Welding is the process of joining two or more components together by heating them or applying a forceful pressure. More often than not, this process is employed on metals or thermoplastics, but there are also instances wherein it is also utilized on wood. This fabrication process is also one of the methods used in building and completing a vehicle.
In line with this, below are some of the most commonly used welding methods for automotive applications.
Resistance Spot Welding (RSW)
RSW is considered as one of the most contemporary welding processes and perhaps the most widely used in various industries as well, including in the automotive sector. Its primary purpose is to join a couple of overlapping metal sheets which can have a thickness of 3mm each. In this approach, a couple of copper electrodes are used to clamp the metal sheets together. It is also through these electrodes where the current will pass through, all the way to the metal sheets. Due to the resistance, heat is generated and this melts the sheet at the spot desired, forming the joint.
Resistance Seam Welding (RSEW)
RSEW is very much like the RSW process, only that circular rotating electrodes are used instead of the static copper electrodes used as a clamp. With this process, a single seam weld, as well as parallel seams can be achieved simultaneously. However, the drawback of this process is that it is restricted to a single line or a uniformly curved line. Also, metal sheets having a thickness of more than 3mm can already cause issues.
Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding
MIG welding is considered as an arc welding method that leverages a solid wire electrode which is heated and fed into the pool of a welding gun. The heat melts the base materials that need to be joined. In transferring the metal to the weld pool, the three common modes usually employed include the short-circuiting, or what is also known as dip, the droplet or spray, as well as the pulsed. The first and last are used for low current operations while the spray metal is used for high welding currents. Nevertheless, this technique has the versatility that is suitable for both thin and thick components.
Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding
TIG welding is sometimes referred to as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). Like MIG welding, it is also an arc welding process that uses an inert gas shield instead of a slag to protect the weld pool. In this process, you need to operate with a constant current power source which can either be an alternating current (AC) or a direct current (DC). If you want to know how to pick a TIG welding machine for your garage, then it will surely help to check out online sites that feature and review different types of welders. In this way, you will be able to have a good insight into the best TIG welding machine with good quality to price ratio.
Laser Beam Welding (LBW)
In LBW, two or more pieces of metal are joined together with the use of a laser beam that rapidly heats the material, a process that typically takes a few milliseconds to complete. Some of the most common types of lasers utilized in this process include gas, solid-state, as well as diode lasers. A gas laser is composed of a mixture of helium and nitrogen gases but there are also carbon dioxide lasers. Solid-state lasers, on the other hand, can be pulsed or used continuously. More often than not, LBW is used for materials or parts of a vehicle that proved to be difficult to join together using the other welding methods.
Friction Welding (FW)
In FW, heat is generated by causing mechanical friction between a moving and a stationary component. In parallel to this, a lateral force, which is also referred to as an upset, is applied to the components to displace and fuse the material. This solid-state welding process can also be used with thermoplastics but it can also be used to bind these plastics with metal together, particularly in certain vehicle parts that call for it.
In conclusion, the welding processes above are only some of the most commonly used methods when it comes to building the parts and body of a vehicle. These methods are also applicable in other industries, primarily in building structures that are composed of metal components. Rest assured that you will be able to learn the art of welding as long as you put an extra effort into it.