Understanding Welding Machines, and Types of Welding Equipment’s Applied for the Welding Process

5 min read


In this article, we will cover most important aspects of welding machines – the different classification of weld joining process and in brief, the power sources applied the arc welding equipment applications. Power sources also plays a vital part in determining the right type of welding machine for the job.

Consequently, various welding processes in the fabrication, installation, manufacturing, construction, erection, and execution field. Therefore, choosing the right welding machines is the key to getting the desired welding output.

What are the classifications of welding process?

In general, there are 5 main classifications of welding process practiced widely. Namely, the Oxyfuel Gas Welding (OFW), Resistance Welding (RW), Arc Welding (SAW), High Energy Beam Welding (HEBW), and Solid State Welding (SSW)

On the contrary, other welding and joining process used include Soldering (S), Brazing (B), Adhesive Bonding (AB), Braze Welding (BW)- Arc Braze Welding (ABW), Carbon Arc Braze Welding (CABW), Electron Beam Braze Welding (EBBW), Exothermic Braze Welding (EXBW), Flow Welding (FLOW) and Laser Beam Braze Welding (LBBW). Electroslag Welding (ESW)– Consumable Guide Electroslag Welding (ESW-CG). Induction Welding (IW), Percussion Welding (PEW) and Thermite Welding (TW).

Most importantly, we will have our brief outline on the Arc welding machines 

What are the types of Arc Welding Machines?

Meanwhile, the main types of Arc Welding Techniques and their abbreviations are as below:

  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
  • Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
  • Short Circuit Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW-S)
  • Carbon Arc Welding (CAW)
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
  • Plasma Arc Welding (PAW)
  • Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
  • Submerged Arc Welding (SAW)
  • Series Submerged Arc Welding (SAW-S)
  • Arc Stud Welding (SW)
  • Atomic Hydrogen Welding (AHW)
  • Bare Metal Arc Welding (BMAW)
  • Gas Carbon Arc Welding (CAW-G)
  • Shielded Carbon Arc Welding (CAW-S)
  • Twin Carbon Arc Welding (CAW-T)
  • Electrogas Welding (EGW)
  • Gas Shielded Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW-G)
  • Self-shielded Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW-S)
  • Pulsed Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW-P)
  • Pulsed Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW-P)
  • Magnetically Impelled Arc Welding (MIAW)

What are the types of Resistance Welding (RW) Techniques?

Likewise, the main types of Resistance Welding process are:

  1. Flash Welding (FW)
  2. Pressure-Controlled Resistance Welding (RW-PC)
  3. Projection Welding (PW)
  4. Resistance Seam Welding (RSEW)
  5. High-Frequency Seam Welding (RSEW-HF)
  6. Induction Seam Welding (RSEW-I)
  7. Mash Seam Welding (RSEW-MS)
  8. Resistance Spot Welding (RSW)
  9. Upset Welding (UW)
  10. High-Frequency (UW-HF)
  11. Induction (UW-I)

What do we mean by Welding Machine Power Sources?

The function of welding power supply is to provide, or regulate the electric current, so as to have required characteristics to perform a safe and satisfactory weld.

Moreover, a successful welding involves choosing the right type of welding machines and joining machines, of good quality, that include the complete devices -power sources, torch, cutting set, cables, welding monitors and controllers.

Finally, coming to power sources, which forms the basis of selection of welding equipment’s, they are mainly classified as Alternating current (AC), direct current (DC) or both.

Power Supplies Basics

Power supplies, obviously, may be obtained from utility lines (transformers or motor generators) or an internal combustion engine. 

Refer the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Publications for details every aspect of power sources.

Besides, the welding power is supplied as

Constant Voltage (CV) where, consequently, the increase or decrease in arc length and amperage does not affect the arc voltage (remains constant).

Rising arc voltage (RAV) where as the amperage increases, the arc voltage increases.

Constant current (CC) or drooping arc voltage (DAV) is where the total welding current (watts) remains the same. Moreover, the arc voltage decreases as the amperage increases.

What are the most essential welding tools?

Some of the most important welding tools include Welding table, Fixed shade or Auto-Darkening Helmet, Welding Gloves, Safety Glasses, Angle Grinder, Welding Clamps, Welding Clamps, Measuring Tools, MIG Pliers and Metal file.

What are the Types of Arc Welding Machines?

Welding machines, on the other hand, is mostly categorized as line, stick, gun and transformer power source. In line welding electrical is carried through wires (e. spot weld) and has high amperage. Similarly, when current is carried from power source through wires is called wire welding. A arc welding (stick) require less current requirements unlike TIG processes. 

For example, engine-driven generators, machine duty or corrosion resistance, multi-operator, and water-cooled are features that are common to welding and joining machines.

Moreover, selecting the right welding machine depends on the job requirements, and the required welding process. Job specific welding machine to be used, consideration like the amps required, electrode, work position limitations, budget and user friendliness

  1. Shielded Metal Arc Welding Machine
  2. Gas Metal Arc Welding Machine
  3. Flux-Cored Arc Welding Machine
  4. Gas-Tungsten Arc Welding Machine
  5. Energy Beam Welding Machine
  6. Plasma Arc Welding Machine
  7. Atomic Hydrogen Welding Machine
  8. Submerged Arc Welding Machine
  9. Gas Welding Oxy Acetylene Machine

Moreover, the power specifications, power systems, the duty cycle, or the percentage of time the welding unit can remain on, are some of the other main considerations.

Arc Welding Equipment and their Power Sources

The arc welding processes, mostly, have different power sources depending on the technique and material type to be welded.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding Machine

Certainly, the most popular oldest, affordable and usage convenient, the stick welding machines as the name implies uses stick rod (electrode) as filler metal, whereby the heat of arc melts base metal and the covered flux decomposes as shielding gas to prevent welds from oxidation. Mostly considering the CC power supply, sources either AC or DC. Mostly applied for materials like Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, and Cast Iron in the Oil and Gas Piping and Equipment Construction, Structural, and Homes.

Gas Metal Arc Welding Machine 

Unlike SMAW Machines, MIG machines require smooth surface free from rust or paint and external gas shield. They can be of either wire or flux core. In fact, quick and easy to operate, high deposition rate, minimal cleaning and can weld even most thinner materials. 

Moreover, semiautomatic, machine, and automatic modes are possible for GMAW. It uses either a short circuiting, spray, or pulsed transfer mode to transfer the metal from the electrode to the work. GMAW mostly applies DCEP, DC constant voltage power source. Applied with materials like Steel, Carbon Steel, Aluminum, Nickel, Magnesium, Silicon, Bronze and Copper in the automobile, shipyards, home and building construction.

Flux-Cored Arc Welding Machine

On the other hand, the flux cored machine is very good for its clean and quality welds. Unlike MIG welds, the wire is continuously fed, its core as flux and creates a gas shielding zone around the weld. For that reason, the process is efficient and good for thicker metals. Power sources, however, depends on multiple factors, like thickness, polarity. Applies both AC or DC sources, mostly preferred DC (Constant Voltage Type). Mostly applied in the fabrication, machining and construction with Carbon Steels, Nickel based Alloy, Cast Iron and Some stainless steels.

Gas-Tungsten Arc Welding Machine

Specifically considered one of the tough techniques in welding process. TIG welds, in fact, are most industries for its consistent high quality weld output.  Compared to other techniques TIG welds has a non-consumable electrode, and a constant external shielding gas (argon or helium) given without application of pressure. However, weld area needs proper cleaning. Moreover, the power supplies are mostly of inverter types, both AC or DC power sources depending on thickness and material. DCEN for high penetration and quicker output. Therefore, applied for materials like Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, and Cast Iron in the Oil and Gas Piping, and Equipment Construction, Manufacturing, Structural, and Homes.

Submerged Arc Welding Machine

In contrast, in the submerged arc joining process, the arc is has to be inside granular flux. There is no gas shielding, and the operation is simple as it is either automatic, semi-automatic or machine. Therefore applied to materials of Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, and Nickel Alloys in the shop construction of piping and equipment’s as it is non portable. Moreover, compatible with AC or DC power sources with the CV or CC power supply.

My Thoughts

Nevertheless, welding is a vast science by itself, and knowing the some of the main aspects like weld joining process or weld techniques their power sources and applications are vital for any inspection personnel.

Though this article briefly outlines the various aspects of weld machines, I sincerely hope it was of much help. 

Do let me know your thoughts below.