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The Art of Arc Welding

Saturday, April 25, 2009
Welding is used as a fabrication process in every small and large-scale industry. This is an efficient, economical and dependable process of joining two or more parts of metal. The process finds its applications in open air, underwater and outer space.

Among the welding processes, arc welding is widely used mainly because of its low capital and running costs. Arc welding is the fusion of two pieces of metal by an electric arc between the pieces being joined – the work pieces – and an electrode that is guided along the joint between the pieces.

The four types of arc welding are shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, flux-cored arc welding, and submerged arc welding.

Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) also known as manual metal arc (MMA) or stick welding, is the most popular among the arc welding processes primarily because of the versatility of the process and the simplicity of its equipment and operation. This process is preferred for repair work and construction applications as this requires minimum operator training and inexpensive equipment, albeit slower weld times.

On the other hand, Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is a high-speed but less versatile welding process. It is a semi-automatic or automatic welding process that uses a continuous wire feed as an electrode and an inert or semi-inert shielding gas to protect the weld from contamination. Given its speed and versatility, GMAW is popular in the automobile industry.

Similarly, flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) uses the same equipment as the GMAW except that it employs wire consisting of a steel electrode tube surrounding a powder fill material. This cored wire is more expensive compared to the standard solid wire and generates extra shielding gas and/or slag, however, it permits higher welding speed and greater metal penetration.

Submerged arc welding (SAW) is a high-productivity welding method in which the arc is struck beneath a covering layer of flux. Because contaminants in the atmosphere are blocked by the flux, this process increases arc quality.

Arc welding is a safe process when proper precautions and operating procedures are strictly followed. Employing new technology and protection measures will greatly reduce its potential hazards.

Several institutions are offering various welding trainings to cater to the heightened demand for arc welders or welding engineers for a wide range of applications in different industries like engineering, construction, and tourism all over the world.


TEKTONE Global Technologies Foundation Inc. is a technical-vocational foundation institution in Bicol and is the premier provider of heavy equipment operation training and welding training in Legazpi City. It aims to produce globally-competitive skilled workers in construction, tourism and related sectors.


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