What’s in a Weld? Types of Welding and Their Uses
Welding is the process of fusing two pieces of metal together along their connecting surfaces. When executed properly, a proper weld creates an incredibly strong bond.
In the collision repair field, welding is an important part of returning damaged vehicles back to their pre-accident conditions. To help mechanically minded readers out there learn more about welding basics and how welding is used in the collision repair industry, Automotive Training Center (ATC) put together the following post.
One type of welding used by collision repair professionals is gas, or oxyacetylene, welding. In this style of welding, the metal pieces that will be welded together are heated up by a welding torch and lit by the combustion of fuel and oxygen, until a collection of molten metal is formed. Metal filler is added to the molten area as needed, and the area of molten metal is moved along the edges of the surfaces that need to be bonded to form the weld.
Gas welding is one of the oldest forms of the craft, though it isn’t as precise as MIG or TIG welding due to a larger flame and more heat, but it is still used in various applications where welding thicker metal is required—this could be removing a damaged piece of a vehicle frame and welding in a new piece to support a car’s underlying structure.
MIG & TIG Welding
MIG and TIG are refined forms of welding that use an electric arc to create the weld. Additionally, with these types, a gas bubble is formed around the welding torch when in use, effectively sealing off the weld site from impurities in the air for a more reliable weld.
MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding works by dispersing a coil of wire as the welder moves along the weld site. With the ability to create clean, strong-holding welds on a variety of metal thicknesses, MIG welders are the most commonly used welder type in the collision repair field.
TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is a more advanced welding style that utilizes two thick rods to make the weld. With two hands required to use a TIG welder, it is reserved for more exclusive applications and materials, such as welding aluminum surfaces or a critical joint weld.
Learn More about Automotive Shop Equipment
Learning the ins and outs of welding is one of the unique responsibilities collision repair technicians in training have to look forward to. If you’re fascinated by the various equipment and tools used by today’s technicians to repair or restore a vehicle back to its former glory, you may be interested in checking out our free eBook on 5 Unusual Tools Used in Today’s Auto Shops.
From computer-connected equipment that helps technicians restore a bent frame, to a special type of spot welder that allows partial automation of the welding process for more consistent welds, it’s truly neat to see the equipment that industry professionals use to get the job done.
If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to practice welding as a Collision Reconditioning Technology student at ATC, check out our program page for more details.