The Different Types of Welding

Welding is a fabrication process where two or more parts, generally metals or thermoplastics are joined together by either heating, pressure, or both which forms a join as the parts cool down. There are multiple different types of welding processes each with its own applications and techniques. The most commonly used category is Arc welding. Within the arc welding category, there are several types of welding such as metal inert gas welding (MIG Welding), stick welding, tungsten inert gas welding (TIG Welding), and several more. At Eltham Welding Supplies we supply all the necessary equipment for MIG welding, stick welding, and TIG welding.

Metal Inert Gas Welding

Developed in the 1940s, MIG Welding is an arc welding process that uses a continuous consumable wire electrode that is heated and fed into the weld pool from the welding torch. The heat melts the base materials together forming the joint and the torch feeds the shielding gas which is commonly Argon, Helium, Carbon Dioxide, and Oxygen, which helps to protect the weld pool from any airborne contaminants. MIG Welding is a popular option for welding metals such as aluminium and carbon steel.

The Advantages of MIG Welding

  • It is considered one of the easiest methods to learn.
  • MIG welding is faster than TIG welding, which results in shorter production times and therefore lower costs.

The Disadvantages of MIG Welding

  • Generally, MIG welding tends to be used for joining larger and thicker materials.
  • The MIG welds are not as strong compared to TIG welds.
  • MIG welding produces less precise welds, and they are not as aesthetically pleasing compared to TIG welds.

We at Eltham Welding Supplies Recommend the Fronius TransSteel 3000C Pulse 415V for MIG welding.

Tungsten Inert Gas Welding

TIG Welding is also an arc welding process, but it produces the weld using a non-consumable tungsten electrode. Similar to MIG welding, TIG welding was developed in the 1940s, however, unlike MIG Welding it uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode that is installed into the torch alongside a separate consumable filler material which is usually fed manually into the welding pool. Similar to MIG Welding a shielding gas is emitted by the torch to protect the welding pool from any airborne contaminants. However, the gas commonly used is argon or helium as other gasses such as carbon dioxide will promote reactions creating tungsten oxide reactions which can wear your electrode and contaminate the weld.

The Advantages of TIG welding are

  • Allows greater control over the welding operation
  • TIG welding is versatile and is capable of joining a variety of small and thin materials.
  • The TIG welds are stronger and more precise
  • TIG welds are more aesthetically pleasing compared to MIG Welds

The Disadvantages of TIG welding are

  • TIG welding has a steeper learning curve and requires a skilled welder to produce the correct
  • TIG Welding is a slower process which means increased production times and therefore increased production costs.

We at Eltham Welding Supplies Recommend the Miller Maxstar 210DX 110/240/415V for an excellent TIG welding machine.

Stick Welding

Similar to the other methods described above, stick welding is an electric arc welding process. It uses a metal stick or electrode as the filler material. This electrode is normally covered in flux material and can range in diameter and length depending on the application. Similar to MIG welding, stick welding uses a DC current to create an arc between the electrode or stick and the base metal. The heat caused by this arc melts both the filler rod and the base metal to form small droplets which flow into the base metals, fusing the two pieces together. The heat from the arc also causes some of the flux to vaporise, creating a shielding gas to help prevent contaminants and also to stabilise the arc. The remaining flux forms a slag on the molten weld pool that helps to protect the weld from any contaminants and oxidisation. The flux used in stick welding replaces the need for an external gas supply that is needed in MIG and TIG welding. Stick welding is commonly used for welding steel and iron.

The advantages of stick welding are

  • As stick welding creates a large arc it is not affected by weather conditions such as winds. This means that it is effective both indoors and outdoors.
  • The weld is paint and corrosion-resistant and can be used for repairs
  • Stick welding is an easier method to learn compared to other welding methods.
  • It is adaptable as the filler material is easy to change when you need to weld different materials such as steel or iron.
  • It is a cheaper and more cost-effective option as there is no need for a gas supply.

The disadvantages of stick welding are

  • The slag produced by stick welding will need to be scraped or sanded off before more welding or painting can occur.
  • Spattering can occur frequently when using stick welding. This is when droplets of molten metal usually from the stick, are deposited or scattered around the weld.
  • Stick welding is not suited for welding thinner metals less than 1/8 inches in thickness

We at Eltham Welding Supplies Recommend the Esab Rogue ES200i Pro PFC 110V/240V for a great Stick welding machine.

Overall, each of these welding techniques has its advantages and disadvantages with each one having its specific uses in different situations. We at Eltham Welding Supplies have a wide range of products for each MIG, TIG, and stick welding. So, whether you are looking to start welding or looking to upgrade your current machines we are the welding supplier for you.