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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Starting a portable GTAW business (Part I)

July 11, 2006 | By Phil Evans

Starting a portable GTAW business takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but it also requires some solid business knowledge before getting started. It's important to learn about what equipment you need, how to set it up, and how to evaluate your welding before you take your first job.

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Starting a portable GTAW business Part II: Know your customers

July 11, 2006 | By Phil Evans

Thinking about starting your own portable GTAW business? This installment in a series about this topic focuses on the potential customer base and the welding repair needs of specific segments. It also offers pricing tips for various jobs.

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Arc welding discontinuities

July 11, 2006 | By Elia Levi

Welding discontinuities can affect product performance and longevity. Thoroughly understanding the various defects, their causes, severity, and remedies can help ensure high-quality and superior performance. This article presents an overview of welding defects and discusses design strategies to help prevent them.

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Poor Boy Blacksmith

June 13, 2006 | By Bob Nichols

Generations ago blacksmiths served long apprenticeships and acquired the knowledge to make their own tools. Today blacksmithing often is pursued by untrained hobbyists who need economical tools. This article is about a seasoned blacksmith who uses his skills to make tools and then markets them using the latest technology.

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Metal fabricating in a new millennium

May 9, 2006 | By Kate Bachman

The forming and fabricating of the 925-foot BP Pedestrian Bridge located at the east section of Chicago's Millennium Park, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is explored.

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Getting autobody welding down cold

April 11, 2006

Volkswagen's automobile manufacturing facility in Saxony, Germany, was spending more time and effort on post-weld finishing operations than it wanted to, but because of the requirements the company was dedicated to meeting, not much automation was possible. Through its research, Volkswagen decided to invest in cold metal transfer welding, which helped the company save time and effort while keeping up its product quality.

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Magical, mystical metal

April 11, 2006 | By Vicki Bell

Richard Wilson's metal art reflects his appreciation for metal's lesser-known intrinsic qualities. This article explains how Wilson became a welder and metal artist and describes the materials and processes he uses. It details one project from start to finish. It also offers insight into the future of the welding labor force from Wilson's perspective as a welding instructor and manufacturing consultant.

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Female student achieves first for school, state

March 7, 2006

Jessica Jelinski takes pride in doing her best when it comes to welding -- that's what propelled her to win first place in the SkillsUSA Wisconsin state welding competition in 2005. Today she uses that work ethic to further her welding career and teach other young people about the trades.

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Staying grounded

March 7, 2006 | By Frank Stupczy

Because a typical arc welding setup may consist of several electrical circuits, it's critical to apply and maintain proper grounding methods within the welding area to promote electrical safety in the workplace.

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Head of her class

March 7, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

At a time when it's becoming more and more difficult to find skilled workers, it's encouraging to read about people like 18-year-old Jessica Jelinski who are studying and pursuing careers in metalworking. Jelinski is putting her welding training to good use winning competitions and working on interesting projects.

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Guidelines for tungsten electrodes

March 7, 2006 | By Mike Sammons

Choosing one of the six commonly available tungsten electrodes is a crucial first step in successful gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). In addition, tip preparation is critical. The electrode choices are pure tungsten, 2 percent thoriated, 2 percent ceriated, 1.5 percent lanthanated, zirconiated, and rare earth. The end preparations are balled, pointed, and truncated.

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A tale of two welders

March 7, 2006 | By Jennifer Simpson

George Bright and David Anthony are two welders who had the same goal: to upgrade their GTAW systems. Learn about their experiences and gain some insight into what you need to know to upgrade from an air-cooled to a water-cooled GTAW system.

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Up with energy prices and wind towers - Automation, consultation help plate fabricator meet demand for wind tower masts

February 7, 2006 | By Sue DiBianca

With the recent increases in gasoline and natural gas prices, more attention than ever is focused on alternative energy sources. One fabricator, Aerisyn LLC, investigated manufacturing towers for use in the wind power industry. To produce towers efficiently enough to compete against imports from Asia, Aerisyn relied on an equipment vendor that had experience in demanding fields such as aerospace, nuclear, and wind power.

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Hanging it up

February 7, 2006 | By Marty Rice

In his farewell article for, reader-favorite author and welding instructor Marty Rice reflects on his life, his welding career, writing for the Web site, and his appreciation for the readers who have contacted him throughout the years. He also expresses his view about the decline of welding training programs.

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Elements of success:

January 10, 2006 | By Mike Sammons, Bill Giese

Torches, cables, and cooling are three integral components in gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) equipment, and two cooling methods – air and water – are used in their cooling systems. Although GMAW and GTAW are different processes, the advantages and disadvantages of water- and air-cooled systems are the same. For that reason, you should consider similar factors when choosing a GMAW or GTAW system.

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