Welding Services: Mig, TIG, Oxy of Aluminium, Stainless Steel and Mild Steel

Blog | August 27th, 2018

The forming stage of a sheet metal fabrication project is complete, and the assembly phase is imminent. First off, competent fabrication services know their fasteners. Beyond those mechanical fittings, though, the next level up the assembly ladder entails a welding service. Let’s check out the three main welding technologies, plus their different effects on aluminium, stainless steel, and mild steel.

A Study in Arc Welding 

A blinding flash can be seen on the workshop floor. A welder is using a GMWAW or GTAW rig to weld metal parts. Ignoring the acronyms for a moment, arc welding tech requires an electrical “arc” to melt and fuse metals. However, weld pools must remain pure if a cooling joint is to form properly. Because of this issue, arc welding equipment employs a shielding gas, which is chemically inert. Using this gas, the hydrogen and oxygen in the surrounding atmosphere cannot influence the melt pool. Here’s a list of the three primary arc welding services:

  • GTAW- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG)
  • GMAW – Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG)
  • FCAW – Flux-cored arc welding

Decrypting the Initials

In MIG welding, the nominated welder uses a welding gun to carry out the parts fusing service. On that gun, a continuous feed wire unspools. It forms one end of the electrical circuit. That wire is “consumed” as the gun travels across a weld seam in the hands of a skilled craftsman. Meanwhile, with the molten weld metal flowing, the inert shield gas protects the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) from oxidization. Generally speaking, TIG welding is similar, except there’s no consumable wire spool. Instead of the wire, there’s a non-consumable tungsten electrode, which creates a more precise weld seam, one that usually relies on a filler rod, plus that ever-present shield gas. Oxy-fuel, or oxy-acetylene as its known in the trade, is an entirely different proposition. Without any electrical arcing whatsoever, oxy tanks transfer their fuel to a torch handle, which burns the two gaseous components as a focused flame.

Last of all, but no less important for that fact, sheet metal alloys impact the chosen welding solution. Aluminium, for example, has a low melt temperature, so it requires great skill to prevent burn-through issues and other material-specific fusing deficiencies. Iron alloys, including mild steel and stainless steel, add carbon, chromium, and other exotic metals, which can make the job harder to execute. At the end of the day, the nature of the job dictates the welding method. As an illustration of this axiom, Oxy isn’t used on thin sheet metal parts, because the super-heated torch will warp the alloy.

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