In its simplest form, welding is the process of joining to two materials (usually metal) together using heat and pressure which softens both materials and allows them to become forged. The concept of welding first emerged in the Middle Ages, but the process of welding as we know it today did not appear until the later years of the 19th century with the Industrial Revolution. Today welding is a specialist craft and technology that has developed into multiple different types of welding, each with specific uses. Some of the most common forms of welding are detailed below, but there are also numerous methods that can be employed to complete almost any task – you can even weld underwater!
The basic premise of arc welding is that a device is employed which gives off an electric current that then runs between the two materials that need to be joined. The name comes from the fact that often the electric current that forms gives the appearance of an arch. Arc welding is popular as it is often considered to be one of the lower cost types of welding. There are also numerous specialist sub-categories of arc welding such as Plasmas Transferred Arc Welding and Submerged Arc Welding.
This type of welding is often employed when the material to be welded is delicate and needs to be shielded from the effects of the welding process (apart from at the join) or if speed is of the essence. In MIG welding, a gas is used to shield the weld metal from natural elements in the environment, such as oxygen. This allows the welder to operate at a continuous rate thus increasing the speed of the process. Again there are numerous sub-types of MIG welding, such as Synergic Mig, which can be carried out by specialist contractors.
TIG welding comprises a similar process to MIG welding, except that TIG uses a tungsten current form, while MIG uses a metal electrode. Tungsten is used because it can be heated to a higher temperature than other metals before reaching melting point. This also means that an additional filler needs to be placed inside the welding device. TIG welding is often used in industries that work with stainless steel. As with other welding forms there are again numerous sub-categories of TIG welding such as Hot-Wire Automatic TIG systems, Synergic TIG and Heavy TIG.
For more information about our welding services and the specific type of welding that would be most suitable for your project, contact the specialists in welding and overlaying processes at IRS Ltd today.