Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What is Arc Welding?

Arc welding is a method of joining two pieces of metal into one solid piece. To do this, the heat of an electric arc is concentrated on the edges of two pieces of metal to be joined. The metal melts, while the edges are still molten, additional melted metal is added. This molten mass then cools and solidifies into one solid piece.

What is a Stick Electrode?

A short stick of welding filler metal consisting of a core of bare electrode covered by chemical or metallic materials that provide shielding of the welding arc against the surrounding air. It also completes the electrical circuit, thereby creating the arc. (Also known as SMAW, or Stick Metal Arc Welding.)

What is a MIG Wire?

Like a stick electrode, MIG wire completes the electrical circuit creating the arc, but it is continually fed through a welding gun from a spool or drum. MIG wire is a solid, non-coated wire and receives shielding from a mixture of gases. (Process is also known as GMAW, or Gas Metal Arc Welding.)

What is a Cored Wire (Flux-Cored Wire)?

Cored wire is similar to MIG wire in that it is spooled filler metal for continuous welding. However, Cored wire is not solid, but contains flux internally (chemical & metallic materials) that provides shielding. Gas is often not required for shielding. (Process is also known as FCAW, or Flux-Cored Arc Welding.)

Can I use my shop compressor instead of air cylinders?

Oxy-fuel cutting is a chemical reaction between pure oxygen and steel to form iron oxide. It can be described as rapid, controlled rusting.

What is Submerged Arc?

A bare metal wire is used in conjunction with a separate flux. Flux is a granular composition of chemical and metallic materials that shields the arc. The actual point of metal fusion, and the arc, is submerged within the flux. (Process is also known as SAW, or Submerged Arc Welding.)

What is a Stick Welder?

Heating the coated stick electrode and the base metal with an arc creates fusion of metals. An AC and/or DC electrical current is produced by this machine to create the heat needed. An electrode holder handles stick electrodes and a ground clamp completes the circuit.

What is a TIG Welder?

A less intense current produces a finer, more aesthetically pleasing weld appearance. A tungsten electrode (non-consumable) is used to carry the arc to the work piece. Filler metals are sometimes supplied with a separate electrode. Gas is used for shielding. (Process is also known as GTAW, or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding.)

What are MIG and Multi-Process Welders?

Constant Voltage and Constant Current welders are used for MIG welding and are a semi-automated process when used in conjunction with a wire feeder. Wire is fed through a gun to the weld-joint as long as the trigger is depressed. This process is easier to operate than stick welding and provides higher productivity levels. CC/CV welders operate similarly to CC (MIG) welders except that they possess multi-process capabilities - meaning that they are capable of performing flux-cored, stick and even TIG processes as well as MIG.

What is a Wire Feeder?

For MIG welding or Flux-Cored wire welding, wire feeder welders are usually complete and portable welding kits. A small built in wire feeder guides wire through the gun to the piece.