Welding machines: Different processes and how to choose the best machine

Need a welding machine to help you with your DIY projects? With so many different types of welding machines available, it can be challenging to know which one is the best choice for your specific needs. Your budget and what you’re planning on using it for play a big part in the type of machine you choose. Visit Junk Mail and find a wide range of affordable welding machines for sale today.

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Welding explained

Welding is the process of permanently joining metals or thermoplastics together, although metals are more common. Welding can be used to build new things or repair and maintain structures.

Heat and a filler material are used when welding metals together. Many different energy sources can be used to weld, such as an electric arc, a gas flame, a laser, an electric beam, friction or ultrasound.

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Different types of welding processes

  1. Metal inert gas (MIG) welding/gas metal arc welding (GMAW)/metal active gas (MAG) welding

This welding process is where an electric arc forms between a MIG wire electrode and the pieces of metal, heating the metals to the point where it melts and joins together. To shield the process from contaminants in the air, a shielding gas feeds through the welding gun, along with the wire electrode. The MIG/GMAW welding process can be automatic or semi-automatic.

Overview:

  • This welding process is the easiest to learn
  • High welding speeds are possible
  • It allows better control on thinner materials
  • Cleaner welds are possible
  • The same equipment can be used for Flux-Cored Welding
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  • Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW or FCA)

This welding process is similar to MIG welding as it is a wire-feed process, but the difference is that FCAW does not require shielding gas since the flux-cored wire is used to shield the arc from contamination. This simplifies the welding process, especially when welding outdoors. The process also has high welding speeds and is easy to learn. Just like MIG welding, FCAW can weld thinner metals. This welding process can be automatic or semi-automatic.

Overview:

  • Works well on dirty and rusty materials
  • Suitable for outdoor welding
  • High deposition rate (the speed at which the filler metal is applied)
  • Easy to learn
  • Better control on thinner materials
  • Does not require a shielding gas
Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) | Junk Mail
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  • Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding/Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)

This arc welding process uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The process also uses a shielding gas (usually argon) and filler metal to protect the weld area and electrode against contamination. This welding process is most commonly used to weld thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous metals, such as magnesium, aluminium, and copper alloys. This process also allows the operator to have more control compared to other welding processes, resulting in stronger, high-quality welds. This welding process is more intricate to learn and is significantly slower compared to other processes.

Overview:

  • High-quality and precise welds
  • Highly aesthetic welds
  • Allows heat adjustment
  • More difficult to learn
  • Slower process compared to other welding techniques
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  • Stick welding/Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)/Manual metal arc welding (MMA or MMAW)

Stick welding is very popular and is a manual arc welding process that uses a consumable electrode covered with flux to lay the weld. An electric current (AC or DC) is used to form an electric arc between the electrode and the metals, which causes the metals to melt and join together. Stick welding is more difficult to learn and is limited to metals no thinner than 18 gauge. This welding method is used for welding thicker metals.

Overview:

  • Suitable to use indoors and outdoors
  • Can weld dirty or rusty metals
  • Works well on thicker metals
  • More complex to learn and master
Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) | Junk Mail
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How to choose a welding machine that best suits your needs

  • Identify your requirements

What types of welding projects do you work on most frequently? The type and thickness of the materials you commonly work with will have an impact on your decision.

  • Define your budget

Knowing how much money you have available to spend will have a major impact on your decision. You’ll need to take into account the cost of accessories and supplies when defining your budget. Safety gear is also vital. You can expect to buy a helmet and gloves in addition to your welding machine. While you’ll want to get good value for money, it’s advisable to invest in a quality machine rather than choosing the cheapest option.

  • Location of Projects

When you’re evaluating the different types of welders, it’s useful to keep your work environment in mind. Will you be working indoors or outdoors?

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Now that you know more about the different types of welding processes and what to look for in welding machines, you can pick the model that best matches your requirements. What are you waiting for? Find welding machines on Junk Mail today.

Want to know more about a career in welding? Visit Job Mail.

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Welding machines: Different processes and how to choose the best machine
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Welding machines: Different processes and how to choose the best machine
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With so many different types of welding machines available, it can be challenging to know which one is the best choice for your specific needs...
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