Types of Welding to Teach Students

Types of Welding to Teach Students

A comprehensive welding education starts by understanding the different types of welding. Each type has its own pros and cons, needed materials, and final results. Here’s a quick run-down of the basics on each type of welding process to get your students started.

MIG Welding (GMAW)

Gas Metal Arc Welding, also known as MIG or Metal Inert Gas, is great for beginning welders because it’s clean, relatively easy, and can be used on any thickness of metal. It uses a continuous solid wire electrode that’s heated and fed into a weld pool from a MIG gun while shielding gas protects the bond from contaminants. When these materials melt together, they make a strong bond called a joint. The best metals for MIG welding are carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

MIG Welding Supplies:

  • Shielding Gas MIG welding wire
  • Contact tips and nozzles
  • Nozzle gel
  • MIG pliers
  • C-Clamps or magnets

Flux-Core Wire Welding (FCAW)

Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) also uses a wire-feed process like MIG welding, but there’s no need for shielding gas. In this case, the flux-cored wire is what shields the arc from contamination.

Flux-Core Welding Supplies:

  • Wire brush
  • Contact tips
  • Anti-spatter
  • MIG pliers
  • Chipping hammer

Stick Welding (SMAW)

Shielded Metal Arc Welding, or Stick Welding, is a simple and versatile welding process which makes it a popular choice for many classrooms. This manual process uses consumable electrodes that are covered with a flux to lay beads. Then, an electric current creates an arc between the electrode and the metal. They melt together to form a weld pool. Once it cools, it becomes a joint.

This process is often used for iron and steels, but it can also be used for aluminum, nickel, and copper alloys.

Stick Welding Supplies:

  • Stick electrodes
  • Wire brush
  • Contact tips
  • Anti-spatter
  • MIG pliers
  • Chipping hammer

TIG Welding (GTAW)

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, also called Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG welding, uses inert shielding gas and a non-consumable tungsten electrode to weld thin sections of stainless steel, aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys.

This process is a bit more complicated than the others, so it’s often reserved for more advanced students. It can be significantly slower due to the manual wire feeding, but it also allows students to have greater control over their work. This helps them produce stronger, higher-quality welds that are also more aesthetically pleasing.

TIG Welding Supplies:

  • Shielding gas
  • Tungsten
  • Filler metal
  • MIG pliers
  • Light pair of leather gloves
  • Tungsten sharpener/ bench grinder
  • Brushes to prep material

Plasma Cutting

This process works differently than the others because it doesn’t join metals together. Rather, the metals are electrically cut with a jet of hot plasma from a plasma torch. This process is often used with steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and copper. Since this process doesn’t create an arc, an ADF welding helmet is not required, though dark glasses are recommended.

Plasma Cutting Supplies:

  • Dark glasses
  • Air compressor
  • Electrodes
  • Cutting tips
  • MIG pliers
  • Air hose

Which Welding Process Do You Teach?

All types of welding can be useful depending on the metals being used and skill level of the welder. Teaching students several ways to weld can help them discover the method that works best for them. Rest assured, no matter which process you choose to teach, Midwest Technology Products has the supplies you need. View our entire welding category or click the links above if you have a specific process in mind. Not sure what you need? Please don’t hesitate to send us a message online or give us a call at 1-800-831-5904.