Electric arc welding is a method that uses an electric arc to create high temperatures to efficiently melt and weld metals.
This welding technique is widely used in industry due to its versatility and reliability, and because it allows welders to create strong bonds between different metal parts.
In this article, our industrial welding company introduces you to the method and uses of electric arc welding. Keep reading to learn about different electric arc welding processes and techniques, and practical applications in various industrial sectors.
Definition of electric arc welding
Electric arc welding is a process that fuses metals using an intense electric arc generated between two terminals of an electrical circuit, which creates enough heat to melt the materials. The intense electrical energy creates an ionized channel of conductive gas known as plasma, which can reach extremely high temperatures ranging from 3,500 to 15,500 degrees Celsius. The plasma melts the metals and allows them to be fused together to from a strong, lasting bond.
Electric arc welding is very versatile, and can be used to weld different types, thicknesses and shapes of metal. Thanks to its many advantages, this type of welding is used widely in many industries. Since it can produce strong, reliable welds, electric arc welding is a common process in manufacturing and assembling the products and infrastructure that are essential to modern society.
The electric arc welding process
Electric arc welding comprises several specific techniques. Each method has its own unique characteristics that make it suitable for specific applications. Here is a quick overview of the main electric arc welding methods:
- Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW): Also known as MMA or manual metal arc welding, this method requires a consumable electrode with a protective coating. The welder holds the electrode in one hand , bringing it into contact with the part, where an electric arc is formed that melts both the electrode and the base material. The protective coating creates a shielding gas that prevents the metal from oxidizing, and a slag that protects the weld as it cools.
- MIG/MAG welding: MIG-MAG welding uses an endless wire electrode wound on a spool. The wire electrode is automatically fed into the arc through a welding torch. A shielding gas, such as argon or CO2, is used to protect the weld from oxidation. This method is fast and suitable for large-scale welding operations.
- TIG welding: TIG welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode held in a welding torch. An electric current flows between the electrode and the workpiece. If necessary, a filler wire electrode is added manually. This technique is the preferred method for doing high-quality welds on thin, demanding materials.
- Submerged arc welding (SAW): In this process, an electric arc is maintained between an endless wire electrode and the workpiece, but the arc is submerged beneath a layer of granular flux. This creates a protective shield that prevents splattering and smoke.
- Plasma arc welding (PAW): Plasma welding uses a concentrated electric arc between a non-consumable electrode and the workpiece. Plasma, an ionized form of gas, reaches extremely high temperatures, enabling precise, high-quality welds.
What is electric arc welding used for?
Electric arc welding has many applications in different industrial sectors, as it is versatile and can be used to create strong, durable welds. These are some of the main applications of electric arc welding:
- Construction industry: Electric arc welding is widely used in the construction industry to join steel structures, frameworks, beams, columns and prefabricated elements. It is essential for the construction of infrastructure such as bridges, buildings, stadiums and towers.
- Industrial manufacturing: In the industrial manufacturing sector, electric arc welding is used to produce a wide variety of machines and equipment, including machine tools, industrial robots, tanks, boilers, containers and machine components.
- Automotive industry: Electric arc welding is a key element in the assembly of car bodies and metal components. It is used to weld chassis, sheet metal components, fenders and other structural parts.
- Aerospace: The aerospace industry relies on electric arc welding to manufacture aircraft, satellites, rockets and other aerospace components. This industry demands strong, reliable welds that will guarantee safe, high-performance machinery.
- Naval industry: Arc welding is used throughout the naval industry to construct ships and boats of various sizes. It is used to weld hulls, decks, superstructures and internal systems.
- Heavy equipment manufacturing: Electric arc welding is also used in the manufacture of heavy equipment like cranes, trailers, forklifts, agricultural machinery and construction equipment.
- Repair and maintenance: Arc welding is used to repair damaged or worn metal structures and to do industrial maintenance in a variety of sectors.
HARtech: your trusted partner for industrial welding
Electric arc welding is essential to many types of industry because it is a reliable method for making strong, durable welds. Whether in construction, industrial manufacturing or other sectors, this method is central to completing a diverse range of projects.
It takes a high level of expertise to create high-quality, safe industrial welds using electric arc welding. This is where the HARtech industrial welding specialists come in. Our knowledge and experience have earned us a solid reputation as a leader in the field of industrial mechanics.
At HARtech, we understand the importance of precision, reliability and efficiency in the welding process. Our team of certified welders has in-depth expertise in a variety of welding techniques and is equipped with the latest technologies to meet your specific needs. Contact us now to discuss your project!