Welding 101: Getting Familiar with the Basics
Welding is one of the highest paid blue-collar jobs you can get. It is a very exciting profession, to say the least. There are so many employment opportunities in welding sector that they might seem endless. Through the constant improvement in the welding technology, welders can now work in underwater or even in space.
If you are a new to welding, the job of welding is joining or connecting two or more metal parts. It is done by adding filling materials and melting the pieces. Through applying heat, the filler is melted and pooled in between the parts. After finishing the procedure, the pieces then are connected firmly.
Type of Welding
Traditionally welding can be categorized into three broad categories: Stick welding, Metal Insert Gas (MIG) welding and Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding. About 90% of the welding jobs around the world fall into one of these three types of welding. There are more advanced types of welding which only an experienced welder can perform such as plasma arc, laser welding, or pipe welding.
The stick welding is known to be the most renowned of the three types of welding. In the case of stick welding, an electric current is passed between the electrode (stick) and the metal. The stick melts and joins the metal to the other parts. Stick welding is quite easy to learn.
The welding equipment needed in this type of welding are not very expensive either. The primary material is the AC welding machine, which will costs below $300 in many home improvement stores. There are three major types of stick welding machines available on the market. They are AC, DC and AC/DC.
The AC welding sector is the most cost friendly and perfect for thicker metals (1/16th of an inch and above). The DC welding machines are expensive. They are known to produce much cleaner welds and have various implications.
The Metal inert gas (MIG) welding is very easy to understand and learn as well. In the case of MIG, the filler wire is fed to the metal through the welding torch. The welder is required to select the speed at which the wire is needed to come out of the spool. Also, the gas emitted from the welding torch helps to prevent oxidization.
The MIG welding is known to be costlier (almost double) compared to stick welding. However, they do provide clean, robust and professional looking welds.
The third type of welding is the tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. Unlike the previous two types of welding, TIG is not that easy to learn. In fact, it is considered the hardest welding procedure to perform professionally. The only similarity of TIG welding to MIG is the fact that TIG welding process emits shielding gas in the welding part as well.
It helps to prevent any contamination of the weld puddle. In TIG welding, you can control the heat of the weld pool, enabling you to take monitoring of the welding bead. This feature alone makes TIG welding far superior to the other two types of welding. The TIG welds are cleaner, stronger and more refined. TIG weld is very useful for thinner metals such as aluminum alloys and stainless still.
When it comes to welding, you are making something that didn’t exist before, this feeling alone is priceless. Once you are done with the welding procedures, you can take a moment and look at your work. The satisfaction that you will get will far outweigh the hard work and time you put into it.
Be aware that welding is a dangerous profession. You’ll need proper safety gears and closely follow safety cautions. Also, you might be exposed to the hazard materials during your work. A rewarding profession as welding is, there’s a certain price you have to pay.