shield

As it implies, it is used to protect the weld from any debris and/or oxidation. It is typically made up of gas, or flux. Though, the latter creates a slag which requires more work since it is needed to be peeled off after welding the two materials.

With it, the prevention of specific gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, and water vapor is observed to prevent any sort of contamination to the weld and in return, weaken the joint.

The shield should be an inert gas and not flammable for it to stay unreactive with other gases or substance. Some of the gases used as a shield are argon, carbon dioxide, and helium.

  1. Leaving It To Cool

In welding, for fusion to take place, the metals are heated at high temperatures in their joints for it to connect. Then it is cooled for the molten state to return into a stable shape.

It is best for it to cool down naturally. Though, if you are in a hurry, then “quenching” can be done. Keep in mind that it is not always recommended since fasting up the cooling process can make the product turn out to be a brittle one.

Besides, it only takes a few minutes to cool down, and so you can tidy up your workplace or contemplate your work within that short span.

  1. Cleaning Of Welded Metal Or Material

Aside from its aesthetic aspect, rubbing it with a clean cloth allows the coating to settle down neatly, resulting in a better bond. Cleaning it improves the overall appearance, which is especially needed if the welded parts are up or display.

Welding Quality: Does It Meet Your Standards?

Checking the fusion is essential to ensure that the two materials are well-connected especially for those that will be used in critical conditions. A satisfactory performance should be expected in every weld.

In the inspection, you should look for defective spots that may affect the welding, and in the long run, may ruin the purpose of connection created. If such mishap is seen, it is crucial for it to be corrected right away.

The weld is tested based unto how it will be used. If it functions accordingly, then you are on the right track. To know if you are doing it correctly and that you are on the right path, here are some tips that you should keep in mind:

  • Dirt Management

In this, you should keep in mind the cleanliness of the connection and weld. Having debris or dirt may result in having a poor weld, and therefore create a weak link. The aesthetic appearance will always reflect your skill as a welder.

Before leaving your finished output, first, assess if it is clear of waste. Any debris and slag should be removed using a hard brush designed to clean metal.

  • Porosity

If you see any “small holes” existing beneath the welding, then it is porous which can lower the strength of your weld. The holes leave room for errors.

Therefore, the connection can be considered to be weak. Moreover, this sign may set off an alarm that the metal base is not cleaned well throughout and that it has an oxide coating that exists. Often, it indicates that there is not enough shielding gas or sheet within the process of welding.

  • Compactness

In the welding process, you should keep in mind that any kind of gap often results to be weak spots of the material. With this said, the joint should be tight at all times, especially when the process does not use any metal filler.

You should find any gaps that may occur before moving on to the different sections, as it may affect the quality of the complete weld itself.

  • Leakage

If the welded material is used as a liquid or gas storage, look for any leaks beneath the joints that may be present. In case the stored goods are continuously decreasing, then you can be certain that there is a leak.

  • Welding Distribution

In it, the welding should be distributed equally beneath the two metals that are joined. There should be no bumps and lumps that exists.

Ways For Advanced Testing Of The Integrity Of Welding

Aside from observation, there are various ways to test the strength of fusion to be sure, especially for crucial parts of production such as in aeronautics industry or building construction. To do this, the following equipment is used:

  • Magnetic Powder

When the amperage passes through the fusion, it may show any areas that are prone to gaps and leaks.

  • Penetrating Liquid

With it, the capillary action is taken into account. Precisely, a liquid is placed on one side and is left for a minute or two. To show if there are any possible leaks, the fluid will move on the other end which will indicate its presence. Make sure not to have any extraneous variable acting on it, such as wind.

  • X-ray

Using an X-ray for devices will show the possible mishaps occurred in the process of welding. With it, you should analyze the parts and attempt to fix it.

Underwater Welding

In it, the location may seem unusual for some, which is under the water. Underwater welding is one of the most dangerous jobs in the current era, which is why it is crucial to know how it works before getting right into it.

The water can potentially block your visuals, while the pressure can threaten the circulation of your body. Instead of worrying about the weld metals, you also need to consider your safety while underwater.

Though, even underwater, there are situations where you will not get wet. It is with the use of a hyperbaric chamber to prevent the water from entering your workplace. In it, the fans are present that regulates fresh air. It is also pressurized to avoid the outcome of sickness due to prolonged exposure.

Aside from that, you can also do wet welding. It varies from the availability of access within the area. Though, it is often not done since the joint materials cool efficiently, resulting in a high possibility of a fragile state.

 Underwater-Welding

Within this process, stick welding is often used. The shield protects the weld from oxidation and water even in wet welding. Here, the most dangerous things that you may encounter is the difference in pressure.

To promote safety regarding this field, proper preparations are to be ensured. Experience, physical strength, and technical skills should be acquired to be eligible for the job. Certification and training from AWS (American Welding Society) are also required to perform any marine construction, fabrication, or repair.

As of today’s time, with the advancement in terms of innovation, many new methods are in trial, and some are already in practice to protect the health of those that are involved in underwater welding.

Until we have found a way to maintain marine materials without the help of humans, this job will still be a major necessity from different companies in the world.

Submerged Welding

The submerged welding is not done in the water. Instead, it is done in the land. The “submerged” part in its terminology pertains to the actual welding process.

Specifically, the role of the material that is to be welded will be submerged into a powdered flux, then weld. Since the flux is covered by granule substance such as silica, it is shielded from debris and potential contaminants.

Also, the arc is beneath the flux which eliminates unwanted splatter and sparks that is known to occur within the process. It is typically either semi-automated or fully automated.

This is typically used for those that need long welding and has thick metal sheets to work with. Since flux is used and submerged at that account, a shielding gas is not required in the process.

Due to the flux, the joint is not that visible while in the process of welding. Moreover, it is limited to certain positions, such as flat and horizontal.

5 Tips And Tricks For Welders

As a welding enthusiast, you need to have the courage and learn the basics in welding, no matter how intimidating it can be at first. Be brave enough to face the challenges, and do not let the extreme heat or spark scare you in the process.

To help you with your interest, here are some tips and tricks to give you a stepping stone in the industry.

Tip #1: Take Necessary Preparation Before You Start

You should visualize what you need to do before doing it. With this said, you should take the necessary preparations to have an efficient welding process.

First, you need to clean the surface of the metal or material that you will be welding. Use a wire brush, and then a metal cleaning product to get rid of the excess particles.

Then, apply a primer unto the cleaned spot. Since you stripped it down bare, add the additional protection using something to prevent it from rusts and blemishes.

Tip#2: Learn And Practice Proper Welding Techniques

You should be careful about the different welding techniques along with the possible joints to improve your skill in welding.

Keep in mind that fusing two materials does not only involve a straightforward task but has various strokes depending on what joint is suitable for the final product. The most common is the type of welding where it is motioned in a circular form, as you push the puddle and feed the filler.

This can ensure that gaps do not exist and the strength of your weld is a high-quality one.

Tip #3: Have A Good Control Over Your Welding Tool

You should avoid gas, buzzing, or firecracker sound as it may indicate weak joints that will not hold in the long run.

A good welding process sounds like frying and will be reflected in the final product. With this said, you can judge if the fusion is good or not just by listening to the sound of the welding!

Tip #4: Use The Correct Wire Filler

Know how to find the right wire based on thickness and the material. For thin metal, use a small diameter for your cable and vice versa. It is also essential to have the same material for your wire and metal, to have the same composition and melting points. If you are welding steel, then use a steel wire.

Tip #5: Overcoming Hindrances And Problems

While welding, you should be mindful that problems may arise especially when you least expect it. When it occurs, find the root of the problem. Have holes in your metal? The voltage is too high? Does the welding gun appear to be kicking in motion? Is your energy too low while the wire speed is too high?

Keep in mind that every problem has a reason to why it is happening to begin with. This is why you should keep calm, relax, and solve it with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Will technological advancement affect the demand for welding jobs?

In today’s time, robots and gadgets tend to do the job for us, but it does not relatively pose a threat to the profession since there are quite a few things that machines can’t do. Specifically, we are known for our innovation, and the programmed device can’t think outside the box.

The welders can also adapt to their workplace regarding the things that should be done, unlike devices that can usually do a pre-established set of things. We can also reach certain small places to weld, unlike gadgets.

2. How are gases such as oxygen and acetylene stored?

The gas storage should be at least 20 feet away from fuel gas cylinders to prevent unwanted reaction if leakage ever occurs. Have the storage positioned in a non-combustible place to avoid accidents.

3. What does it mean by “fume plume”?

It is the smoke-like substance created by the welding. The welders should be taught to use safety precautions so that they do not inhale it directly. Ventilation helps keep the fume away from you.

4. My welding process tends to produce a lot of sparks, and my weld pool is too runny for my liking. What is the problem?

Based on many analysis, your wire speed is too high because of your voltage or power supply. Adjust it to meet the desired outcome.

5. There are holes in my weld. What should I do?

It may be due to the high voltage in the wire and high wire speed. To solve this problem, adjust both the power supply and wire speed, then add filler on specific areas for the joint to not have any weak spots.

6. The weld is too lumpy, and it sticks at times. Why is that so?

This may be because your wire speed and voltage is too low. Turn it up little by little until you reach a suitable degree.

7. How long should I leave the welded material before using it?

The cooling process does not really take a lot of time. Instead, it can happen in a few minutes, typically under an hour. If your welded material has a slag, it is preferable to wait a few seconds before removing it.

Final Words: Fuse Patience With Success!

The information stated serves as a rudimentary for your attempt in entering the welding industry. Information that you need to know to enhance this process are all available, and so use it to become the best welder that you can be.

This job may seem intimidating at first, but if you can endure it and finish a product, you will realize that it is actually fun as it boosts your self-esteem and overall skills as well.

Always remember that welding requires patience and perseverance, which is why when things get rough, calm yourself down and find a solution instead of attempting to quit altogether. All fusion pays off at the end, as you contribute to the innovation and creation of structures.

If you think it is the right career for you, get started right away!

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