Learn the Art and Craft of Modern Welding

 

Many people think of welding as just another industrial job, like operating a jackhammer or a fork lift. But modern welding is much more than that. Welding is an art, and a science, and a high-paying career all in one.

modern welding is both an art and a scienceAt its essence, welding is the joining of two materials, usually metals or thermoplastics. This is generally accomplished by melting the two pieces of material to be joined, and adding a filler material to produce a molten pool, known as the weld pool.

Once the welding arc is removed the pool cools, forming a joint between the two workpieces that is both strong and highly durable.

This welding process can be accomplished by a number of different methods. One primary difference in these methods is the energy source used for welding – an electric arc, gas flame, laser, even ultrasound waves.

Another distinction in welding is the process by which the weld pool is formed. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) – more commonly referred to as TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding – is an arc welding process that uses a nonconsumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. In TIG welding, a shielding gas is used to protect the weld area against atmospheric contamination.

Energy is supplied by a constant-current welding power supply, and the end result is a conduction of highly-ionized gas and metal vapors (also known as plasma) across the welding arc.

Another popular category is Gas Metal Arc Welding, or GMAW. This process is more commonly referred to as MIG (metal inert gas) welding, where a welding gun is used to administer a wire electrode and shielding gas to the welding arc. Power is usually supplied by a direct current, constant-voltage power supply, but AC or constant current systems can also be used.

Stick welding is another welding process that’s commonly used by today’s welders. Also known as SMAW (shielded metal arc welding), stick welding uses a strong electric current to produce an arc between the welding material and a consumable electric rod (ie the stick). The rod is made of steel, and is coated with a flux material that vaporizes into CO2 gas that forms a protective barrier around the weld pool.

These are the primary forms of modern welding, although there are others, including oxy acetylene gas, laser welding, and plasma cutters.

Visit the welding videos page to view more videos.

Careers in Welding

As a rule, welding is pretty much the same across industries, so welders have the flexibility of shifting from one industry to another, depending on demand. For example, when the Trans-Alaska pipeline was being constructed back in the 1970s, there was a huge demand for welders by the oil companies.

Another example would be welders who are laid off in the auto industry, could find new employment in the ship building or construction industries. And because welding is needed almost everywhere, welding careers are in demand right now. If you’re a good welding with some experience, you’ve got a real good chance of finding a job just about anywhere in the country – or the world for that matter.

Now it is true that automation has hit the welding industry pretty hard, affecting welders and welding machine operators alike, especially in the manufacturing industry. Automated and semi-automated welding machines are in use for mig welding a steel platewelds in a variety of manufacturing applications, but welders will still be needed now and in the future to operate these machines, as well as inspect the finished welds and make adjustments as needed.

Then there’s custom welding work, such as motorcycle frames, automobile racing, wrought iron, building construction and many other welding jobs that are difficult if not impossible to automate.

Keep in mind that employment prospects for welders varies depending on the welder’s experience and skill level. Ongoing education is important, and your prospects are good if you’re trained in the latest welding technologies. In addition, the top welding schools report that their graduates have little problems finding jobs upon graduation, and many welding employers complain that they just can’t find enough skilled and experienced welders to keep up with demand. And job prospects are especially good if you’re flexible and willing to relocate to other parts of the country.

 


Our Top Rated Welding Products


Tig Welders

Tig Welders

Tig welding provide the operator outstanding control and  flexibility in welding thin sections of stainless steel and light metals such as copper alloys, magnesium and of course aluminum. The process is not easy to master, but in the end Tig welding allows for very strong, high quality welds in a variety of work environments. Read more

Stick Welders

stick welder Stick Welders

Stick welding, while more time consuming than other methods, still offers the most flexible and and can be performed in a variety of work environments with relatively inexpensive equipment. It’s also one of the easiest welding methods to master.  Read more

Mig Welders

mig welder Mig Welders

Mig welding, known for its speed and versatility, is commonly used in all types of industries, from automobiles to ship building. It is also one of the easiest welding methods to learn. Mig welders most commonly use a constant voltage, direct current power source, but alternating current, as well as constant current systems, can be used as well. Read more

 

 

 

 

Caution – welding is a dangerous activity, and should always be performed with the proper training and safety equipment. Always consider your own skill level, and use caution, care, and good judgment whenever you’re behind a welding helmet. View this page for more safety facts.

 

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