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Joining Processes

Short Notes
Classification of Welding Processes:
1) Arc Welding
a. Carbon Arc
b. Metal Arc
c. Metal Inert Gas (MIG)
d. Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG)
e. Plasma Arc
f. Submerged Arc
g. Electro-Slag
2) Gas Welding
a. Oxy-acetylene
b. Air-acetylene
c. Oxy-hydrogen
3) Resistance welding
a. Butt
b. Spot
c. Seam
d. Projection
e. Percussion
4) Thermit Welding
5) Solid State Welding
a. Friction
b. Ultrasonic
c. Diffusion
d. Explosive
6) Newer Welding
a. Electron-beam
b. Laser
7) Related Process
a. Oxy-acetylene cutting
b. Arc cutting
c. Hard facing
d. Brazing
e. Soldering

Carbon Arc Welding

Arc Welding
1) The first arc welding process.
2) Uses a carbon electrode and a separate filler wire.

3) Heat comes from the negatively (cathode) charged electrode,

melting the filler wire which fills in the gaps.
4) The current required was in the order of tens to 100 or 200A, and
was supplied by a bank of cells or by DC generators.
5) Problems & Disadvantages:
a. 2/3 Handed process: shield, electrode & filler
b. Has low heat efficiency because only half of the heat is going
into the work. The other half goes into the non-consumable
electrode which does not work, and thus the heat is being
c. Quality of the weld is from poor to medium, never good.
6) This process is no longer used as a welding process but is used as a
cutting process because it is cheap. The heat from the arc is used
like a flame cutter to cut sheets or plates of metal.

Metal Arc Welding

Arc Welding
1) The carbon electrode was replaced by a metal electrode, serving as
both an electrode and filler wire, making it a consumable electrode.
2) It became a 1/2 handed process.
3) It was more efficient, but weld quality was still poor due to the
reaction of the molten metal with the high temperature arc
4) Arc stability was also a problem.
5) Arc temperatures are of the order of 20000 C and under these
conditions gas-metal reactions are intense.
6) Because of this, the molten metal absorbed considerable oxygen
and nitrogen from the air.
7) This happened due to the lack of protection, leading to carbon
oxidation and turning the steel to almost pure iron, making it very

8) The Sulphur, phosphorus, nitrogen and oxygen are increased in the

metal by this process, which are undesirable as they give very bad
9) Loss in Silicon and Manganese on the other hand was also
problematic, as these were oxidising elements which protected the
steel by reacting favourably with the oxygen instead of iron to
prevent iron oxide formation.
This combination resulted in a brittle and porous weld with
very poor mechanical properties.

% in Electrode

Weld using Bare





Weld using

The obvious move to fix this was to use coated electrodes
which provide the three main requirements of modern electrode
a. Protective Coating
b. Arc Stabilization
c. Slag

The coating used was flux, and the difference in figures
between a bare wire weld and a coated electrode weld can be seen
in the table below. Big improvements were made which led to
acceptable figures.
Material Properties
% Reduction in Area
Impact Izod

Bare Wire Weld

15 %
10 %

Coated Weld

It is interesting to note that a bare arc weld on a medium
carbon steel results in a material with worse properties than mild
Disadvantages of flux covered electrodes:
a. Slag Deposit: very problematic in carpet welding
b. Slow Process: current cannot be dramatically increased to
make the process faster due to the flux.
c. Discontinuous Process: makes it vulnerable to defects
An interesting feature of metal arc welding is that it can be
carried out in the vertical or overhead position. This means that
there are forces operating in the arc which propel the molten droplet
upwards from the end of the electrode against gravity.
The coating of an electrode must provide:
a. A protective slag to prevent oxidation of the weld metal,
improve weld metal quality (by slag-metal reactions) and give
good weld bead shape
b. Gas shielding for the arc
c. Adequate mechanical properties of the weld metal
d. Easy arc striking and stability
The coating can also be used to introduce alloying additions
and improve the handling characteristics.

Continuous Electrodes
1) Two problems had to be overcome:
a. The electrode had to be sufficiently flexible to prevent flaking
of the coating
b. Current had to be introduced into the core wire through the
non-conducting coating.
2) These were solved by developments in coating binders and by
winding two or more spirals of fine wire around the thicker core wire

in which the coating was embedded. This strengthened the coating

and provided a contact for a current carrying shoe.
3) This did not gain popularity due to it being an expensive process.

Metal Arc Welding

Submerged Arc Process

1) Developed to deal with thick plate welding.

2) An arc is formed between a continuous bare wire electrode and the
workpiece, and the arc is completely submerged under a granulated
flux (which provides shielding), a protective slag, and (in some
cases) alloying additions.
3) The hopper passes on a carriage and deposits flux on the material.
Behind it, the electrode passes, submerged into the flux, and welds.
An extractor is used to extract back any extra flus and deposit it
back into the hopper.
4) Current is fed to the electrode immediately above the flux. This
limits resistance heating of the wire.
5) Advantages of the process:
a. It is a continuous process
b. High welding speeds
c. High deposition rates
d. Removal of arc glare problem since arc is not visible
6) Disadvantages of the process:
a. Process is not flexible: it can be used to weld horizontalvertical, shafts and camshafts (which can be rotated, but the
weld must always be horizontal.
b. Good fit-up and control is essential: welding is not readily
adjusted once started.

7) The greatest disadvantage is metallurgical because a lot of heat is

going into the weld since the weld pool is now huge:
a. This
b. With a high cooling rate a lot of undercooling occurs. This
produces small grains, since a lot of grains suddenly start
solidifying at once and must compete for space. Small grains
give the metal better properties.
c. With a slow cooling rate, such as submerged arc welding,
there is little undercooling. Because of this only a few nuclei
become active, which means that they do not have to
compete for space, thus leading to larger grains. The bigger
the grains the poorer the metal properties.
d. Grain refiners are added to the wire to prohibit grain growth.
The later the stage at which these refiners are added the
greater their effect.
8) When the size of the weld is so big that a very large amount of heat
and current input is required, a series of electrodes are used
rather than one. They deposit their welds one after the other, thus
minimizing the size of the weld pool that is present at a time.
9) Though many runs are not desirable, it might also have its
advantages. When steel is heated through the recrystallization
temperature, it breaks down into finer grains. So with numerous
electrodes, the metal goes through beneficial recrystallization.

Electro-slag Welding
Submerged Arc Process

1) Electro-slag welding is not strictly an arc welding technique.

2) It utilizes the electrical resistance heating in a molten slag pool for
the heat source.
3) The molten metal and slag pools are contained by the parent
material and two moveable water-cooled copper shoes.
4) The heating current is introduced into the slag bath by a wire (or
wires), dipping into the slag, and the wire also provides filler metal.
5) The electrode rises, filling the gap, while the flux always floats on
6) The welding speed is high, and there is no need for chamfered edge
7) The region in which the arc is initiated to melt the granular flux and
form a slag pool is prone to porosity and other defects.
8) Since defects also occur at the weld finish, it is necessary to use
run-on and run-off tabs or to chip out and weld manually at stops
and starts.
9) Weaker materials can also result due to the formation of large grains
due to the large weld pool. This is due to the lack of grain
boundaries hindering dislocation motion. In this case, the electrode
flux has grain refiners to battle this problem.
The problems of gas-metal reactions are not observed in
Electro-slag welding.

Comparing the following three Arc welding methods, the following welding
rates can be observed:




60 minutes
150 minutes

13 minutes
36 minutes

Electrode x1
5.4 minutes
10 minutes

Electrode x3
/ (negligible)
3 minutes

The previous methods for welding have problems if an attempt is made to use
them on non-ferrous materials such as Aluminium. You want the flux material to
be more reactive than the metal that needs to be protected. With steel and other
ferrous metals, almost everything is more reactive than them, so it is not a
problem. But for non-ferrous metals, this can be a problem, since they tend to be
more reactive than the elements in the flux. This is needed for the elements to
react with the oxygen and not for the metal to react. Thus finding a flux that is
more reactive than them is a challenge. There do exist metals such as fluorine
which are more reactive, but they are by nature very corrosive materials, which
is highly undesirable. Welded objects tend to be subjected to fatigue, so cracks
caused by corrosion by the flux is highly problematic.

Another form of protection that can be applied to non-ferrous materials can be

achieved by using gas. Usually Helium and Argon are used, but there are others
that can be used.

Tungsten Inert Gas

Arc Welding

1) One of the most popular arc welding techniques used for nonferrous metals.
2) Advantages of TIG:
a. No slag inclusion
b. Very flexible
c. Can weld many different metals
d. Can be used in a lot of positions and situations
e. A relatively cheap process when compared to electroslag
3) Disadvantages of TIG:
a. Half the heat is wasted as it goes into the electrode
b. It is not a continuous process
c. An expensive process from the consumable point of
view, since the gases used such as Argon and Helium.
d. Two-Three handed process
e. Requires skilled personnel to carry out
4) The arc is struck between the non-consumable tungsten electrode
and the metal to be welded, while filler metal is added by feeding a
rod into the molten pool.
5) Because of the low level of contamination this process produced
welds of very good quality

Shielded Inert Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG)

Arc Welding

1) To remove the problem of the two-three handed process, the

Tungsten filament is replaced by the electrode.
2) This way the heat is not wasted because all of it is going into the
3) This thus produces a metallic arc type process with the weld formed
in a shield of inert gas.
4) The absence of the electrode coating allows this to be used as a
continuous electrode by coiling it.
5) This comparatively thin filler wire required feeding into the weld
much more rapidly than the thicker electrodes of metal arc welding,
so that manual control of the electrode feed is impossible. Wire-feed
mechanisms have thus been developed in which the correct feed
rate is obtained, ensuring that a constant arc length is automatically
maintained. This is accomplished by suitable design of power supply
equipment. The wire used in MIG is thin and thus responds rapidly to
changes in current.
6) MIG welding is continuous and comparatively easy to handle.
7) The gas-metal reactions are kept to a minimum by an efficient inert
gas shield.

The Carbon Dioxide Welding of Steel

1) Attempts were made to reduce the costs of TIG and MIG for it to be
used frequently with steel.
2) To accomplish this, the inert gas is replaced by Carbon Dioxide, and
is called the CO2 Welding process.
3) The problem that arises with CO2 is that some oxidation is still going
to occur. This is because CO2 is not inert like Argon or Helium. Steel
welded with carbon dioxide becomes oxidised:
Fe + CO2 FeO + CO
4) The oxide enters the weld pool and reacts with the carbon in the
steel to form carbon monoxide/dioxide, leading to porosity:
FeO + C Fe + CO
5) Adding sufficient deoxidant to the filler wire to react with the oxygen
that is absorbed during the welding operation aids this problem
(silicon and manganese).
6) Another problem is that the flame is much more easily extinguished
then when argon or helium is used.
7) A force aiding transfer is not generally present so that large drops
detach from the end of the electrode, giving a poor and uneven
weld deposit. This problem had to be solved by preventing the drop
from growing to its full size by control of arc length. The electrical
supply characteristics are adjusted so that there is only a small gap
between the end of the electrode wire and the weld plate. Then, as
the drop grows, it bridges the arc gap long before it attains its freefall size. Surface tension forces then act to detach it from the
electrode and absorb it into the weld pool. This is called dip
8) Gas welding is not good for site work as the protection may be
blown off. To assist CO2 gas, flux cored electrodes are used, offering
the electrode two types of protection.
9) This weld is inconsistent.

Stud Welding
Arc Welding
1) Can be automated.
2) Welds studs with another surface.
3) Used for pre-stressed concrete and when repetition is employed for

Capacitor Discharge Welding

1) Used when one wants to weld very thin plates together.
2) A capacitor can store energy, and therefore the welder knows
exactly how much charge is in the capacitor.
3) This ensures the perfect amount of charge to be used on thin plates,
so that they are not melted or damaged by the welding process.
Flash Butt
Arc Welding
1) To join two pieces of metal together, an arc is started between them
which heats and melts the surfaces.
2) They are then rammed together.
3) This method produces very good quality welds because all the
inclusions and unwanted impurities are pushed out of the weld.
4) It is ideal for large and heavy sections.
5) It is efficient.