Joining metals is the goal of every welding process. That’s the reason why the welders are made for. But as the various aspects are characteristics of the metal under consideration varies, so does the welding-type and the surrounding environment. Thus, several methods or welding and welders or welding machines appear to exist.
In the same rhythm, one needs to know the types of welders when he/she are finding the best one to start with. Picking up the best welder becomes a lot less rigorous job when you’ve already sorted out and decided which kind of welder you wanna go with.
Understanding the Type of Welder
Here are the types of welders that you are going to find on the market.
When filler metal is your basis, welders or welding machines may be broadly classified into two categories- Wire feed welders and stick welders. This classification is totally dependent on how you are feeding the filler material into the joining surfaces of your metal pieces to be weld.
A special gun is used while feeding the welding metal into the joining area when you have a spool of welding wires. Well, here, the guns that you will find in the market are of reflective of two technologies.
One is the traditional standard gun, while the other one is the spool gun. In case of standard guns, the welding wire spool is taken kept inside the main machine. The wires are fed into the joining place through a cable. The cable continues from machine to the gun.
There is a trigger on the standard gun. Pull the trigger and you will see the wires coming out of the tip of it. While welding they are continuously melted and are piled up into the valley of the metal pieces.
On the other hand, spool guns bear the spool of wire on their back. Pulling the trigger brings more and more wires at the welding point.
Welders are dedicated to the types of welding they accomplish. Taking the process of welding into account, welding is of four basic types- MIG welding, TIG welding, Stick welding and Arc welding. Let’s move on to reveal what they really are.
MIG or GMAW Welders
Rendering the most common and popular welding process, the MIG welders use wire welding electrodes spool. In this process, the welding of the metals is done with direct current source and constant voltage. Using shielding gas and wire electrode, the metal joining work is done by heating.
It uses the gas to shield while performing the arc welding and hence is known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) or Metal Inert Gas (MIG).
TIG or GTAW Welders
The electrodes, which are not consumable, are used in the welding process when you select TIG welders to weld. It is the tungsten inert gas (TIG) or gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) welders which require constant current while welding.
The supplied power is conducted in the form of electricity through the arc having an ionized plasma. The instantaneous welding spot is protected by shielding gas (argon in most cases) and the filler metals. Well, high tech autogenous welds do not need that too!
Stick or SMAW or Arc Welders
If you made up your mind to be a hobbyist, stick electrodes are the best for you. They are also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) welders. Here electric current is let flow between the gap of welding stick, otherwise known as arc welding electrodes, and the metal intended to be weld.
These welders operate in both AC and DC. But they are not able to be used for welding metals 1/16 inch or less in thickness.
The flux cored arc welding welders (FCAW) are also welding wire fed welding process. They are similar to MIG welders except for the fact that no shielding gas is required to be input external to the system.
The material over the wire electrode itself creates sufficient shielding fume effect to prevent any contamination. Both MIG and FCAW welders are capable of providing weld materials of even 16 gauges thin.
Besides the above four basic types of welders, another significant welder is the spot welder.
RSW or Spot Welders
Spot welders fall into a family of electric resistance welders. The resistance spot welding (RSW) welders or spot welders join the metal surface points that are in contact with heating.
The heat is obtained, in this case, due to the resistance to electric current. While welding, the workpieces are held strongly by the electrodes.
What Type of Welder Fits Where?
All welders may weld in every metal but may not give the best performance. For a perfect joint, welding should be done keeping the facts that follow revealing each type of welder’s capability and specialty.
MIG / GMAW welders Fit Best at
The MIG welders provide swift control when dealing with thinner metals. High-speed welding is also possible with them. If you want some really clean job, MIGs are the best ones for you.
The equipment is compatible with the flux cored arc welding (FCAW) also! And for the beginners, it is a superb starter since no other welding process is so easy as the MIG welding!
MIG welders operate well on cast iron, copper, brass and other exotic metals like magnesium etc. But welding steels, aluminum, and their different alloys is discouraged.
TIG / GTAW Welders Fit Best at
Precision is the specialty of TIG welders. The output of such welding is generally of top-class quality. Beauty and quality blend in when weld beats are produced through TIG welding. Heat control becomes a fun while welding When TIG is the process. The input heat may be adjusted at the moment of heating with the help of certain foot control.
TIG is quite selective while choosing the metal to weld. Cast iron is welded better by TIG in comparison to other materials.
FCAW / Flux Cores Welders Fit Best at
The most interesting and useful fact about FCAW welders is that they can be used without any trace of hesitation while working with dirt and rust. Such welders do not care from which direction you are performing the task. Welding can be done out of position.
Thick sections are easily perforated with the assist of these welders. Flux cored welders deposit and extra amount of metal leaving a strong welding behind.
Stick / Arc Welders Fit Best at
Stock welders seem to be built for spontaneous outdoor use. Nor wind neither dust hampers its performance. Even the rusty metals seem on the song when an arc welder is out there to treat them. Their application is found to be better on thicker workpieces.
Stick electrodes are good for aluminum alloys. Besides, brass, copper etc are also found to be joined as well. Steel, stainless steel or cast iron do not find well-fitting through arc welding.
Learning welder types and their application is 101 of welding tools and equipment. Hope it helps to all.