What is Arc Welding? (Its 7 Different Types You Should Know)

what is arc welding

What is Arc Welding?
Definition: Arc welding is a welding process in which the metals are joined by using a heat produced by an electric arc stuck between the electrode tip and the workpiece.

The electric arc between the electrode and the workpiece is produced by passing the high ampere & low voltage electric current using the welding power source.

The electric current used in Arc welding can be AC current or DC current and the electrodes can be consumable or non-consumable.

There are 7 different types of arc welding process.

  1. Carbon Arc Welding
  2. Stick Welding (or Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW))
  3. MIG Welding (or Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW))
  4. TIG Welding (or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW))
  5. Submerged Arc Welding
  6. Plasma Arc Welding
  7. Electroslag Welding

Well, further I have mentioned basic information on all the different types of arc welding process (with images).

Let’s dive right into it.

7 Types of Arc Welding Process

Different types of arc welding process are explained below with images.

#1) Carbon Arc Welding

carbon arc welding

What is Carbon Arc Welding?
Definition: Carbon Arc Welding (CAW) is an old welding process in which the arc is produced between the carbon electrode and workpiece or between the two carbon electrodes by using low voltage and high ampere current.

There are two types of Carbon Arc Welding

  • Single Carbon Arc Welding
  • Twin Carbon Arc Welding

What is single carbon arc welding process?
The single carbon arc welding process is a type of carbon arc welding process in which the arc is produced between the carbon electrode and the workpiece.

What is twin carbon arc welding process?
The twin carbon arc welding process is a type of carbon arc welding process in which the arc is produced between the two carbon electrodes.

For detailed information on Carbon Arc Welding Process, just visit the separate important article: What is Carbon Arc Welding Process? (13 things to know)

#2) Stick Welding (or Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW))

arc welding principle

What is Stick Welding?
Definition: Stick Welding Process (or Shielded Metal Arc Welding Process or SMAW process) is a common and versatile method which is used for joining shapes that cannot be welded using automated processes.

In shielded metal arc welding process, the stick electrode (or welding electrode) is used as a filler material between the weld grooves.

The stick electrode consists of an inner core wire and the outer coating material which is also known as flux coating.

The arc formation takes place when the electrode is stuck with the workpiece surface.

When the arc is formed, the electrode is moved along the weld groove which deposits the filler material along the weld groove.

After solidification of the filler material, the final welded joint is obtained.

For detailed information on Stick Welding Process, just visit the separate interesting article: Stick Welding Process Explained (13 things you should know!)

#3) MIG Welding (or Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW))

mig welding diagram

What is MIG welding?
Definition: MIG welding is a type of arc welding process which uses a welding gun to continuously feed the heated solid wire electrode into the weld pool. The welding gun also supplies shielding gas along with the electrode for protecting the weld pool from air contamination.

The shielding gases like argon, helium, or its mixture is used in the MIG welding process.

During MIG welding process, the metal transfer from electrode to workpiece can be achieved by following methods.

For detailed information on MIG welding, visit its main article: MIG Welding Process (Explained with Definition & Diagram)

#4) TIG Welding (or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW))

tig welding diagram

What is TIG welding?
Definition: TIG welding is a type of welding process that uses non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The heat is generated by an electric arc between the tungsten electrode and the workpiece.

During the TIG welding process, the tungsten electrode and the workpiece are shielded from the surrounding atmosphere using inert gas (like helium or argon).

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding process (GTAW or TIG process) is generally used for welding of stainless steel, nickel alloys, titanium, aluminum, brass, bronze, magnesium as well as gold.

GTAW process is also used for welding of dissimilar metals like copper with brass, stainless steel with mild steel.

For detailed information on TIG welding, visit its main article: TIG Welding Process (Explained with Steps & Diagram)

#5) Submerged Arc Welding

submerged arc welding

What is Submerged Arc Welding?
Definition: Submerged Arc Welding process is a type of arc welding process in which the consumable electrode is fed continuously to the weld zone which is completely submerged under the large amount of granulated flux.

The Submerged Arc Welding process (SAW welding process) is generally used for doing faster welding jobs.

By using Sub Arc Welding process, a large deposition rate of metal can be achieved by using larger diameter electrodes and high current flow (around 4000 A).

By using Sub Arc Welding process, the metal deposition rate of upto 20 kg/hour can be achieved.

Submerged Arc Welding machine has a capacity to weld the metal having thickness upto 100 mm.

For more information on submerged arc welding process, visit the main article: Submerged Arc Welding (definition, process & more)

#6) Plasma Arc Welding

plasma welding

What is Plasma Arc Welding?
Definition: Plasma Arc Welding is a type of welding process in which the arc is produced between the tungsten electrode and workpiece.

Plasma welding is similar to TIG welding but the only difference is that in plasma welding, the position of electrode is inside the body of the torch, while in TIG welding, the position of electrode is outside the body of torch. (Visit TIG welding diagram to see its electrode position.)

The high temperature plasma is then forced through the fine-bored copper nozzle and this plasma exits the nozzle which is then used to weld the metal.

For more information on Plasma arc welding, visit the main important article: Plasma Arc Welding & Cutting Explained (13 Things to Know)

#7) Electroslag Welding

electroslag welding

What is Electroslag Welding?
Definition: Electroslag Welding is a welding process which is generally used for joining thick metals (25 mm to 300 mm thick) by using a molten slag that melts the filler metal and the surface of workpieces.

In Electroslag Welding Process, the heat is generated by electric current which passes from electrode to the workpiece through the molten slag present between the workpieces.

To know the complete process, you must visit this awesome guide: What is Electroslag Welding? (Complete process explained)

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