There are many different types of welding, which can be used to produce different results or weld different materials with specific needs. One of these types is stick welding, or “shielded metal arc welding” (SMAW). This name comes from the stick-shaped electrode. It’s the simplest of all welding processes—the electrode heats up and melts the filler metal and the electrode to create a welded joint between two pieces of metal.
Read on to learn what stick welding is and what to use it for in Phoenix, AZ.
What is stick welding?
Stick welders have four main parts: the constant voltage power supply, an electrode holder, a ground clamp and an electrode. Stick welding uses the same kind of constant voltage power supply as TIG welding, and can be converted to TIG with the addition of a torch.
To use stick welding, you first connect the welding rod holder and grounding clamp to the power supply. Then the grounding clamp is connected to the welder and the metal. Next, insert the electrode, and strike the metal where you want to start welding as if you were holding a match. The electrode will start burning, which deposits metal onto the welding surface, so you can join the parts together.
As you’re welding, the electrode and power supply create a temperature of up to 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit. As the electrode melts, the coating on the rod forms an oxygen shield around it, which keeps dirt, dust and debris away. That’s why it’s called “shielded metal arc welding.”
Benefits of stick welding
Depending on the project you’re trying to accomplish, stick welding may or may not be right for you. Here are the benefits of stick welding:
- The most portable kind of welding: The biggest advantage of stick welding is that it’s portable. First, the equipment is very simple. Second, since the coating on the electrode or rod forms the shield, you won’t need extra equipment to create one. That makes it easy to perform on-site welding whenever necessary.
- Can be used in different positions: Sometimes it isn’t convenient or possible to weld items on a worktable in front of you—in fact, sometimes you’ll need to weld parts from an overhead position or in tight spaces. Thanks to stick welding’s portability and because the puddle isn’t as fluid, you can weld overhead, horizontally or vertically, as needed.
- Cost effective: Finally, stick welding is very affordable compared to other welding methods. Stick welding machines can run you as little as $500.
Not sure what kind of welding process your project requires? Talk to the welding professionals at Metal Pro Inc. Our team is skilled in fabrication and machining—in fact, we have over 40 years of experience. Whatever you’re trying to create, we’re sure to know how to help. Whether you want to learn more about what stick welding is in Phoenix, AZ or you’re not sure which process is right for you, we’ll make sure you get the end result you want. Call today to learn more.