ARC Welding

Arc Welding is sometimes also known as Manual Metal Arc Welding. This type of welding was first developed in the early part of the 20th century so has been around for many, many years.

Arc welders are usually used for such things as hobbies, workshop, site repairs and maintenance, agricultural repairs and manufacturing, engineering and fabrication so is a very popular form of welding.

What is ARC welding?

Arc welding is the process of fusing two or more pieces of metal together using a power source to create an electric ARC between the electrode and the material you are welding. When the material has been joined together this is called the molten pool, if you think of the electrode like a “glue” this is what is ‘melted’ and sticks the materials together.

With ARC welding you use an electrode welding rod which is a metal rod coated with flux which partially burns to generate a gas which prevents the motel metal from reacting with or contamination from the surrounding atmosphere and to help the stability of the arc. The remaining flux is melted at the same time and flows over and into the molten pool, this flux  then cools and leaves slag which is chipped away with a chipping hammer to give the final finish. When Arc welding you should always use a downward slope motion (much like an aeroplane coming into land) with your rod at a 15° angle as below;

Advantages of ARC Welding

  • Arc welding equipment is reasonably priced due to the high operator input.
  • Arc welding can be very versatile as you can source specialist electrodes for different types of metal such as cast iron, hard facing and high strength metals and metal alloys.
  • The use of the flux coated electrode to shield the weld so there is no need for carrying gas or a wire feeder making it much more portable.

Disadvantages of Arc Welding

  • Perfecting Arc welding can take time and considerable practice.
  • Arc welding can be difficult on thin metals.
  • Arc welding creates a flux (as mentioned previously), this needs to be removed from the weld to give a smooth, eye pleasing finish which can take time.
  • Rod lengths are limited meaning you may need to use multiple rods depending on the length of the metal you are welding.

Top tips for Arc Welding

  • Always keep welding rods dry
  • Practice on a scrap work piece first to ensure you are welding correctly
  • Select the correct rod size and type for the task at hand (use the table below for a guide)

SIP have a range of both grey and green Arc welders within their range; the grey machines are DIY machines for use at home or in workshops by hobbyists and come with a 1 year manufacturing warranty, the green range are semi-professional machines which come with a 2 year manufacturing warranty.

SIP are known globally for their range of welders including welder generators, spot welders and welding accessories, not just because of their drive to have the best of the best but because their equipment is reliable, robust and durable all at an affordable price! Like most of the SIP products the welding equipment are suitable for both home and trade and many items can be found in professional garages, worksites and workshops across the country.

You will also see that ARC welders are either AC or DC (or have the capability of both). AC welding output is an adjustable current, used for welding finer metals i.e. stainless steel/Aluminum which can offer a better weld whilst DC welding output is a straight current that is used for welding ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The current required will all depend on the materials you are welding and is a personal choice.

The electrodes you use in ARC welding come in various sizes 1.6mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3.25mm, 4mm. But when you are using a machine which is 230v (13amp) supply (domestic UK plug) you can only weld up to a maximum thickness of 3.2mm.