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Stickwelders and TIG Welders
Certain types of welding and welding machines are specifically designed to be used by skilled welders to create, shape and produce welds of premium quality. Some of the most common types include stickwelders and TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding machines.
TIG welding machines are used manually for high quality hand welding and handle some of the most complicated joints and toughest applications in metal fabrication with ease. They feature a permanent tungsten electrode for arc welding and use and inert or semi-inert gas such as argon or a mixture of argon and helium to shield the welding site from oxygen and to prevent oxidation of the weld. When necessary, TIG welding uses a separate feed or filler metal as the welding processes “solder.”
TIG welding is slower and more costly than other welding options that can be 100% automated, or handled by lower-level welding operators, but it compensates for this with the excellence of its results. High-pressure applications such as welding on boilers and aircraft parts are handled with TIG welding machines regularly, and the first TIG devices were developed for aircraft construction.
There are three methods available to a welder when using a TIG welding machine includes the push, pull and perpendicular techniques. Each is defined by the welding gun’s position and electrode relative to the point of welding and the welding pool (pool of liquid metal present at the exact point where the welding is taking place). The push method is the most frequently used TIG technique today.
Stick welding - as it’s know by those in the welding industry – manual metal arc (MMA) or shielded metal arc (SMAW) welding is a manual arc welding process that uses a consumable electrode coated in flux to lay the weld. In simpler terms, the process is used to weld iron and steels (including stainless steel), aluminum, nickel and copper alloys.
An electric current, alternating or direct from a welding power supply, is used to form an electric arc between the electrode and the metals to be joined. As the weld is laid, the flux coating of the electrode disintegrates, giving off vapors that become a shielding gas and also provide a layer of slag, both of which protect the weld area from atmospheric contamination.
Because stick welding is so versatile and simplistic in its operation and equipment, it is one of the world’s most popular welding processes. It truly dominates other welding processes in the maintenance and repair industry specifically. Despite flux-cored arc welding growing in popularity, stick welding continues to be used in construction of steel structures and industrial fabrication.