The welding world is constantly evolving and inevitably moving towards a higher degree of automation. There are however two factors that still have a crucial importance: an expert welder with passion and pride for a well-executed job, and relentless quality control.
To talk about the passion and attention we put in the art and science of welding, we present a 4-part series, starting from the three welding techniques that we use the most in our workshop.
SMAW welding is the most versatile and popular, and it's used both in DYI projects and by large industrial manufacturers.
This type of welding uses and electrode, a metal stick that fuses once it gets in touch with the welding surface, creating a protective layer of slag, which can be easily removed at the end.
SMAW welding is used mainly for carbon and stainless steel, but it's also applicable to other materials such as nickel and copper alloys.
The other technique used in our workshop is the Gas Metal Arc Welding. In this case, the protection is given by a type of gas that is added separately. Depending on the type of gas, this type of welding is also called MIG (Metal Arc Inert Gas) or MAG (Metal Arc Active Gas).
The main advantage of this technique is that it's very effective and the equipment can be moved around easily. In our workshop, it's mainly used on parts that are not subject to a high pressure.
The third technique is called Submerged Arc Welding. In this case, the protection layer is given by a flux of granular material. SAW's main advantage is that it makes the welding process very fast, and releases a lot of material.
When it's used on pressure vessels, this process can be applied on both longitudinal welding on flat surfaces, and circular or positioning devices.
Before moving to the execution phase however, it's necessary to establish the best welding technique for each part of the equipment. Many factors contribute to the final decision, and that will be the topic for the second instalment.