ARC Welding

Along with any machines or spares you might require the following types of electrodes are available – general purpose, hydrogen controlled, iron powder, cellulose, stainless, cast iron, gouging and cutting. Brisbane Industrial Agencies also stock a full range of safety requirements for Arc Welding.

Arc welding is one of several fusion processes for joining metals. By applying intense heat, metal at the joint between two parts is melted and caused to intermix – directly, or more commonly, with an intermediate molten filler metal. Upon cooling and solidification, a metallurgical bond is created. Since the joining is an intermixture of metals, the final weldment potentially has the same strength properties as the metal of the parts. This is in sharp contrast to non-fusion processes of joining (i.e. soldering, brazing etc.) in which the mechanical and physical properties of the base materials cannot be duplicated at the joint.

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Fig. 1 The basic arc-welding circuit

 In arc welding, the intense heat needed to melt metal is produced by an electric arc. The arc is formed between the actual work and an electrode (stick or wire) that is manually or mechanically guided along the joint. The electrode can either be a rod with the purpose of simply carrying the current between the tip and the work. Or, it may be a specially prepared rod or wire that not only conducts the current but also melts and supplies filler metal to the joint. Most welding in the manufacture of steel products uses the second type of electrode.

Basic Welding Circuit
The basic arc-welding circuit is illustrated in Fig. 1. An AC or DC power source, fitted with whatever controls may be needed, is connected by a work cable to the work piece and by a “hot” cable to an electrode holder of some type, which makes an electrical contact with the welding electrode.
An arc is created across the gap when the energized circuit and the electrode tip touches the work piece and is withdrawn, yet still with in close contact.
The arc produces a temperature of about 6500ºF at the tip. This heat melts both the base metal and the electrode, producing a pool of molten metal sometimes called a “crater.” The crater solidifies behind the electrode as it is moved along the joint. The result is a fusion bond.

Arc Shielding
However, joining metals requires more than moving an electrode along a joint. Metals at high temperatures tend to react chemically with elements in the air – oxygen and nitrogen. When metal in the molten pool comes into contact with air, oxides and nitrides form which destroy the strength and toughness of the weld joint. Therefore, many arc-welding processes provide some means of covering the arc and the molten pool with a protective shield of gas, vapor, or slag. This is called arc shielding. This shielding prevents or minimizes contact of the molten metal with air. Shielding also may improve the weld. An example is a granular flux, which actually adds deoxidizers to the weld.

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