Two welders | Edmonton welding and steel fabrication

Basic Welding Terms for the Novice Welder in Edmonton

When you’re looking for some help with a steel fabrication or aluminum fabrication job in Edmonton, it’s useful to understand exactly what you’re getting and how the project is carried out.

With some basic welding terminology under your belt, you’ll have a better idea of what our welders do when they fabricate or fix your pieces. You’ll also understand more about the broad range of welding work we do for our Edmonton-area customers.


Arc welding is the most effective way to join, or fuse, metals. It requires intense heat to make this kind of metallurgical bond, and that heat is generated by a safe electric arc. Both the base metal and a consumable electrode—also called “stick” or “wire”—are melted to form a “weld pool” that hardens and forms a join.


There are different kinds of arc welding. Some methods are suited for heavy industrial work and others are best for precision jobs. Here are the main types:


Stick Welding (shielded metal arc welding or SMAW) is commonly used in heavy steel fabrication and construction. Electrodes are coated with a material that turns into a gas at high temperatures and protects the molten weld pool from being corrupted by the air.


Advantages:

  • Portable form of welding
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Can be used in windy conditions (which is a real advantage in Edmonton)
  • Good for use in confined spaces and in various positions


MIG Welding is also called gas metal arc welding, or GMAW. An external gas mixture is used to protect the weld pool from being compromised by the atmosphere. It’s suitable for various metals and is commonly used on construction sites and in metal fabrication.


Advantages:

  • Versatile welding method
  • Can be used on thin materials
  • Minimal weld splatter which makes for more precise, cleaner jobs
  • Good for producing high-quality esthetic welds


Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) uses hollow electrodes filled with flux. The flux melts and covers the weld pool to protect it while it’s molten. It’s typically used for welding thick sections of metal.


Advantages:

  • Can be used in many positions, such as overhead and vertical work
  • Excellent for field work where conditions are windy


TIG (tungsten inert gas welding) is also called Heliarc welding. With this technique, filler rod is fed into the weld pool separately. TIG welding is slower than other techniques, but it is very precise.



Advantages:

  • Can be used on thin metals and exotic metals
  • Is the preferred technique for high-quality precision work


At Advantage Manufacturing Ltd., our welders know their way around these techniques and the welding equipment they require. If you’re in the Edmonton area and have any questions about the kind of weld you need for your project, come see us. We provide welding in Edmonton, Calgary and surrounding areas of Alberta. You can also contact us by phone or email for a quote.