Shielded Metal Arc Welding is the most common method of joining metals. “Stick” welding as it is commonly referred, is an arc welding process with the arc between a covered electrode and the weld pool. SMAW uses shielding from the decomposition of the electrode covering, and filler metal from the electrode. Using the SMAW process the welder can rapidly make high quality welds on various types of metals with varying thicknesses in all positions with excellent uniformity.
Also known as “MIG” welding, this process, because it uses an arc between a continuous filler wire and the weld pool, is extremely fast and economical. GMAW is often used to do production work due to its speed, versatility and ease of use. The process is used with shielding from an externally supplied gas and is used to weld on a variety of metal thicknesses from thin-gauge metal to heavy plate metal in any position.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, often referred to as “TIG” welding, can be used on almost any metal. An arc between a non-consumable electrode (tungsten) and the weld pool produces high-quality welds that require little or no post weld finishing. This process uses a shielding gas to protect the weld pool.
The flux cored arc welding process is similar to the GMAW process and uses the same type of equipment as GMAW. FCAW also uses an arc between a continuous filler wire and the weld pool. This process is used with shielding gas from a flux contained within the tubular electrode, and can also use an externally supplied gas (dual shield wire).
The air carbon-arc cutting process (CAC-A) physically removes metal by gouging or cutting. An arc is created between the workpiece and a carbon electrode resulting in intense heat that melts the intended area of the workpiece. As the cut is performed, air passes through the arc and disperses molten material. The air carbon-arc process can gouge or cut metals that the oxy-fuel methods cannot. This method is most commonly used on carbon steel, stainless steel, many copper alloys and cast iron.