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Important Terms for Welding
Discussing a welding project for home improvement or auto repairs can be dizzying because of the large amount of terminology that are unique to the field. To help you understand proposals from contractors, you'll need to understand some important acronyms and terms.
Welding - The process of permanently joining together two pieces of metal or plastic using heat or electricity. Welding typically causes a large amount of light and heat and requires protective helmets to cover the head and face.
Electrode - A device that emits electricity or allows it to pass through into another object
Power Supply - The source of heat or electricity used to make welding possible
Oxy - Type of welding that uses a torch that contains oxyacetylene to heat and melt the metal or plastic
Arc - Type of welding in which electricity travels from the welding machine or energy supply into an electrode, causing the material being welded to melt and then be joined together
TIG - A type of arc welding where the electrode is made from tungsten. A gas is used to protect the surface of the metal during the welding process. TIG is short for Tungsten Inert Gas.
MIG - Type of welding where a machine supplies metal wire that is then melted using a gun that transfers electric current to the wire. The wire then binds the materials together; MIG is short for Metal Inert Gas.
Laser - Type of welding that relies on concentrated light to melt metal and fuse it together
ASME - The nationally-recognized certification agency for welders. To gain ASME certification, welders must demonstrate their ability to perform different types of welds as well as to properly use equipment like helmets; ASME is short for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
If you are becoming interested in the industry of welding for cars, decor, and industrial applications, find out more through our association. We offer information on training, jobs available, and more.
Welding is the act of joining two pieces of metal or plastic together through melting and fusion. Most welding is done by the use of open flames, but laser welding is becoming more common. Electric arc welding is also commonly used.
Modern welding includes a variety of techniques. For example, for TIG welding, also known as tungsten inert gas, an electric arc is used between the part to be welded and a tungsten electrode. MIG welding also uses an electric arc, but it is created by the use of a consumable wire. TIG is generally considered superior to MIG, but requires more skill. Other modern techniques include plasma arc and resistance spot welding. Submerged arc welding is operated in the automatic or mechanized mode.
Welding is generally considered to be fairly dangerous. Welders wear helmets with visors and heavy gloves. However, accidents still occur, that is why it is essential to wear a helmet for protection. Other equipment includes welders and grinders. Welding supply stores also sell metal wire, coolant and other supplies and equipment. Supply stores are an essential part of the welding industry.
Various materials can be welded. Steel and aluminum are amongst the most common of metals. Even tough metals such as titanium can be joined using modern equipment. Welders often work with plumbers to join pipes and they also make other various everyday used products. Plastic is also commonly welded and heat sealed with welding rods used in place of the metal wire.
Not all modern welding is done by hand. Welding machines, including robots, are commonly in use in factories. These machines can make accurate welds far faster than a human worker. However, human input is still required to inspect the welds. Welding procedures require a certain amount of expertise, with engineers often being consulted.