Arc Welding Articles

The arc welding technology area focuses on the most commonly used arc welding processes, mainly GMAW/MIG, GTAW/TIG, SMAW/stick, and plasma. The articles and press releases cover processes and power sources, plus all of the related items—electrodes and wire, wire feeders, fixtures, manipulators, positioners, and power sources. If you need information on personal protective gear, ventilation systems, and safety practices for welders, see our Safety coverage area.

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Arc Welding 101: Hands-off MIG education

October 30, 2014

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Q: I recently bought a gas metal arc welding (GMAW) machine, and I’ve also just completed a beginner’s welding course at the local college. Unfortunately, the basics don’t explain enough about the controls, such as voltage, wire speed, and stickout, and how they affect the weld penetration,...

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Don’t underestimate MIG welding skills

October 29, 2014

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Plenty of welding training programs start with gas metal arc welding, or MIG welding, because it’s fairly easy to start laying a pretty consistent bead—under very simple and consistent conditions. As a result, most people look at gas tungsten arc welding, or TIG welding, with its need to use both hands while simultaneously operating a foot pedal, as a more complicated welding process. In a large-scale metal fabricating operation’s world, those people would be wrong.

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Arc Welding 101: Determining correct gas ratios

October 29, 2014

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Q: For years we have used 75/25 argon/carbon dioxide during gas metal arc welding (GMAW). I was told by my supplier that I needed to change to 90/10. Will one gas mixture provide better welding penetration than the other? Most of our work is mild steel (A-36), 0.1875 to 0.25 in. thick, although we...

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Arc Welding 101: Finding the 'best buy'

October 28, 2014

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Q: I’m looking for a Consumer Reports-type study on gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) machines. As a small-business owner, I would like to know what would be the best buy. Have you done any reports on welding machines in terms of best makes and models? Glenn H. A: To answer your question, no, I...

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Arc Welding 101: Preweld cleaning tips for TIG

October 27, 2014

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Q: My primary function is to go into commercial kitchens and gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW) stainless steel that is covered in grease, dirt, and dust. In open areas I can grind the grease off, but I have a problem in tight corners that I can’t get into with a grinder. Can you recommend any cleaning...

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Arc Welding 101: API 1104 qualifications

October 24, 2014

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Q: What is the procedure to qualify welding procedure specifications (WPS) as well as a welder to American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard 1104, Welding Pipelines and Related Facilities? What tests are necessary to qualify? A: Your questions are good ones. I often receive similar questions...

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Arc Welding 101: A WPS lesson for beginners

October 23, 2014

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Q: Recently I was given a weld procedure specification (WPS) from a contractor to review. It’s still lying on my desk. Do you have any tips for a beginner like myself on how to review a WPS? Habeeb R. A: It’s time to pick up that WPS off your desk and give it a good, hard look. The first...

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Arc Welding 101: Earning D1.1 compliance

October 22, 2014

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Q: The company I work for has welded steel to make web truss frames for steel buildings for 20 years but has never been certified in any way. Some bids that we see require certification from a national organization. Do you know what our best approach should be to becoming certified? Larry S....

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Arc Welding 101: Tackling trailer troubles

October 21, 2014

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Q: A routine preventive maintenance inspection on a steel flatbed trailer revealed cracking in the main frame beams. The trailer was purchased through a distributor, so it was returned the next day. We asked the manufacturer to send a qualified representative to inspect it and send us a proposal...

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Arc Welding 101: Certified to weld?

October 20, 2014

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Q: What does it mean to be an AWS-certified welder? Joe C. A: Certification can open doors, present opportunities, and put you out front in a tough job market. However, not all welders are AWS-certified. My younger brother Joe, a service manager for an import car dealership on the West Coast,...

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Part-time job brings full-time satisfaction

October 17, 2014

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After a career in welding and fabricating, Charlie Wolfe is semi-retired and working 25 hours a week at the local community college. However, his network of friends is vast and his reputation as a go-to guy for one-off projects and repairs is sterling, so he’s actually busier now then he was back when he worked 40 hours a week

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Weld shop 101

October 13, 2014

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According to the American Welding Society (AWS), there will be a shortage of approximately 290,000 welders in the U.S. by 2020. Education doesn’t fall on the shoulders of just high schools, community colleges, and technical programs, it also rests with industry professionals who have the space, equipment, and the expertise on staff to demonstrate the best practices. Arming educators with this information will only help make the next generation of welders that much stronger. For those of you who are in areas where getting hands-on training for industry leaders isn’t possible, here are a few questions educators tend to ask.

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Arc Welding 101: Negatives to whipping and weaving

October 9, 2014

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Q: When using GMAW on carbon steel materials 1/8 inch thick or greater, we use a whipping technique that you have described as a bad work habit. What are the negative effects of whipping or weaving?John S. A: As with many welding techniques, there is a time and place for everything, even whipping...

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Arc Welding 101: Sorting out SAW

October 8, 2014

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Q: What is the procedure qualification test for manufacturing pipe using submerged arc welding?Sandesh P. A: Pipe is manufactured by one of these four methods: electric resistance welding (ERW)/high-frequency induction (HFI) welding, seamless (plug/mandrel mill and extrusion), spiral welding, and...

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Arc Welding 101: Satisfying the weld inspector

October 7, 2014

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Q: We have a stiffener bar (continuity connection) in a column that calls for AWS D1.1 BTC-P4 for the flanges and fillet welds on both sides in the web. The stiffeners were field-welded. After assembling 35 connections, we discovered no fillet weld on the bottom side in the web. We can’t weld the...

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