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Arc Welding Basics

Arc welding is considered the easiest and most readily available of all the welding processes. Nearly everyone can gain access to an arc welding machine and learn how to arc weld. Also known as stick welding,  the technical name for this type of welding is manual metal arc welding or otherwise, MMAW.

267341 industrial lights 2Arc welding is used in all fields of metalworking and engineering for both fabrication work and maintenance. Metals that can be welded include mild steel in thicknesses from 1/16th up to 2 inches, stainless steel, and cast iron. Arc welding is an excellent method of repair work to cast iron castings.

During the arc welding process is that the arc generates enough sustainable high intensity heat to melt the intended metal at any point it is directed to. Combined with the filler / electrode this action effectively fuses two pieces together.

Choosing an Arc Welder

For general purpose use a welding machine with an AC/DC output is ideal. Using the DC output will give better results as this setting allows easy starts with less sticking. Other advantages using DC settings include easier overhead and vertical welding, less cleanup due to splatter and good looking welds.

As far as power goes the more power you can afford the better. Having said that most arc welding applications can be handled using a machine of 225 Amps. However a machine that has a lower amp rating can still be used to weld say 1 inch steel by making several passes of weld to build up the required bead size.

Since there is a serious shortage of reliable welders to draw from and the demand is increasing daily, you can understand why knowing that welding is not difficult to master is an important thing to know. It is estimated that approximately 80% of all American companies that hire arc welders find it hard to fill vacancies as they come open. It has also been reported that the average age of qualified and professional welders is 54 years. That is a high rate considering that those individuals will be retiring soon. It seems that the field of welding is one of the nation’s best kept secrets when it comes to getting ready for employment in the future.

Many people consider arc welding to be a dangerous occupation because of the electrical currents from high voltage that are used. In the past this may have been true, but today’s advancements in safety equipment and regulations the risk has been reduced by a large amount. Today, arc welding is not any more dangerous than working with plumbing and carpentry. Maybe it is time to get started with a whole new career.