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: Qualified or not?

April 30, 2014

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Q: I'm working with a company whose welders are certified on A36 plate with 0.045 solid wire. They have taken the test in a vertical-down progression using GMAW in globular transfer mode. They took it on 1-in. plate, single V-groove with backing. The company they want to do work for wants them...

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Arc Welding 101: Play by the rules of welding

April 29, 2014

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Q: I have a problem with the B31.3 code: It seems to be costing us jobs. Recently we were in talks with a regular customer to do some copper brazing. When we made them aware of the requirements for pressure testing, they backed out. In their words, they didn't want to "go through all that." This is...

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Arc Welding 101: Is metal-cored MIG a suitable alternative for FCAW?

April 28, 2014

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Q: We are a job shop that builds shipping containers out of aluminum and occasionally steel. We have a steel job coming through that calls for flux-cored arc welding (FCAW). Is there an equivalent or alternative to FCAW available? Amanda M. A: I’m not aware of all the specifics of your...

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gas delivery

The economies of efficiency in gas delivery

April 28, 2014

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Continuous supply of gas to a fabricating activity is the goal of any shop. Fabricators may not realize that they have choices in gas delivery system design that help to ensure uptime is maximized.

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Arc Welding 101: Advice for quoting weldments

April 25, 2014

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Q: I am looking for some insight on the best approach, best practices, and industry standards for quoting weldments. There seems to be a great deal of information out there about deposition rates and travel speeds, but not a lot about the additional variables like clamping, part handling, cleaning,...

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Arc Welding 101: Finding clues in the AWS D1.1 Commentary

April 24, 2014

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Q:The company that I work for makes a single-pass circumferential weld on which there is a minor tendency for an open pore in the weld crater at the tie-in. Our engineering department deems this weld discontinuity as a cosmetic issue only and thereby has authorized the use of a sealant. In the...

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Arc Welding 101: Passing a weld test

April 23, 2014

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Q: Why do good welders fail weld tests? Anonymous A: Sometime around 1981, when unemployment rates were near 9 percent and after I had moved around from one bad job to another, I was given the opportunity to take the welder qualification test at Cyde Iron Works in Duluth, Minn. Passing the test...

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Arc Welding 101: Use and identify tungsten electrodes correctly

April 22, 2014

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Q: Can you tell me how to identify tungsten after the paint is worn off? Anonymous A: The two most common processes that use a nonconsumable tungsten electrode are gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) and plasma arc welding (PAW). These electrodes come in a variety of compositions or alloys, and...

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Arc Welding 101: Short-circuit MIG not prequalified in AWS D1.1? No problem …

April 21, 2014

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Q: The company I work for welds with GMAW-S, and all of the weld procedure specifications (WPS) that we have are from prequalified AWS D1.1 welds. When I look in D1.1, I find that GMAW-S is not a prequalified transfer mode. Are all of our WPSs null? If I understand D1.1 correctly, we would need to...

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Arc Welding 101: Grooming tips for welding equipment (and the men who use it)

April 21, 2014

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Instead of a Q&A column this issue, we’re going to talk PPE and hygiene. The idea was inspired by my wife Dianne, who bought me an issue of Esquire magazine before our trip to Oregon. She was adamant that I read it, so finally I picked it up. Among the advertisements for men’s fragrances,...

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Art of the Steel

April 21, 2014

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Welder Josh Welton, Brown Dog Welding, has found success far beyond the work he does in his shop. Through social media, Josh has created a brand in demand by an ever-increasing following. The latest venture in the shop’s evolutionary process is Art of the Steel, a book that features Josh’s metal art and more.

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You’re fired!

April 8, 2014

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You may have the skills, but if you can’t follow rules and don’t have a good work ethic, your skills won’t get you very far. Marty Rice shares personal stories of workers who have learned this lesson the hard way.

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Drip by Drip

March 20, 2014

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Ever wonder about the backstories behind the people with the funny screen names on welding message boards? This is the story of a tool and die welder who discovered a talent for drawing with a TIG torch.

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Using virtual reality welding to evaluate and train welders

March 18, 2014

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Virtual reality welding technology is increasingly being used as a tool to streamline the hiring and evaluation process for welders. Manufacturers that have incorporated the technology are finding several benefits.

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The emergence of Saudi America

February 10, 2014

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Although oil extraction around the world has grown by 50 percent in the last 30 years, it was basically flat in North America until 2008. Higher oil prices have made tar sands oil economically viable, and new extraction techniques have been a boon to U.S. producers. Interviews with a variety of vendors in the forming and fabricating industry reveal the many trends that are driving changes in the equipment and supplies used in the petroleum business.

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