Welcome to the Weld Rich and Steel blog!
Structural welding is the most common method of assembling metal components and requires weld quality assurance. Technicians are required to register for testing at the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) and receive a CWB structural welding ticket card. Arc welding techniques are used for structural welding largely in the construction industry, but also in the fabrication, maritime, oil and gas industries.
Arc welding includes TIG, MIG, and flux core arc welding (FCAW). This form of structural welding uses a power supply to create an electric arc between the electrode and material, which heats up to melt the metals. This can be either a direct current (DC) or an alternating current (AC).
Types of Structural Welding
TIG welding. Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding is also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). It uses non-consumable tungsten electrode. The name comes from the material of the electrode and the inert gas surrounding the electrode. TIG welding is a manual welding processes requiring both hands; one for holding the TIG welding torch and other to add the filler metal to the joint. The technician also needs to control the electricity with a foot. This method of structural welding is used for more fine and delicate work, or on thinner gauge materials. The advantage of TIG welding is that it can work with many types of metals and produces very clean welds.
MIG welding. Metal inert gas (MIG) welding is also known as gas metal arc welding (GMAW). It uses a consumable wire electrode. This process continuously feeds a spool of welding wire that burns, melts, and fuses the base and parent metals. This method of structural welding is usually used for mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum to perform pipe welding and heavier tasks. MIG welding is a faster process than TIG welding, and needs only one hand for operation. However, MIG welding can cause some splatter on the finished work.
Flux core arc welding (FCAW). Flux core arc welding can be semi-automatic or automatic, using a continuously fed consumable electrode with flux and a constant voltage. It is often used in construction due to its high speed and portability. This method of structural welding is less demanding of operators, and can be used by technicians of different skill levels. Flux core arc welding is efficient because it requires less pre-cleaning of metal. It is commonly used for mild and low alloy steels, stainless steels, some high nickel alloys, some surfacing alloys. This method for structural welding has an irregular wire feed, uses costly filler material, produces a large amount of smoke, and requires the entire spool to be switched out when changing the filler metal.