With over 30 years of experience in welding, fabrication, and powder coating services for industrial, commercial, and residential projects we know what we are talking about when it comes to welding.

However, many people have only a vague understanding of welding.

What Is Welding?

Welding is the liquefaction of a base metal with heat fusing two metals together.

This fusion occurs when the three components essential to welding–a heat source, filler metal, and shielding gas or flux–come together.

A Brief History

There is archeological evidence of welding dating back as far as the Bronze age, over 2,000 years ago. 

During the Medieval period, humans developed the art of blacksmithing, but it wasn’t until the 1800’s that we developed welding as we know it today.

Over the last 200+ years, the world of welding has come a long way to develop several different types of welding using numerous elements and processes.

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Different Types of Welding

There are three types of welding that are widely practiced by most welding companies, including Steel City Metal, Inc. These three methods are: MIG welding (GMAW welding), TIG welding (GTAW welding), and stick welding (SMAW welding).

MIG Welding

MIG welding, or metal insert gas welding (also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding, GMAW), is a welding process in which a thin wire fed from a spool within the welding gun or machine acts as the electrode.

When the trigger on the welding gun is pulled, the welding current is turned on alongside a shielding gas.

An electric arc then forms between the metal wire and the workpiece metal. This current melts both the wire and the base metal. These two metals mix and bind the workpieces together as one.

Since the wire is consumed in the welding process of MIG welding, it is called a consumable electrode.

Because MIG welding is a welding process utilizing a current that must flow in a continual circuit, the metal workpiece has to be connected to the machine from which the circuit originates. 

A clamp called the “work lead” connects the workpiece to the welding machine.

TIG Welding

TIG welding, or Tungsten Inert Gas welding (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, GTAW) is a method of welding using a Tungsten electrode because of the extremely high melting point of Tungsten. 

Unlike the electrode in MIG welding, a TIG welding electrode gets hot, but does not melt. This is known as a non-consumable electrode.

TIG welding works by melting the base metal alone by an electric arc created by the welding gun.

Like MIG welding, the current in TIG welding must complete a circuit. So, a work lead is connected to the work piece in order to direct the current back to the machine.

Stick Welding

Stick welding, or shielded metal arc welding, is a welding process that uses a metal stick covered with a flux material that protrudes from the welding gun as it’s electrode.

In this process, the metal in the rod and the metal in the workpiece melt and coalesce to form one, new metal. Like MIG welding, stick welding is a consumable electrode process.

Stick welding, like MIG and TIG welding, must operate in a completed circuit. So a work lead must be connected to the metal work piece in order to complete the current.

Welding in Birmingham, Alabama

Steel City Metal, Inc. offers MIG, TIG, and stick welding services in Birmingham, AL and surrounding areas.

Whether you need industrial welding services, commercial welding services, or residential welding services, we can do the job.

With over 30 years of experience, we are able to ensure you that your welding project will be completed with excellence.

Are you looking for welding services in Birmingham, AL or surrounding areas? Contact Steel City Metal, Inc. today!

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