Welding Basics 101: The Fundamental Principles of Welding

The number of uses for welding are seemingly endless. Whether you’re a professional welder or simply a hobbyist, there are a large number of opportunities for those that understand the 101 welding basics and the fundamental principles of what welding is. Technology is affecting welding in the same way that it is affecting every other area of our lives, and now welders can feasibly work in any water depth (and even in space!). Welding is essentially the joining of two objects together using heat and a filler material. The filler is heated to the point where it melts and is able to pool between the two objects. This results in a strong joint (also known as a weld).

There are three basic types of traditional welding. These are:

  • Stick welding
  • Metal inert gas (known as MIG welding)
  • Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG welding)

There are other variations of welding types, including plasma arc and laser welding, but the three main types of weld, stick, MIG, and TIG welding cover up to 90% of welding tasks worldwide.

Stick Welding

For beginners to professional welding, this is by far the most popular technique. Stick welding works by passing an electrical current through metal and an electrode (known as the stick). The process works because the electrode melts. That causes it to combine with metal and form a joint. The reason why this is such a popular type of weld is that it is very easy to learn. It may also be partly to do with the fact that equipment for stick welding is cheaper than other types of welding equipment. There are the three main types of welding kits available for those that wish to try stick welding. These are:

These will each have their specialties in terms of where they can be used most effectively. Generally, DC welders will be a little more expensive. However, that extra cost might be justifiable if you are looking for cleaner welds and improved versatility.

MIG Welding

Like stick welding, MIG welding is very simple to learn. It works by feeding the filler wire into the welding torch and selecting the speed at which you want it to come out. This creates an arc that means you can melt your wire directly onto the joint. It results in a clean and strong weld. Oxidation is prevented through the use of gas. More expensive than stick welding, MIG welding kits should be your choice if you are looking for more professional weld finishes.

TIG Welding

This is the most challenging of basic welding techniques and is usually reserved for professional welders. It works in much the same way as MIG welding but allows for greater control over the arc and weld. That’s because you can control the temperature of the weld puddle, meaning far greater precision. It results in strong and aesthetically pleasing welds.

Plastic Welding

Not all welds are about connecting two pieces of metal. Plastic welding is a popular hobby and a valuable skill in the modern manufacturing industry due to the high volume of plastic fabrication tasks that take place. Plastic welding kits work in much the same way as kits for joining metal but uses thermoplastics in place of metal. The learning curve for using plastic welding kits and equipment like the Triac ST is remarkably fast, and even beginners will be able to create joins easily.

Learning to weld is a valuable skill. Whether you’re interested in welding as a hobby or a career, it appeals to both practical minds and creative ones. Hope you enjoyed our welding basics 101 post. If you are interested in more fundamental principles of welding, let us know by emailing us at info@hotairtools.com, subject line welding basics 101, more please.

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