Frequently Asked Questions about Welding

General Welding FAQ

What is welding?
Welding is joining two pieces of metal together using heat or pressure. It involves melting the metal in the area where the two pieces touch and then allowing it to cool and solidify, creating a strong and permanent bond.
What are the different ways of welding?
There are many different types of welding, including MIG welding, TIG welding, Stick welding, Flux-Cored welding, and Arc welding. Each type of welding has its unique benefits and limitations, and the choice of welding method depends on the specific application and materials.
What materials can we weld?
We can weld almost any type of metal, including steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and titanium. However, there are different welding techniques for different types of metals, and choosing the right welding method for the specific material used is important.
What safety measures are needed before welding?
Welding involves high temperatures, bright light, and potentially dangerous fumes and gases. It's important to wear protective clothing and eyewear, use adequate ventilation, and take other necessary safety precautions to protect yourself and those around you.
What is the difference between welding and soldering?
Welding involves melting the metal by joining two pieces. Soldering involves melting a filler metal used to join two pieces of metal. Welding creates a much stronger and more permanent bond than soldering—which is used for more lightweight applications.
How do I choose the right welding equipment?
The choice of welding equipment depends on the application and materials used. Factors to consider include:
  • The type and thickness of the metal
  • The power source
  • The intended use of the finished product
  • The desired level of precision and control
How do I prepare metal for welding?
To ensure a strong and durable weld, it's important to properly prepare the metal before welding by cleaning the metal surface, removing any rust, dirt, or paint, and ensuring that the two pieces fit snugly and securely.
Can you weld rusty metal?
Yes, but remove as much rust as possible before starting. Rust weakens the metal and creates impurities that interfere with the welding process and compromise the strength of the finished weld.
What is the best way to learn how to weld?
The best way to learn how to weld is through hands-on practice and instruction from an experienced welder. Many welding schools and community colleges offer classes and workshops that can provide a solid foundation in welding basics.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when welding?
Some common mistakes to avoid when welding include failing to properly prepare the metal, using the wrong type of welding method or equipment for the job, not wearing proper safety gear, and failing to follow proper welding techniques and procedures. It's important to take the time to properly plan and prepare for each welding project to ensure the best possible results.

Flux-Core Arc Welding FAQ

What is Flux-Core Arc Welding (FCAW)?
Flux-core arc welding is an arc welding process that uses a consumable electrode, or wire, to combine two pieces of metal. The wire is flux-cored, meaning it contains a flux-like substance, which helps to protect the welded joint from oxidation and contamination.
What are the origins of FCAW?
The origins of FCAW trace back to the 1940s when the United States developed it during WW2, a revolutionary welding process allowing welders to join two pieces of metal quickly and easily.
What were the benefits of using FCAW during World War II?
During World War II, shipbuilders used FCAW to construct Liberty, Victory, and T-2 tankers. FCAW was more efficient, faster, and safer than traditional SMAW and riveting processes. Using FCAW allowed the construction of larger and more complex ships in less time and with fewer welders. FCAW was also beneficial in terms of safety, as it allowed for the installation of crack arrestors, which prevented cracks from propagating. The result was a dramatic reduction in casualties.
What are some popular applications for FCAW?
FCAW is a popular and common choice for welding projects, including metal fabrication and repair, construction, shipbuilding, and automotive repair, and in situations where high-quality welds are required, but cost and time are also important factors.
What major developments improved the FCAW process in the 1970s and 1980s?
In the 1970s and 1980s, several major developments further improved the FCAW process. For example, introducing the wire feed motor allowed precise welding speed and voltage control, allowing welders to produce more consistent, high-quality welds with less effort.
What are the key characteristics of FCAW?
FCAW is a reliable and versatile welding process thanks to its many key characteristics. Some of the most important characteristics of FCAW include the following:
  • FCAW is fast and efficient compared to other welding processes
  • FCAW is inexpensive compared to other welding processes
  • FCAW is easier to use than other welding processes, and the process is forgiving for inexperienced welders with minimal training
  • FCAW is safe, as the flux-cored wire used in the process helps to protect the weld from oxidation and contamination
  • The type and thickness of the metal
  • The power source
  • The intended use of the finished product
  • The desired level of precision and control
What is a self-shielded FCAW?
The 1960s saw the introduction of the self-shielded FCAW process, which eliminated the need for an external shielding gas, made the process much easier to use, and allowed welders to work in places where it was difficult to use traditional welding processes.
What organization issued a construction code for welded vessels in the 1930s?
To ensure safety in the construction of pressure vessels, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) issued a construction code in 1915, which they revised in the 1930s to accept welded vessels—radiographic testing had judged that safe.

Shielding Gas FAQ

What is shielding gas used for in welding?
Shielding gas protects sensitive surfaces, such as eyes, skin, and lungs, from the intense heat and flames generated during welding. The gas creates a barrier around the welding area, preventing outside air and contaminants from entering and reacting with the weld.
What are the two classifications of shielding gas?
Welding uses two classifications of shielding gas: reactive and inert. Inert gases like helium and argon are nonreactive and do not interact chemically with their surroundings. Reactive gases, such as nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide, bond with elements in the weld cup and can alter the weld's outcome.
What types of welding projects require carbon dioxide as a shielding gas?
Carbon dioxide is typically a shielding gas when welding materials like iron, steel, or aluminum. It is non-flammable, inexpensive, and works well in several welding processes.
When is argon used in welding?
We use argon when welding stainless steel and aluminum materials, and it is a non-flammable, odorless, and non-toxic gas that works well for many welding. Argon has a high diffusion rate, making it a good choice for welding smaller surfaces.
Why is it important to understand the properties of different shielding gas?
Understanding the properties of different shielding gas is important because it helps welders select the correct gas for a particular welding project. The right shielding gas helps achieve the desired welding performance and minimizes rework caused by poor weld quality. It also affects the amount of weld fume generated and alters the finished weld's mechanical properties.

Helium Shortage FAQ

What is Helium?
Helium is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic, and non-flammable noble gas with the lowest boiling point of any known gas, first discovered in 1882 by two scientists. It remains liquid at standard temperature and pressure throughout the universe and is useful in many industries and for scientific experiments.
Why is there a shortage of helium?
Short Answer: We're using too much, too fast!There is a shortage of helium because it is a non-renewable resource extracted from the ground at a far greater rate than replenished. Natural gas fields in the United States produce only around six billion cubic feet of helium per year, which is not nearly enough for the nine billion cubic feet of helium that the country consumes.
What are the consequences of the Helium Shortage?
The Helium Shortage could increase the cost of various products and services, including healthcare, manufacturing, and scientific research. It could also increase the cost of MRI scans and operating MRI machines. In addition, the price of products that rely on helium, such as balloons, could also increase.
How can we solve the global helium shortage?
To solve the global helium shortage, we must reduce the extraction of the amount of helium from the ground and simultaneously replenish it. One proposed solution encourages more private investment in helium exploration and production, and another is reducing the helium lost during natural gas extraction.

Robotic Welding FAQ

What is robotic welding?
Robotic welding is using robots to perform welding tasks by programming them to perform welding tasks with high accuracy and consistency.
What are the benefits of robotic welding?
Robotic welding offers several benefits, including increased productivity, improved quality, reduced labor costs, and increased safety.
How does robotic welding work?
Robotic welding uses a robot arm equipped with a welding torch and programmed to move the torch along the weld path, creating a weld bead.
What types of welding can be done with robotic welding?
We use robotic welding for several types of welding, including MIG welding, TIG welding, and spot welding.
What materials can we weld with robotic welding?
Robotic welding can weld a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, and stainless steel—no different from manual welding.
How accurate is robotic welding?
Robotic welding is highly accurate, with tolerances as low as +/- 0.002 inches. This level of accuracy ensures consistent and high-quality welds.
What is the cost of robotic welding?
The cost of robotic welding depends on several factors, including the size and complexity of the system, the type of welding to be performed, and the level of automation required.
What training is required for robotic welding?
Robotic welding requires specialized training for operators and maintenance personnel, and we customize training programs to meet the specific needs of each organization.
How long does it take to set up a robotic welding system?
The setup time for a robotic welding system varies depending on the complexity of the system. However, once set up, the system runs 24/7.
Can we integrate robotic welding systems with other manufacturing processes?
We can integrate robotic welding systems with other manufacturing processes to create a fully automated production line. This integration can improve productivity, reduce costs, and improve quality control.