Different Welding Processes: GTAW, GMAW and FCAW

Custom metal fabricators have the ability to produce strong and high-quality metal components needed across different industries through various processes. Welding is one of the primary operations in metal fabrication. It is the process of combining metals together by using heat and pressure.

When it comes to metal fabrication, there are different welding processes to choose from — gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and flux cored arc welding (FCAW).

The Different Welding Processes

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

GTAW or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to join metals together. It is the most popular welding method used today. This process works well on very thin metals. Unlike other methods, welders can create cleaner weld with a higher degree of purity with TIG.

TIG welding requires skilled operators and external shielding gas. This method does not work on corroded metals. GTAW is mostly used for welding stainless steel but is also suitable for other metals like copper, nickel, and aluminum. TIG welding is used in high precision welds, automotive, aerospace and piping systems.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

This welding process also referred to as metal inert gas (MIG) combine metals together with a wire connected to an electrode current. GMAW can be used to weld different metals and alloys including stainless steel, aluminum, silicon bronze, magnesium, copper, and nickel.

MIG is a popular industrial welding process. It can provide a strong weld that has the ability to withstand large forces. This method is used in the robotics, construction, automotive and maritime industry.

Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

Flux cored arc welding is a method similar to GMAW. They use the same machine for power supply. The main difference is that FCAW uses a hollow wire with flux in the center. This method does not always require a shielding gas, depending on the filler.

This method is also widely used in the industry since it’s less expensive and easy to learn. The resulting welds are often not as aesthetically pleasing as the other welding methods. FCAW can be used to weld thick metals. It is commonly used in the construction and heavy equipment industry.

Welding has continuously evolved through the years. There had been many innovations in methods, tools, and equipment. It is important to use the right welding process to ensure high-quality and precise metal fabrication.

OK Fab and Machining have a dedicated team of GTAW, GMAW and FCAW welders. We have the equipment and skills to weld stainless steel, aluminum, and other metals. Contact OK Fab and Machining for your welding and custom metal fabrication needs. Request for a quote now!