You will need to use the welding process if you want to combine or join different sheet metals together. You can also use some sheet metal welding techniques to fasten the sheet metalwork, which will give you a much better result than by using screws or other fasteners. Manufacturers have been using different welding methods in their rapid manufacturing operations, in a wide range of industries.
There are various sheet metal welding methods or techniques you can use nowadays. Some welding techniques have been around for more than a hundred years, whereas some others are recent welding techniques developed in recent years to improve upon the existing welding methods. Here are the common welding methods and techniques used in sheet metal welding:
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1.MIG Sheet Metal Welding
MIG welding, or Metal Inert Gas welding, which also has another name called GMAW or Gas Metal Arc Welding, is a sheet metal welding method that uses shield gas and electric arc to weld the metal surface in a fast process. This is a simple and semi-automatic welding process often used in construction, automotive repair, plumbing, and other applications. It is also the welding method new welders can use to learn about welding.
With MIG welding, you can get a welding quality that is sturdy and durable, with excellent impact resistance. However, this welding method can also cause porosity problems, which can weaken the metal structure.
Tungsten Inert Gas welding (TIG welding), or GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding), is a welding method that makes use of the tungsten electrode to make the weld. The tungsten electrode is non-consumable, and it will create a strong arc that will contact the metal surface. Then, the arc will melt the metal surface, and you can complete the welding process this way.
This sheet metal welding method needs plenty of skills and techniques to do, so only experienced welders can do this. You will need to use both hands to control the welding equipment and move both hands in harmony to create the perfect weld on the metal surface.
3.Stick Sheet Metal Welding
Stick welding, also known by another name, SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding), is a welding method that has been around for a long time. With this welding method, you will need to use a stick electrode, which you can replace when you need it. The tip of the stick will generate the arc that will be in contact with the metal surface and start the welding process.
Stick welding is quite easy to operate, and with this method, you don’t need to deal with a large sheet metal welding tool that can weigh your hands down. Also, with this method, you can weld corroded metals and repair them.
4.Submerged Arc Welding (SAW)
Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) is an advanced welding process used in modern industries, which involves submerging or covering the welding wire, metal pieces, welding joint, and arc using the flux blanket for a safer welding operation. You can assign the welding task either to human workers or robots, and this method can provide a faster and better welding result for you.
With this sheet metal welding method, there will be no bright arc light, meaning that you can protect your eyes from the dangerous UV rays and infrared radiation, thanks to its flux covering.
5.Thermit Sheet Metal Welding
Thermit or thermite used in the thermit welding process contains a mix of iron oxide and aluminum powder. Meanwhile, thermit welding is a welding method that uses thermite to weld the metal surface. This sheet metal welding process involves igniting the thermite material to create a non-violent exothermic reaction. This reaction will create a high temperature around the welding area, allowing you to melt the metal surface you would like to weld.
Then, after melting the metal surface, you can cool the area down fast to solidify the welded joints. For this process to work, you will need to heat the thermite material at 1300-degree Celsius.
6.Plasma Arc Welding
Plasma Arc Welding provides an improvement in the TIG welding method. However, Plasma Arc Welding uses an even narrower welding nozzle to allow you to weld a smaller and narrower area. This welding method also uses very high temperatures to make it easier for you to create a stronger and deeper weld around the small crevices of the metal surface.
This sheet metal welding method is not for daily personal use. Today, airplane industries are the most common users of the Plasma Arc Welding method, allowing them to work with their aircraft building and assembly process.
Gas welding, also called the oxyacetylene welding, is a welding method that requires a very high temperature to operate, which is around 3500-degree Celsius. The high temperature of the gas will create a flame that you can use for the welding process. There are three types of flames you can use with the gas welding method, which are neutral flame, oxidizing flame, and carburizing flame.
With this sheet metal welding method, you can weld in any place, as the gas gets stored in a portable steel cylinder. Those who are new to welding can also use this method to start their first welding operation, as it is quite easy to use.
Resistance welding is a welding method that uses electric resistance to create heat around the welding equipment, which you can use to weld the metal surface. The high heat produced in this process will melt the metal surface, allowing you to join different sheet metal materials together.
With this sheet metal welding method, you can weld a specific area to fasten the sheet metal materials around certain spots. This welding method doesn’t produce any pollution, and you will only use a moderate amount of electric power to operate the welding equipment.
These are the common sheet metal welding methods and techniques you can use to weld the various sheet metal materials. These welding methods have a wide range of applications, which include automotive, construction, aerospace, and others. Some welding methods are suitable for new welders, while some others are only suitable for skilled or professional welders.
You can also use some of these welding methods in your personal projects, whether you are doing some prototyping, repairs, or just enjoying your hobbies.
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