Overview of Welding Machine
No matter whether you want to repair metals or use metals as part of your job, in both cases, a welding machine is the most flexible method used in order to join the metal pieces. This guide is bent on providing you all kinds of welding-related informative and practical information to assist you in making the appropriate choice for the welding machine that can best suit your needs.
List of Different Types of Welding Machines and Processes
There are several types of welding processes, of which the four main types are described below:
#1)Stick / Arc Welding (SMAW)
In this type of welding, electricity is run through a stick electrode creating an arc with the material that needs to be welded. Arc welding is one of the most difficult types of welding but is largely popular owing to the low costs as well as the ability to create strong bonds. Stick welding is a great method for welding certain alloys or joints and can be efficiently used for both indoors and outdoors.
Arc welding emits a considerable amount of spatter and welds need to be cleaned upon at the time of completion. But they are still a hot choice among farmers, hobbyists, and people involved with home maintenance chores.
#2)MIG Welding (Wire feed / GMAW)
MIG welding is the easiest type of welding to learn. Even a homeowner can buy a MIG welding machine and make decent welds within some hours of practice. MIG welding is clean, easy to operate on, and can be used on both thin or thicker plate metals. MIG welding machines can weld different materials like Stainless steel, Nickel Alloys, Aluminum, Steel, Copper and many more with increased flexibility, higher deposition rates and virtually no spatter.
#3)TIG Welding (Heli-Arc / GTAW)
TIG systems use an electrode in an inert gas to make a high-end weld. TIG welds are neater and are more stronger than those from any other welding process. TIG welding is mainly used to weld thin sections of alloy steel, stainless steel and metals such as aluminum, magnesium, etc. TIG welding is comparatively more complex and hard to work on than other types of welding and is comparatively slower.
#4)Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
This is somewhat similar to MIG welding but differs as it does not require a shielding gas. This is a gas-free, simple, efficient and effective welding application that uses Flux-Cored wire that is used to shield the arc at the time of welding outdoors, in windy conditions or on dirty materials. This process is widely in use because of its high welding speed and portability. Flux-Cored arc welding is very easy to learn and can form extremely clean welds on steel and aluminum.
How To Choose the Best Welding Machine For Your Needs?
- What kind of materials and how thick materials will you be welding? It is advisable to choose the process that covers the types of metals you will use the most.
- Will you be welding in the same location or do you need to keep moving? What kind of wiring do you have in the weld locations? A welding machine that uses 230 Volt 3-Phase power cannot be easily taken to a customer’s location.
- How much prior experience do you have in welding? How much time do you need in order to learn to weld? How important is the weld appearance for you? MIG welding is the easiest to learn whereas TIG welding will most likely create the best-looking welds.
Major Factors to Consider While Selecting Right Welding Machine
#1)Nature of the metal
Generally, welding is done only on carbon steel as it is compatible with a majority of the welding machines and also has the ability to handle any excess heat that might be applied on the metal. Stainless steel is compatible with TIG or MIG welding machine and does not need much strength to operate as carbon steel.
Aluminum requires more complex welding machines, like the MIG machine. Also, a high-end TIG machine can be used for an aluminum weld. It is important that you take into account the metal that you need to weld before choosing a welding machine.
#2)Select the perfect welding location
The location of the welding also helps to decide for a suitable welding machine. At the time of welding indoors you could operate your machine to 115 volt AC machine or a 220-240 volts AC supply. A 115 volt supply is the normal supply that any commercial or domestic location receives and generally welding machines operate at this voltage itself.
#3)Choose the ideal ampere range
The cost of a welding machine is also dependent on the current generation capacity. Thicker metals need more current in order to be welded properly unlike thin metals that would need machines that provide the proper amount of heat for the weld.
It is important that you pay attention to the thickness of the fixtures and the metals you would be working with. For this, welding aluminum is almost the same as welding a relatively thinner metal.
#4)Cater to the compressed gas requirements
Different welding processes use different compressed gases. Oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide are some of the most popular compressed gases that are used across several welding procedures. It is important that you take into consideration whether or not your welding machine needs a compressed gas source.
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