What are the basics of general welding?

Process and steel types used by successful welders

What are the basics of general welding?

General welding is one of the most important processes supporting the drive of global economies. Let’s start with some basics about general welding practices.

First off, let’s talk about the process types.

MIG/MAG (Metal Inert Gas / Metal Active Gas)

MIG/MAG welding are actually two different welding processes. The MIG (metal inert gas) welding process uses inert, or non-reactive, shielding gasses such as argon, helium, or a mix of the two. MAG (metal active gas) welding refers to a group of arc welding processes that uses the heat generated by an electric arc to fuse the metal in the joint area.


MMA (Manual Metal Arc)

Manual metal arc welding (MMA or MMAW), also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), is a process where the arc is struck between an electrode flux coated metal rod and the workpiece. Both the rod and the surface of the workpiece melt in this process to create a weld.


TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas)

Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), is an arc welding process that produces the weld with a non-consumable tungsten electrode.


SAW (Submerged Arc Welding)

Submerged arc Welding (SAW) is the joining process that forms an electric arc between a continuously fed electrode and the workpiece to be welded. A blanket of powdered flux surrounds and covers the arc and, when molten, provides electrical conduction between the metal to be joined and the electrode.


Now that you know more about the different processes of welding listed above, let’s talk about the why.

Why is heat input important in welding?


Simply put, as the heat input increases, the cooling rate of the weld is reduced. With a reduced cooling rate, most materials will exhibit increased grain size in the weld and heat affected zones of the base metal.

What is the definition of heat input in welding?

Heat input is known as a critical parameter for arc welding, and is the amount of electrical energy that is supplied to a weld during the welding process. Heat input must be controlled to ensure a sound weld quality. Below is the EG Formula used to calculate the heat input.


EG FORMULA: (J/length unit) [1 kJ/mm = 25.4 kJ/inch]


What’s the difference between mild steel and high-strength steel?

Mild steel and high-strength steel are two types of carbon steel structures. High-strength steel is a type of mild steel because both these contain a low amount of carbon. The main difference between mild steel and high-strength steel is that high-strength steel has a higher amount of toughness and durability compared to a mild steel option.


SSAB offers a broad portfolio of high-strength steel. This includes Strenx high-strength structural steel, which is weldable with all common methods and is backed by guarantees for flatness, thickness and bendability; and Hardox wear plate, the world's leading abrasion-resistant steel, which offers extended service life and high productivity in the most challenging environments.


What are common welding variables?

There are many welding variables that influence a weld's quality and overall process. These may include but are not limited to amps, volts, travel speed, filler metal, shielding gas and base material.


Why does filler metal selection matter in welding?

Filler metals are alloys or unalloyed metals which, when heated, liquefy and melt to flow into the space between two close fitting parts, creating a soldered joint. A filler metal has suitable melting and flow properties to permit distribution by capillary attraction in properly prepared joints in the welding process.

The most common welding processes such as MIG/MAG (Metal Inert Gas / Metal Active Gas), MMA (Manual Metal Arc), TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) and SAW (Submerged Arc Welding), as discussed above, are all processes that our high-strength steels such as Hardox® , Strenx® , and Docol® interact with in the world of general welding.

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