Electric ARC Welding : Working Principle & Types

The first arc welding method was developed in the 19th century, and it has become commercially significant within shipbuilding throughout the 2nd-World War. Nowadays it remains a significant process for the vehicles as well as steel structures fabrication. This is one of the famous welding methods which are used for joining metals in industries. In this type of welding, the joint can be formed by melting the metal with the help of electricity. So due to this reason, it is named as an electric arc. The main benefit of this welding is, a high-temperature can be easily developed for welding. The arc welding temperature range will be 6k degree centigrade to 7k degree centigrade. This article discusses an overview of electric arc welding.

What is Electric Arc Welding?

The definition of arc welding is a welding process which is used for welding the metals with the help of electricity to generate sufficient heat for softening the metal, as well as when the softened metal is cooled then the metals will be welded. This kind of welding uses a power supply to make an arc among a metal stick & the base material to soften the metals at the end of the contact.

These welders can utilize either DC otherwise AC, & electrodes like consumable otherwise non-consumable. Generally, the welding location can be defended with some kind of shielding gas, slag, otherwise, vapor. This welding process could be manual, fully or semi-automated.

Working Principle of Electric Arc Welding

The working principle of arc winding is, in a welding process the heat can be generated with an electric arc strike among the workpiece as well as an electrode. This is glowing electrical discharge among two electrodes throughout ionized gas.

The arc welding equipment mainly includes AC machine otherwise DC machine, Electrode, Holder for the electrode, Cables, Connectors for cable, Earthing clamps, Chipping hammer, Helmet, Wire brush, Hand gloves, Safety goggles, sleeves, Aprons, etc.

Types of Arc Welding

The arc welding is classified into different types which include the following.


  1. Plasma Arc Welding
  2. Metal Arc Welding
  3. Carbon Arc Welding
  4. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
  5. Gas Metal Arc Welding
  6. Submerged Arc Welding

1) Plasma Arc Welding

The Plasma arc welding (PAW) is similar to GTAW or gas tungsten welding. In this kind of welding process, the arc will generate among work part as well as the tungsten electrode. The major dissimilarity among plasma arc welding and gas tungsten welding is that the electrode is located within the torch of Plasma arc welding. It can be heated the gas at the temperature of 30000oF & changes it into the plasma to attack the welding region.

Plasma Arc Welding
Plasma Arc Welding

2) Metal Arc Welding

The metal arc welding (MAW) process mainly uses a metal electrode for the welding process. This metal electrode can be either consumable otherwise non-consumable based on the requirement. Most of the used consumable electrode can be covered with flux, and the main benefit of this type of welding process is that it requires low temperature compared with others.

Metal Arc Welding
Metal Arc Welding

3) Carbon Arc Welding

The Carbon arc welding (CAW) process mainly uses a carbon rod like an electrode for welding the metal joint. This kind of arc welding is the oldest arc welding process and requires high current, low voltage for generating the arc.  In some cases, an arc can be generated among two carbon electrodes which are named as twin carbon arc welding.

4) Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

The gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is also called as Tungsten inert gas welding (TIGW). In this type of welding process, a tungsten electrode which is non-consumable can be employed for welding the material. The electrode which is used in this welding can be enclosed with gases such as argon, helium, etc. These gases will guard the weld region against the oxidization. This kind of welding can be used for welding thin sheets.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

5) Gas Metal Arc Welding

The Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is also called as Metal inert gas welding (MIGW). It uses a fresh metal electrode which is protected by the gas like helium, argon, etc. These gases will protect the join area from oxidation and generates multiple welding material layers. In this type of arc welding process, a filler wire can be fed constantly using a non-consumable metal electrode for welding the metal.

Gas Metal Arc Welding
Gas Metal Arc Welding

6) Submerged Arc Welding

The Submerged arc welding (SAW) can be extensively utilized within an automatic welding method. In this kind of welding process, an electrode is completely submerged by the granular coating of flux, and this flux can be an electric conductor which will not oppose the electric supply. The solid coating of flux stops the melted metal to ultra-violate radiation and atmosphere.

Advantages of Arc Welding

The advantages of Arc welding mainly include the following.

  • Arc welding has high speed as well as welding efficiency
  • It includes a simple welding apparatus.
  • It is simply moveable.
  • Arc welding forms the physically powerful bond between the welded metals.
  • It provides reliable welding quality
  • Arc welding offers superior welding atmosphere.
  • The power source of this welding is not costly.
  • This welding is a quick and consistent process.
  • The welder can utilize ordinary domestic current.

Disadvantages of Arc Welding

The disadvantages of Arc welding include the following.

  • A high expert operator is necessary to perform arc welding.
  • The rate of deposition can be incomplete as the electrode covering tends to burn and decrease
  • The length of the electrode is 35mm and needs electrode changing for the entire production rate.
  • These are not clean for reactive metals such as titanium & aluminum

Thus this is all about electric arc welding, and it is the flexible welding method. The electric arc welding applications involve in manufacturing industries for generating powerful joints in worldwide because of its features like ease & superior welding efficiency. It is most broadly used in different industries for the protection otherwise renovate works such as automotive, construction, shipbuilding, and aerospace. Here is a question for you, what is the range of arc welding temperature?

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