Good welding provides some of the strongest material bonds in manufacturing. However, depending on the materials and the function of the design, different types of welding are used. At Kimastle, we’ve worked with it all. As experts in machining, we help manufacturers design, produce and integrate products and equipment. Take a minute to learn the basics of different welding techniques to find the method best for your design.
Stick welding or shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) is the oldest and most common form of the practice. Using an electrode coated with inert material, the wand creates an arc that vaporizes the shielding gas, fusing the metal together. The process generates significant sparking, resulting in slag (waste byproducts from the filler), which requires cleanup. The strength of the weld also depends on the types of welding rods and filler. Additionally, different electrodes are available for different metals, offering versatility. Because of the volatile nature of arc welding, proper shielding and ventilation is required.
Due to its simplicity and strength, stick welding is used for large-scale steel structure creation, such as skyscrapers and mining equipment. Due to the roughness of the weld, it is not ideal for finishing seams or precision bonds. However, it is less expensive and simpler than other types of welding, perfect for large, quick connections. Stick welds are common in many manufacturing processes:
Metal inert gas (MIG) welding is one of the most popular methods in product-grade manufacturing. It is quicker and cleaner than stick welds, ideal for continuous seams. MIG welding uses a charged wire electrode to create an arc. Beading is applied using a wand or gun. Because the current flows constantly, welds are continuous and quick. Gas shielding prevents spatter and slag for cleaner welds. However, because it uses gas shielding, wind and airflow can disrupt the process. Therefore, the technique can only be used indoors under controlled conditions.
MIG welds are exceptionally useful when fusing thin aluminum sheets. As a result, the practice is popular in the automotive and fabrication industries. As one of the fastest and simplest techniques, it is particularly effective for mass production. It is also versatile, capable of fusing steel, carbon steel, magnesium, aluminum and other alloys. However, since MIG welds cannot be achieved outdoors, it is not as common in building construction.
Tungsten inert gas welding (TIG) is a versatile method that doesn’t produce any toxic fumes or slag. As a result, welders can achieve clean bonds with nearly any type of material. In fact, TIG welds can be used on steel, bronze, copper, aluminum, magnesium, brass and even gold. TIG welds are possible in all types of welding positions, ideal for precise connections. Because the process produces no harmful vapors or smoke, it can be done in confined or indoor spaces.
Due to its versatility and cleanliness, TIG welding is used across many industries. From fabrication to repairs, TIG welds are effective on a range of materials and thickness. Common applications include aerospace manufacturing, automotive and fine art sculpting. The precise, clean welds leave a polished bond that is both aesthetically pleasing and durable.
At Kimastle, we specialize in all types of welding for projects large or small. More importantly, we work with you every step of the way to ensure the best possible results. To get help with your manufacturing design, contact us today at 586-949-2355 and find out more about what we have to offer. With your vision and our expertise, let’s create something built to last.