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Arc Welding With or Without Shielding Gas?

Arc Welding With or Without Shielding Gas? Arc welding has recently become more and more popular. No wonder, after all, it can be used flexibly in the field of manual welding and is by far the most widely used process.


Arc welding
Arc welding


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This welding process is essentially characterized by the arc, which is located between the stick electrode and the workpiece. Arc welding can be done either with or without shielding gas.


Arc welding is also popular because it can be used on most stainless steel and most types of steel without any problems. In this article, we take a closer look at the topic and also take a look at welding without shielding gas.


Arc welding with shielding gas

T

his variant is the most common option and is used by more than 80% of users. There are different shielding gases that are used during welding.


While inert gases such as helium, argon and their mixtures are used in MIG welding, the gas composition is already different in the MAGC process.


Carbon dioxide is used here. The MAGM process uses a mixture of oxygen, argo and carbon dioxide. These are essentially the most commonly used shielding gases.


Quite popular and interesting for many


Welding with gas is much more common, but it can of course also be done without shielding gas or process gas. But many ask themselves how welding can be done without gas and whether it works at all. Well, it works, and it works comfortably well. This method has a number of advantages over welding with gas.


Welders do not need a gas cylinder or a pressure gauge. The application costs are thus already lower and the weight of the welding system is also not that high. Another advantage is that the welding machine is easier to transport.


Last but not least, welding without gas can also be used for outdoor work. However, there are also disadvantages. This procedure ensures more spatter, the slag then has to be removed and the quality of the seams is definitely worse.


Arc welding without gas is possible, but the quality is not that good

The fact is that it is possible to weld without gas without any problems. That works quite well, but the quality of the seams is not nearly as good as welding with gas.


The process without gas also offers some advantages (lower weight, lower costs), but if you pay attention to quality, you will not be able to avoid the welding process with gas.


Nevertheless, it is worth considering welding without gas in certain situations. This method is often easier, especially outdoors.

Welding
Welding 


Which welding process is most frequently used?


Manual arc welding is one of the oldest and most widely used welding processes. Manual arc welding is also often referred to as manual MMA welding. This method is particularly suitable for use outdoors so that it is still of certain importance in pipeline construction today.


In manual arc welding, an electric arc is used as a heat source, which burns between the workpiece and the rod electrode. This arc melts the material at the welding point and the stick electrode, which is provided with a coating, slowly burns off.


During the welding process, the cladding releases slag and gases. The stick electrode is the electrode and filler material at the same time. The released slag and gases from the cladding protect the weld pool during the welding process. The electrode itself and the arc are also shielded from atmospheric influences.


Welding transformers with or without welding rectifiers, welding inverters or welding converters serve as welding power sources. Alternating current or direct current can be used for welding, depending on the type of electrode and application. However, DC power sources are preferred.


Steel and pipeline construction is the main area of ​​application for manual arc welding. Because of the significantly lower welding speeds, manual arc welding is preferred in the assembly area, as the mechanical effort is relatively low compared to other welding processes.


Manual arc welding can still be carried out without errors, even under unfavourable weather conditions (wind and rain). With the manual arc welding process, nickel and nickel-based alloys, cast steel, copper and aluminium materials and even different types of cast iron can be welded. The smallest sheet thickness is around 1.5 mm. There is no upper thickness limit, but in practice, it is around 100 mm.


A closed-circuit is necessary for the process. Therefore, electrode holders, power cables and ground clamps are required.


Since the electrode holder is the welder's tool, it must be handy, fully insulated and light, and it must allow the electrode to be clamped safely and quickly. All connections must be clean and properly fixed. As additional accessories, wire brushes, slag hammers and personal protective equipment are required, consisting of a hand shield or welding helmet, work shoes, gloves and flame-retardant work clothing.


What makes a good welder?


When welding, a fundamental distinction is made between fusion joint welding and pressure joint welding.


In infusion welding, similar metals are often melted at connection positions and put together with or without the addition of extra materials. The required energy is transferred from the outside. The most commonly used types of welding include manual and gas-shielded welding in this category.


An excellent welder is experienced and adheres to the company's protective regulations. A visit to an educational establishment under the instruction of a welding instructor can definitely be of great help to the welder. There he can carry out exercises and follow welding processes up close. Overhead and drop head welding activities, as well as load-bearing components, are areas in which trained professionals work.


Here are a few characteristics that make a good welder:


The welder's health is jeopardized by bright arcs, flying sparks, UV rays and heat. Work safety should be an important point for the welder. These include, for example, leather gloves, fully covered and resilient work clothing, welding helmets and leather aprons. The entire workplace must always be dry and the earth pole must be firmly attached to the workpiece.


In manual welding, one part of the workpiece is used as the negative pole (so-called cathode) and the electrode as the positive pole (so-called anode). A pole is united on the basis of an uncovered workpiece part. A welding machine is needed to convert the alternating current of the network. Transformers are cheap alternatives but bulky and large. In contrast, inverters are easy to grip, smaller and lighter, but more expensive than transformers.


Metal rods with a cover are used as electrodes for welding, whereby the cover of the bubble effect is contaminated and the oxidation of the weld seam is prevented.


The welder needs to thoroughly clean the workpieces of dye and rust before starting work and first of all weld the seams with elements. Then he can weld the seams after removing the welding elements from the slag.


When igniting, the welding machine should not be lying around somewhere, but at any time in later weld areas. A weld seam is therefore flattering and more even. This also avoids cracks and binding faux pas.


Manual or robot welding – that's the question here


robot welding
Robot Welding


This article is intended for all those who have already wondered whether it would be better to weld by hand or to choose modern robotic welding.


It happens again and again: A welding task cannot be classified correctly. Costs should be saved and at the same time the quality must be right and the delivery time must by no means be too long.


The question quickly arises: manual or robot welding?

Manual welding has almost been forgotten in the automotive industry. In everyday craftsmanship, hand welders are still the undefeated top dogs. These two ways have their own uniqueness and shortcomings so you should be wise in using them.


Manual welding is characterized by:


➤ the relatively small and cheap equipment.


➤ Manual or robot welding – that's the question here


➤ You can also weld inside and outside


➤ and places that are very difficult to reach can also be welded.


But there are also a few disadvantages compared to robot welding:


➤ An experienced welder is always required


➤ it takes much longer for mass production


➤ and it is more expensive in series production


Robot welding, on the other hand, is particularly lucrative for the following work:


➤ Mass production,


➤ where very high precision and speed are required.


➤ In addition, in the case of series production, it is cheaper in the long term than many jobs, despite the high acquisition costs.


Here are some of the disdes:


➤ very high acquisition costs,


➤ welding points that are difficult to access cannot be reached, and it is not suitable for one-time tasks.


We hope you always be wise in taking advice from an expert so that the quality produced is increasing. So it pays to contact a company that offers robot and manual welding with your specific request. This will usually give you good advice.


The statement that was often made in the past that robot welding will never be able to completely replace manual welding is still valid. But it should always be kept in mind that technology is evolving every day. What is still true in the welding industry today may be wrong tomorrow.


New welding robots with new features keep coming onto the market. And it is perhaps only a matter of time before the hand welder is disturbed by the robots.