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Welding Guide for Beginners Orientation

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Welding-Guide is useful, especially for beginners, to put some order in the huge amount of information available on Welding.

To break down the main subjects in manageable chunks of knowledge to find what is helpful.

To understand how to organize the matter for any purpose one may wish to follow.

Welding is a collective term indicating a large group of processes capable of joining materials together by using energy to produce coalescence, or intimate contact, permitting the realization of items assembled from simpler elements.

Visit the NEW Page on Welding Overview, for a thorough
Introduction to Welding.
Visit also the NEW Page on Process-selection, for
Understanding the Selection procedure and
the NEW Page on Process-optimization for
improved productivity.

One should remember that welding is not the only way, but that additional different methods and means may be available, and even preferable, in certain situations, to join elements.

Before welding became a reliable and inexpensive joining method for almost anything being fabricated, assembling complex structures was performed by mechanical means, mainly using rivets and bolts.

Bridges, towers, pressure vessels, ships and locomotives were made in the past without welding.

Now, a Welding-Guide for beginners should give guidelines for matching the most suitable and economic welding process to the intended job.

Those needing some help in making sense of the different options could also benefit from another useful page titled Welding Teacher.

It should be made clear that the design of a material construction is a complex undertaking, progressing slowly with sudden changes of direction, until the final decisions are eventually achieved.

One has to understand that, in the words of AWS Welding Handbook (Ninth Edition, Volume 1, page 2): "With respect to process selection, as several processes may be applicable for a particular job, the challenge lies in selecting the process that is most suitable in terms of fitness for service and cost".

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One starts from the idea of the object to be realized, and by defining the purposes that the construction has to meet.

Then one establishes the characteristics or properties that have to be sought, in order to realize those purposes.

Different materials exhibit different properties.

The choice of a class of materials entails constraints relative to availability of definite shapes and dimensions, to the time of supply and also to the costs to be incurred.

But not until materials are defined can one plan the welding processes required.

The Welding-Guide, suggesting which process should be used for which joints, is useful only after a general idea of the form that the construction will take is agreed upon, so that some general requirements are clear.

But the refinements and final definition of the project generally progress by examining different options, so that design goes through iterations, that may need revision of the welding processes originally selected.

In the past only the projected costs of manufacturing were taken into account, considering materials, equipment, workforce, and all additional services required until installation of the construction is accomplished and the structure is ready for operation.

More recently the maintenance costs for the projected life time of the construction are considered, sometime justifying the initial selection of more expensive solutions.

That may provide the advantage of a reduced total cost, including purchasing, operating, maintaining and finally disposing of the structure, at the end of its programmed useful life.

The Welding-Guide cannot consider welding processes separated from the materials to which they are to be applied.

That is because materials being welded undergo transformations caused by the applied heat, if indeed applied, as studied and explained by materials science and metallurgy.

Furthermore, even if the material is selected, particular arrangements and adaptations, to be specified in Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS), may be needed in certain cases to obtain acceptable welds, to avoid cracks or other dangerous conditions.

Therefore the study of any welding process introduced in the Welding-Guide and briefly described hereafter, albeit important to understand the basics, must be completed by learning the possible interactions with the material used in any specific case. This must be the subject of a separate study.

Welding-Guide of Solid State Welding Processes

Historically, the oldest welding process was developed and applied by blacksmiths who heated, put in contact and hammered vigorously iron or steel producing forged joints, without melting the metals.
[Note: - The following links open new pages describing in detail various welding processes.]
The process, that may still be used occasionally, is described in Forge Welding.

In more recent times, many different solid state welding processes became available where the joints are performed without resorting to fusing or melting the materials.

Friction Welding Process, and its derived processes,
Friction Surfacing and
Friction Stir Welding.

This last one became the preferred welding process for aerospace structures and many different applications.

Among additional solid state processes, are listed also:
Explosion Welding,
Magnetic Pulse Welding,
Cold Welding,
Hot Pressure Welding,
Roll Welding,
Ultrasonic Welding,
and a few other less important processes.

Welding-Guide of Fusion Welding Processes

Fusion welding processes can be classified by the type of energy used and by the way local heat is produced and transferred to the elements to be joined.

Oxyfuel welding includes a group of processes described in
Gas Welding Processes, and in
Oxyacetylene Welding Tips.

Different types of electric arc welding are described in
Arc Welding Processes,
Arc Welding
Electrogas Welding,
Electroslag Welding

Specific tips are presented in other pages:
Tig Welding Tips,
Mig Welding Tips,
Plasma Welding Tips,
Flux Cored Arc Welding Tips,
Submerged Arc Welding Tips, and
Shielded Metal Arc Welding Tips

More recently laser and electron beam were added to the fusion sources.
High Energy Welding Processes,
Electron Beam Welding Tips,
Laser Beam Welding,
Hybrid Welding

Welding-Guide of Resistance Welding Processes

Resistance welding started from tentative beginnings around the end of the 19th century and enjoyed rapid advancements, similarly to other processes, mainly because of the needs of two World Wars.

Resistance Welding Processes,
High Frequency Resistance Welding,
Resistance Welding Tips.
Projection Welding.

This Welding-Guide page is only a short introduction to welding processes. Readers interested in the particular equipment that makes possible the application of the said processes, should look further down this page or for the dedicated pages, either in the Site Map or in the Index Page.

Welding entails much more than this, and this website added, along the years, pages of information on Materials, Quality, Education, Safety, Economics, and also on Cutting, Thermal Spray, Finishing and many other subjects. Information on all these subjects, not included in the Welding-Guide, is found in specific pages available from the above mentioned pages listing the titles and the links.

The Welding-Guide is a starting point for beginners in their long journey.

For Understanding the Selection procedure you could also
Visit the NEW Page on Process-selection.

For learning on how to improve productivity you can
Visit the NEW Page on Process-optimization.

Of those elect to make Welding one's profession for life,
many will find gratification and satisfactions by so doing. You could be one!

See Welding Career and
Welding Education and Training

One can continue to learn new things as long as one wishes, and there are always more details to discover. Good luck to all.

* * *
Any questions or comments or feedback on the Welding-Guide? Write them down and send them to us by e-mail. Click on the Contact Us button in the NavBar at top left of every page.

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To reach a Guide to the collection of the most important Articles from Past Issues of Practical Welding Letter, click on Welding Topics.

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Gas Welding Equipment
Arc Welding Equipment
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Welding Positioner
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Outsource Welding
Welding Planning
Welding Education and Training
Welding Books
Welding Design
Welding Information
Welding Procedures
Welding Properties

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