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Welding Procedures 101 and the Fundamentals of Welding

Welding is an engineering process by which two pieces of metal are joined together by heating them to high temperatures and fusing them into a joint. It is one of the most essential fabrication procedures with many applications in the automotive, construction, and manufacturing industries. 

Welding is increasingly benefiting from the development of modern technology – welding machines are more precise and reproduce higher quality welds than ever before. In addition, that technology allows fabrication processes to be both faster and safer. 

Technology advancements in TIG, Stick, and MIG welding procedures have refined welding, allowing for improved safety protocols, faster cycle times during production, and increased accuracy and quality control techniques in automated welding processes. The welding professionals at Elemet Manufacturing are experienced, qualified, and dedicated craftsmen ready to complete your next welding project.


Welding Procedures

Welding procedures - Welder doing welding project.

According to AWS, welding procedures are comprehensive practices and techniques in producing a weldment. A typical joint welding procedure includes detailed methods, materials, and practices that welders should employ to achieve the customer’s specified result.

The welding procedure records the elements, factors, and variables involved in creating a weldment or specific weld. Welders require these procedures in various cases to achieve the following:

  • Comply with certain codes and specifications
  • Maintain the proper dimension by controlling distortion
  • Consistently create a weldment the same way
  • Reduce detrimental metallurgical changes
  • Minimize residual stresses


Welding Procedure Specification

A welding procedure is only valuable for welding practices if its results can be tested, verified, and communicated to those who need to know. The parties involved include welding inspectors, designers, supervisors, and the welders themselves.

A welding procedure specification (WPS) is an important qualified document that communicates, in written form, the essential elements to perform a high-quality weld. It includes various requirements according to multiple codes and standards, as well as referencing relevant drawings and other documents for clarification, which describes the technical details of how you should implement a welding process. 

A qualified welder must have knowledge of the WPS and interpret all its elements in order to ensure that the work meets all necessary quality requirements. In short, this document serves as an explanation of how to reach welding objectives correctly.


Variables in Welding Procedures

Industrial woman welder teaches younger student how to weld metal with a torch

Welding procedure variables are essential components in welding techniques and operations. Welding procedures must consider not only the proper techniques specific to a joint but also the equipment and capabilities that come into play; any of these essential or nonessential variables can affect the quality of the weld.

The typical essential variables for welding procedures include:

  • The welding technique
  • Welding position
  • Method of applying process
  • Type of welding gun used
  • The welding process and its variation
  • The base metal geometry changes
  • Electrical or operational parameters involved

Other specifications that include nonessential variables are:

  • The polarity of the welding current
  • Specific details of the weld joint design
  • The travel progression
  • The use and type of weld backing
  • Size of the welding wire

The procedure write-up should include the listed variables and detail what welders should use to create the desired result. The second portion of the welding procedure will consist of the schedule of welding conditions and a list of the joint requirements.


Basic Types of Traditional Welding

Different welding procedures apply to different welding techniques. Technology has revolutionized welding, allowing it to be used in almost any environment, including under water and in the vacuum of space. Technically, welding combines two objects using molten metal and heat, resulting in a strong joint called a weld.

The three basic types of welding include:

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

Other welding variations include laser and plasma arc welding, but the three main types cover up to 90% of welding tasks globally.


Stick Welding Procedures

Stick welding, also known as Shield Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), is a technique that uses an electrode to provide the filler material and generate heat while simultaneously providing its own flux to protect the weld. This method joins two pieces of metal by melting both together at the joint. It can be used on any metals with a low melting point, such as aluminum, copper, magnesium, and mild steel. 

Stick welding has been an essential technique in many industries since it was invented due to its versatility and ability to join many different types of joints, from small beads to large fillet welds. It is the most common technique in use today due to its low equipment requirements, accessibility from suppliers, and ease of use.


MIG Welding Procedures

MIG welding is also easy to learn. The method works by feeding a filler wire on a welding torch and selecting the speed you want it to come out. It creates an arc allowing you to melt the wire directly on the joint. The resulting weld will be clean and strong. Welders prevent oxidation using gas, making it more expensive than stick welding.


Tig Welding Procedures

TIG welding is an arc welding process that involves using a non-consumable electrode and an arc with an inert shielding gas – typically argon or helium – to form the welded joint. TIG welding provides excellent versatility as virtually any type of metal, such as aluminum, stainless steel, and copper alloys can be worked on. 

The arc is created when current passes through a tungsten electrode, and filler wire is added by hand to increase the strength of the welded joint. The method allows welders to control the weld puddle and temperature to offer the best precision. Welds created by TIG welding are strong and aesthetically pleasing.


Welding Techniques That Meet Your Specifications

Today, welding is used in a broad range of industries, such as automotive, construction, manufacturing, shipping, and railroads. Highly-skilled welders create structures that power the global economy through ships, bridges, and skyscrapers. Overall, the scope of today’s welding projects is functional, efficient, and integral to driving progress in industries around the world.

Elemet Manufacturing is a first-class provider of precise welding services that can fulfill any need. With experienced and qualified craftsmen on staff, Elemet has all the necessary skills to handle any welding project, no matter the size or scope. Choose Elemet Manufacturing for your welding needs, and you can be assured that all your projects will meet or exceed your specifications.


Types of Welding: TIG vs. MIG vs. Stick Welding

Do you have a welding project but aren’t sure where to begin?

Does welding terminology confuse you? Are you worried you won’t understand the technicians at the welding shop?

If welding isn’t your area of expertise, it might be hard to find the right company to do the work.

A five percent failure rate is considered high in the industry. Meeting this stringent benchmark requires a professional team. 

At Elemet Manufacturing Inc., we offer a wide variety of types of welding processes. We work with many metals, including Aluminum, Brass, Copper, Galvanized steel, Stainless steel, and Titanium.

Our organized shop setup ensures improved control over the materials and workflow. You will receive the level of quality you expect. 

Contact Elemet Manufacturing Inc. to request an estimate today.

We can help you decide what welding process will best suit your welding needs.

Elemet Manufacturing is part of Elemet Group. We offer CNC machining, waterjet, and other cutting services, welding, and metal cutting and fabricating services. EMI is located in Aitkin, Minnesota.

Understanding the different types of welding is key to making the right choice for your project. 

We can help you understand the key features of each type of welding in this guide.

TIG Welding

A welder TIG welding. TIG welding is one of the types of welding.

The T in TIG stands for tungsten, which is the type of electrode used in this type of welding. It’s used because it can withstand high temperatures. The process involves arc welding with Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG). 

A professional welder can control both hands with accuracy. They hold the wire in one hand and the gun in the other, which gives them more precision. That’s important when you are working with thinner metals and smaller projects.

The rod generates the heat, which melts the metal wire that bonds the surfaces together. This process creates a smooth, beautiful weld and is used when the weld is going to be visible.

This type of welding is commonly used for aluminum and stainless steel metals. TIG welding is often used in the automotive industry, especially when the weld will be painted.  

TIG welding uses a constant voltage power supply. It’s used commonly when welding smaller pipes because of its precision.

MIG Welding

A closeup of MIG welding in progres. MIG welding is one of the types of welding

Metal Inert Gas is used in this type of welding. It’s the most common and the easiest to learn how to do. The external gas is used to shield the weld metal from things in the environment.

It allows the welder to operate quickly and reasonably continuously. The process involves a wire that feeds out of the welding gun. A spark comes from the end of the wire.

MIG welding is a more point-and-shoot process. It’s great for thicker metals. MIG also suits larger projects that need long continuous welding runs. It is perfect for projects using sheet metal.

Flux core arc welding is similar to MIG welding. It uses an electrode shielded from the air, making it a good option for outdoor use. The electrode is a hollow wire similar to a straw.  

A good welder can create beautiful smooth welds using a MIG welder. It takes experience and proper conditions. That’s another reason to find a professional shop to do your work. 

Stick Welding

A close up of stick welding.

Stick welding is the process most commonly used for more industrial welds. Stick welding will do the job when working on a bridge, outside storage tank, or pipeline. 

Stick welders are also great for structural steel, repairing farm equipment, and shipbuilding. If you want to weld sheet metal, use a TIG or MIG welder.

It’s great when the metal is not ideal because it can create a good bond in more challenging situations. It’s also the simplest setup of all the welding systems. Stick welding isn’t as neat as other welding methods.  

It uses a constant voltage power supply, similar to TIG welding. 

You can weld steel, stainless steel, nickel-based alloys, and chrome. You can also bond stainless steel to regular steel.

Stick welding is also your best choice for very thick metals of 1/16 inch or more. When the project is outdoors or in a drafty area, this is the welding process that suits your needs.

Stick welding is sometimes referred to as shielded gas metal arc welding. It’s also called manual metal arc welding. It’s good to know the terminology when you talk to professionals.

Decide Which Type of Welding is Right For You

A diagram Stick, Gas, MIG and TIG welding systems.

Understanding which welding process you need to use is the first step. Several factors come into the decision-making process.  

The first thing to consider is the type of metal you are working with. Thickness is one factor to think about, as some welders work better with thinner metals than others.

Is the weld going to be visible? Some welding techniques are better suited to surfaces that will be painted, such as automobiles.

The location of your project can influence which type of welding to consider. If the work can be done indoors in a professional shop, you have more options to choose from.

Finally, your budget might affect your decision.

We can help you consider all factors, so your project will be successful. 

Elemet Provides All Types of Welding

A finished weld

When you need quality welding, you want professionals. 

When you’re investing money in a project, you want to know the work will last. Hire our experienced team, and we will guide you in making the best choices for your welding project.

At Elemet Manufacturing Inc., we are focused on solutions to your manufacturing needs. To ensure your welds are strong and dependable, choose us for your welding project.  

Contact the experts at Elemet Manufacturing Inc.